Basic Geriatric Nursing: The Importance Of Professionalism In Health Care

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Professionalism is something expected from every employee in every occupation. In a production setting professionalism may mean managing a dynamic workload and meeting goals or quotas, securing a seamless production stream. In the hospitality field professionalism may mean fostering a positive customer experience and ensuring customer satisfaction, even if it results in a financial loss. Professionalism in health care includes these concepts, but also requires other skills. It includes competence in clinical practice, excellent interpersonal skills and above all compassion. This paper will discuss how professionalism in health care is defined, achieved and expressed to patients, co-workers and others involved.
Work in health care is a high-stakes
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Basic Geriatric Nursing outlines Do’s and Don’ts When Working with Older Adults; DO’s: identify yourself, address the patient using their professional name, speak clearly and slowly in a low tone, get to know them, listen empathetically, pay attention to your body language, and use touch appropriately and frequently. DON’T: assume the patient knows who you are and your role, use familiar or patronizing names, shout, use generalizations, focus too much on the task and not the patient, disregard the importance of nonverbal communication, or be afraid of touch as a means of communication (Williams, 89). Many of these strategies seem to be common sense, but some need a reminder at times. Patients may also be intimidated by or misuse medical jargon, thus creating a misunderstanding. Those involved in patient care need to be patient when deciphering these statements to ensure the information received is accurate and appropriate, but to also ensure that they are not talking down to the patient or use acronyms, that a patient may not understand. Basic Geriatric Nursing states it well; “Careful listening to the patient’s speech can give clues about the appropriate level of language” (Williams, 89). Maintaining professionalism as a health care provider can sometimes be forgotten, but it is an important aspect of the job to remember and practice. Effective communication, compassion and an understanding of the pitfalls in clinical practice and behavior ensure providers are expressing their most professional selves to

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