Professional Conduct

  1. Professional Conduct:

    What is it? How would you define appropriate professional nursing conduct? What actions do you think create professional behaviour?

    &, on the flip side, what does unprofessional behaviour look like?
  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   CrufflerJJ
    Sounds like a nice essay question from school. So how would you answer those questions?
  4. by   llg
    Quote from CrufflerJJ
    Sounds like a nice essay question from school. So how would you answer those questions?
    That's exactly what I was going to say.

    rachelgeorgina ... Most of us don't like just doing someone's homework assignment for them from scratch. But we will help you by discussing YOUR ideas, probably throwing in some of our thoughts along the way.

    What "answers" have you come up with so far, based on reading your textbook, course materials and doing things such as ooking up the word "professional" in the dictionary ... or looking at codes of ethics, professional standards, etc. If you don't know where to find such things, you might start in your school's library and look for statements/standards/etc. from the American Nurses Association and/or other major nursing groups. Then after doing that homework, come back to us with some ideas to use as a starting point for the discussion.
  5. by   classicdame
    many nurse practice acts define professional conduct because a nurse may have his/her license revoked if it is not practiced. You can view NPA's online at various state Boards. (
  6. by   locolorenzo22
    Nice essay question again. If you have your own ideas and want some feedback, post what you have up here....but you need to work on it and go from there.
  7. by   CandyGyrl
    Thats really bold. You know every time someone asks a question like "what do you think about this, or does anybody have an example for that" it seems like everyone is soooo quick to jump down the throats of others and accuse them of cheating or trying to get others to do their homework. I don't see anything wrong with help. HELP. Thats all it is. In school we ask each other all the time for help... can you help me with my care plan, or may I look at yours since you did so well and use it as a tool or guideline to HELP me work through mines. The key word for the day is TEAMWORK I thought that nursing was about teamwork. But the closer I'm getting to the end of my program, it seems that everyone is out for SELF. If you didn't want to offer any ideas wouldn't it serve you best to just ignore the comment and keep your remarks to yourself? I guess I'm wasting my time with this one but I was just reading the thread and It made me frown because its like are you guys really serious? so I just had to pitch in my 2 cents.
  8. by   classicdame
    Many people confuse this term with what THEY think of as professional, and that can vary widely. If your state NPA defines a registered (professional) nurse as someone who must obey state laws, abide by employer's policies, not abuse drugs or alcohol, put the patient first-------- these are some of the expectations the state may have for nurses who practice in that state. Therefore, the definition of a professional nurse will be what the NPA says it is. How the nurse wears their hair, how many earrings, tattoos -all that may be part of the employer's policies, but not part of the state NPA, except that the employee is expected to abide by ALL employer policies. I hope continuing education is an expectation.
  9. by   karenchad
    I think that rachealgeorgina' s question is a very valid one- What is professional conduct, don't be so hard on her. Because from where I am coming from is this- after 30 years of being given counseling notices- I have never received one on poor skill, killing a patient, med errors, dropping a pt on the floor, sending the wrong pt to a proceedure, etc and all the other physical things that these nurse managers could/should be evaluating us on at WORK as grown adults. ALL I get is unprofessional conduct- NEVER have I been given a list of behaviors that are what the nurse manager considers as professional conduct. they seem to be these metaphysical set of rules that are NEVER spelled out and that we constantly- to the point of parlyalizing disruption of our work day and disruption of of most of our off the clock hours. obsess about. All I can say is - they are never told to you until you get dragged into the managers office and interrogated ( which if you look up dysfunctional family- this is the only example you get- no clear set of spoken rules), sometimes it means you stuck up for a fellow RN who happens to be male and of a minority and the nursing assistance have decided not to help with his patients to the point of calling him stupid because he has an Asian accent(when in fact he is fluent in 3 languages and the hecklers are lucky they can mutter in 1 and do that one badly) Translation- the nurse manager doesn't know what to do about this problem but she's the boss. so you will get written up for "unprofessional conduct", the ever so poopular he said she said senerio and who ever tells their tale first and better- the looser is "unprofessional conduct".(yet you came to work on time, in your appropriate uniform, no skin showing, stethescope around neck, pen in hand, took your assignment with out issue, began your assignment, focused on your assignment, no one died, all labs reported with callback orders, correct meds given but if you try to help out a fellow RN- you get unprofessional conduct. But those who sit read the morning paper, x-mas shop on internet at ToysRUs, gossip about EVERYBODY, manage to give their meds from their chair, stethescope doesn't leave the desk, their patients don't even know they have a nurse, make life miserable for new GN's trying to find their way where they end up crying and eventually leaving,- Are shining examples of PROFFESSIONAL CONDUCT on their evaluations. We have all worked with one of these shining examples at some point. the Dr. Evils and Minny Me's. So this is a very good question, because after 30 years I still don't know and am very tired trying to guess. Proffessional conduct is what ever the present nurse manager wants it to be- what ever he/she has the ability to easily handle, not a problem they can't solve.
  10. by   rachelgeorgina
    Whoah. I'm totally taken aback. This is NOT an essay question. In fact, I'm done with classes for the semester! (I'm in Australia, so we've got different semesters to the US, I think.) Three exams and I'm free for a couple of weeks! I'm not sure whether I should apologise for writing in the style of a teacher/essay question or not.

