What is professionalism?

  1. Once a DON asked me to define PROFESSIONALISM,and I really had to fake a definition for her. Currently I work with a collegue whom I really respect that uses the term not infrequently.This has caused me to ponder the question:WHAT IS PROFESSIONALISM?

    When pressed I would have to say that Professionalism refers to upholding ethical standards and maintaining objectivity.

    Perhaps some of you out there in Nursingland could could provide me further insights on:WHAT IS PROFESSIONALISM?

    Thank you
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   Aerolizing
    competence
    respecting your patient and family
    punctuality
    honesty
    ability to listen
    patient advocacy
  4. by   wildhoney
    All of the above and.. aid in alleviation of suffering, striving to be non-judgmental and of course, following the pledge.

    I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician, in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.
  5. by   ohbet
    That is an impressive statement wild honey,where did you find it?
  6. by   mario_ragucci
    Originally posted by wildhoney
    [

    I solemnly pledge myself before God [/B]
    The god part is noted :imbar

    Professionalism, in my off the top of my head definition, as it pertains to nursing, is to use all the knowledge and experience i have gained to help each person I can. Having a mature and respectful demenour with each person I help. To follow set codes and standards so as to not operate independantly. To keep my knowledge base current. To have a positive additude. Work as a team to help others, and get along with everyone. To accurately record what I am doing, as it pertains to the health and care the people I am caring for. To be conscious, at all times, to what is going on around me, as to prevent errors.
    Last edit by mario_ragucci on Mar 4, '02
  7. by   Q.
    Professionalism is not being an idiot.
  8. by   Dplear
    Professional is defined as getting PAID to do a job.
  9. by   Jay Levan
    Main Entryro*fes*sion*al*ism
    Pronunciation:-n*-*li-z*m
    Function:noun

    1 : the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person
    2 : the following of a profession (as athletics) for gain or livelihood

    That is Websters version, kinda generic huh? Yet interesting that they use athletics as a model. sort of makes me go Hmmmm? since I have used professional athletes unions, as a model in some of my postings as to how I feel our professional organizations should conduct their duties in representing us.
  10. by   lever5
    The dictionary defines occupation as requiring considerable training and specialized studies or, the body of qualified persons in an occupation or field. Occupation is defined an activity that is one's regular source of livelihood, a vocation (The American Heritage College dictionary, 1993). Anyone who states that nursing is an occupation does not deserve an answer. There is no comparison unless they are making up their own rules, and that is not allowed. This controversy started as the results of a paper published in 1915. Dr. Abraham Flexner (a dr. of education) authored a paper that still influences some people's thoughts on the definition of professionalism. He had 6 basic tenets to his essay. He stated, "They involve essentially intellectual operations accompanied by individual responsibility. They are learned in nature, and their members are constantly resorting to the laboratory and seminar for a fresh supply of facts. They are not merely academic and theoretical, however, but are definitely practical in their aims. They possess a technique capable of communication through a highly specialized educational discipline. They are self-organized, with activities, duties and responsibilities that completely engage their participants and develop group consciousness and they are likely to be more responsive to public interest that are unorganized and isolated individuals and they become increasingly concerned with an achievement of social ends" (1998, Deloughery). This is a rather lofty assertion of ideas that may have been accurate in excluding nursing in the past but today is another story. Nursing is only one of the careers that can be considered a profession. Today, any skill that is not possessed by everyone is considered a profession. Cosmetologists, electricians, landscapers and politicians are some of the people who have learned their professions. Their skills were acquired through apprenticeship and experience. The definition of profession has come to mean a person who presents oneself as a professional.
    Nursing today requires an intensive 2-year degree for an optimist; most of us end up stretching it to 2.5 or 3 years. Nursing has a research function that started with Florence Nightingale's statistical analysis and flourishes with ongoing projects. Lectures and seminars are available for all nurses and sometimes subsidized by the hospitals. Nursing requires its practitioners to have workable practical aims. We have to be self organized to survive and we are mandated to take responsibility. Nursing answers the description of a profession that was given by Flexner.
    The American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethic ties in nicely with the theme of professionalism. The ANA code has eleven statements in its code of ethics. Number 7 states, "The nurse participates in activities that contribute to the ongoing development of the profession's body of knowledge" (1985). This ethical statement is ingrained in our nursing culture, and supports the research aspect of Flexner's requirements. Number 11 states "The nurse collaborates with members of the health professions and other citizens in promoting community and national efforts to meet the health needs of the public". This idea becomes reality in community clinics, outreach programs, health fairs, disasters and missionary work. Nursing does not have to conform to Flexner's view of a profession to be accepted as one. The argument has long ago dried up. With introspection and intelligence we now respect nursing and many other fields as professions.

    The American Heritage College dictionary (3rd ed.). (1993) Boston, New York:
    Houghton Mifflin Company.

    American Nurses Association. (1985). Code for nurses with interpretive statements. (2nd ed.) Kansas City, MO; Author 9/89R)
    Retrieved from web 1/2/2002

    Deloughery, G., Issues and Trends in Nursing (3rd ed.). (1998) St. Louis, Missouri: Mosby-Year Book, Inc.
  11. by   P_RN
    Well said Lever5
  12. by   wildhoney
    Originally posted by ohbet
    That is an impressive statement wild honey,where did you find it?
    It's the Florence Nightingale pledge. The first thing that came to my mind.
  13. by   mario_ragucci
    Florence Nightingale is okay in my book. I've been reading about her. Back in her day, there was alot more suffering going on, and things were very different. Indeed. Nurses probably didn't think about professionalism much. It sounds more like a word born out of the industrial era. Remember, it wasn't but a hundred years ago, or so, that folks started to get down with electricity!
    Yall probably know this, but I just recently found out, when George Washington was ill, in his later years, they bled him. When he didn't get better, they bled him again, then he died. Thats cruel. Did anyone ever get better when they bled them?
  14. by   micro
    Originally posted by Susy K
    Professionalism is not being an idiot.
    I know is there in nurse practice acts.....I like susy K's take.....


    here is mine.......we were big alphabet people growin up...bear with me.....




    P professionalism(oops, that was the ?)
    R respect to all, patients, coworkers, even dr.'s
    O open communication with cowork. and super.
    F fun, well humour.....laughter is best med
    E ethical and equal treatment for all patients...
    S science---use the current med knowledge at hd.
    S science---(cont.)keep yourself updated and educ
    I intelligence---use your basic int. common sense
    O oh, oh, it is an O again.............
    N nice, smile, don't be a butthead...life too short
    A anal retentive/not
    L lighten up, you need it, your patients need it
    I I said take yourself very lightly, work seriously
    S sheez, louise.......enough already
    M micro take on professionalism.....done



    YEA!!!!!


    LATER ALL, micro

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