Compassion Can Save Life
When it comes to being a nurse, professionalism can be defined in many different ways. Being a professional nurse takes one to be confident, compassionate and accountable, these are just a few examples. Webster Dictionary defines professionalism as; the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person. I feel it is also the ability to evaluate your own work and proactively take corrective action to improve your own performance. The first step into becoming professional is deciding you are professional. If you want to be viewed as a professional you have to act the part.
One can think of their job as performing on stage in front of thousands of viewers and just as an actor puts on a costume, nurses put on scrubs/uniforms. Viewers expect the performer to maintain a type of appearance just as the clients we take care of. There’s more to perception than the way you look, your attitude and tone of voice can make a big difference when interacting with your clients, family members and other health care professionals. It’s not always what you say, but how you say it that matters.
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Compassion is that feeling that we’ve all experienced at some point in our live. When we know that there is someone that really cares for us. Compassion comes from that moment when we can see the world through another person’s eyes.
In health care, I believe that it comes from people who love their work and who truly understands why they do what they do. Compassion is about treating clients with dignity, respect and empathy, through communication skills and actions. Often times showing compassion doesn’t take very much, it could be a small gesture that the nurse does. To demonstrate professionalism in nursing you must also take accountability. Often times accountability and responsibility are used synonymously but the two words represent different concepts that go hand in hand. Responsibility denotes an obligation to accomplish a task whereas accountability is accepting ownership in the results or lack thereof. Responsibility can be transferred but accountability is showed. I feel a professional nurse is accountable to their profession, clients, health care team, employing agency and self. Professional accountability is outlined in the ANA code of ethics for nurses and ANA standards of nursing practice, service and education. We are accountable to the profession because we represent the largest group of providers in the health care industry. It is our responsibility to practice within our scope and not beyond. Accountability to the profession is upheld by nursing quality assurance and quality improvement programs, this includes the state board of nursing which holds nurse accountable to the standard that our license requires us to practice within.