    The reason I ask is because I've recently come off a clinical placement where this was raised as an issue for a lot of students over the week. I was hoping to get individual opinions of what other nurses/nurses-to-be understand professional conduct to be in order to get a broader idea and understanding of the concept and how people interpret it (and therefore how individual practice is influenced.)

    The ANMC (Australian Nurses and Midwifery Council) Professional Code of Conduct basically states that nurses need to uphold the professional to maintain public trust and confidence and meet a responsibility to individuals, groups and society as a whole to provide safe, competent nursing care. It's fairly self explanatory - practice safely and competently, practice in line with legislation, maintain patient confidence, bring no disrepute upon the profession etcetc.

    What I'm looking for is personal opinions and experiences of what professional conduct is/is not. So, can you help me out?
  11. by   Silverdragon102
    I think if you had explained yourself a bit more in the original post people would have been able to answer appropriately.

    Each country or state will have their own professional standards. The UK professional conduct and standards can be found here plus other standards
  12. by   rachelgeorgina
    ^^ I know what the professional standards say.

    What I'm interested in, if I didn't make it clear enough in my second response, is people's personal opinions and experiences of professional conduct.
  13. by   cursedandblessed
    professional conduct in nursing and what it means to me (in the five minutes before i crawl in bed)

    i will show up on time unless something dire prevents it (ex. five car wreck requiring the med-evac to land in the middle of the interstate.)

    i will not gossip in the hallways and the cafeteria about other nurses, students, docs, patients, patient's families, or even my neighbor.

    along those same lines i will not use language i would be ashamed for my mother to hear when in uniform with hospital or school identifying info on it.

    i will not leave to go to lunch, just because it's time to, when my patient has a need, has just returned from dialysis and needs to be settled with vitals taken stat, i can wait, they can't.

    i will show caring through touch when appropriate.

    i will give 100% when i'm at the hospital with my patients, and leave it there. i can only do so much, and once i am at home, i owe it to myself and my family to take care of us, otherwise i cannot care for others.

    i will try my best to treat my patients and their families the way i would want myself and my family to be treated. (i know i can be a huge pain in the tush when i'm sick) these families are under stress, and people under stress can act "funny".

    when i don't know something, i will look it up, find someone who does know, and learn for the next time. not knowing doesn't make me stupid, not asking does: for putting myself and my patient at risk for injury.

    that's all i have for now. off to bed, up at 4:30 you know.
  14. by   rachelgeorgina
    cursedandblessed, thank you so much for responding with that! it's exactly what i was looking for! does anyone else have anything like this that they could share?

    also, a question regarding this point:
    Quote from cursedandblessed
    i will not gossip in the hallways and the cafeteria about other nurses, students, docs, patients, patient's families, or even my neighbor.
    how do you define "gossiping"? i know it seems pretty obvious, hey? take this example:
    the nurses station is an open area at the centre of the ward where most of the professional interrelations go on i.e. communication with doctors, nurses, allied health staff etc. a student, on their first day of clinical, has a question about one of the pts whom they are interested in/do not understand the nature of their condition. as the num is leaving the nurses station the student stops the num to ask a question about this patient and about the terminal nature of the illness. the student never uses the patient's name, only their bed number.

    later, the student is repremanded by their instructor after the num reports this exchange on the basis that discussing sensitive patient information in such a public area where anyone could be listening is inappropriate.

    what do you think? is this unprofessional? is this substandard practice? how would this interaction differ from all of the other interactions between staff throughout the day regarding their patients that occur at the nurses station?