What Is Professionalism
Professionalism can be defined in many different ways and from different perspectives. As defined by today’s dialect, it can be an awareness of behavior, goals and qualities defining a specified profession, knowledge of professional codes of ethics, and understanding of ethical schools of thought, patient professional interaction models, and patient rights. Professionalism means being the very best you can be. This mindset or set of values is sent to everyone around you and your workplace, both on and off the job.
Also, your attitude is a direct reflection of who you are. Moreover, the way you treat your staff and co-workers is a mirror reflection of your level of professionalism. Another major example would be what you say about your company, medical program or workplace while away from the site will give other’s a great insight into your professionalism. In reality almost everything you do is a reflection good or bad . There are many sides to professionalism. It’s important to understand that professionalism is verbal and nonverbal.
It can also be physical or non-physical. The impact of the first impression can speak so much of a person and is not easily erased. So it is always important to be your best and project yourself in a positive manner. Within thirty seconds people will form an opinion of who they think you are. This will include but is not limited to your: economical level, educational level, trustworthiness, social position, level of sophistication, social and educational heritage, success in current and previous accomplishments, moral character and if they like you !
A young professional must also realize nonverbal cues also speak about who you are. This would include the way you dress. Your clothing, does it fit properly? Is it too tight? Does it match? Is it clean and pressed? Is it appropriate for the situation? Another area of interest is mannerisms, for example body language. How close do you stand to one another? Do you stand confidently or slouching? Eye contact is another big category. Do you look at someone when they’re talking to you? Do you show that you’re paying attention? Facial expressions are also major. Do you smile a lot or frown?
Do you look puzzled or knowledgeable? All these characteristics install confidence in the minds of the person or persons that we are dealing with on a daily basis. Workplace communication is another important aspect of professionalism. This would include communication on the phones, voice mail, email, written notes, letters and penmanship. It shouldn’t matter if patients or customers are around or not. Professionalism should take place twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. It’s an attitude or mindset that all young professionals should attempt to attain or be.
When answering the phones try to answer by the third ring and make sure to identify yourself and the department you’re working in. Speak clearly and pronounce words correctly in a loud clear manner and also, return calls as quickly as possible. When leaving a voicemail speak loudly, leave a clear and short message and identify yourself. Also, leave your number twice so that you’re not misunderstood. Avoid taking cell phone calls when with a co-worker or patient and don’t forget to turn off the cell phone totally when you’re in a meeting.
Email messages should be kept short and to the point and replied with the original message in the body of the text. Netiquette remember nothing is private; if your message needs no response let the recipient know. The cost of being unprofessional can be high. In today’s society in the age of computers and detailed records a reputation is not easily overcome so it is important not to get a negative report from anyone. It has also been said the modern world is a very small place because of our high tech communications such as telephone, email etc.
Especially in the medical field it can cost you your job, state license or worse yet even your certification. It can be the difference in a raise or even a promotion. So it is important to act in a professional manner at all times. Personally I have had experiences with many people who were professional and many people who were not. For example; Last summer, Even though this is not medically related, I was working for a close friend of mine at the time and he needed helping with a project that was due for the company by 12 Midnight.
So, he called me and asked me for help, but out of his own frustrations he got upset, yelled at me for “not helping correctly” and hung the phone up on me. And when I tried calling back, he pressed the ignore button. I can tell you that my opinion of him was one that reflected poorly. His lack of ability to handle stressful situations in a correct manner and neglect to treat me respectfully as a fellow employee prompted me to no longer want to work with him. So, it is important to be well rounded and to never neglect any one in any manner.
You could probably say a spirit of excellence is required to portray professionalism. Be well organized, groomed, alert and courteous! Professionalism – to be or not to be. Was there really ever any question of it? Of course not! Professionalism is a requirement of all, young and old alike. It should be appropriate for everybody to act in a professional manner at all times. After all, it can only have a positive effect on all of the individuals involved in any given situation and on any given day!