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What is Professionalism: 10 Tips for Working in a Hospital

Higher Education Articles July 10, 2013

Working in a hospital requires attention to detail, a superior bedside manner, and most important, professionalism. So what exactly is professionalism? Professionalism in the healthcare field is an employee’s appearance and behavior when attending and working events in one’s profession. Whether you work in a clinic, private practice, or hospital, developing a professional manner is essential for success. Professionalism is vital in the world of medicine, as patients trust the medical staff with their lives, and conveying a professional attitude gives great comfort to ill patients. Of course, it can be difficult to always maintain a professional demeanor when dealing with difficult patients or overbearing colleagues, but all the same, working in a hospital means going above and beyond the call of duty and taking pride in your appearance, interactions, and medical knowledge to benefit patients. If you work in a hospital, review these professional tips.

Look the Part

Hospital employees should not only behave in a professional manner, but also look professional. Looking the part of a hospital employee includes using proper hygiene, maintaining a trimmed haircut, and dressing sharp. First impressions are everything, and when a negative impression is made, it can affect one’s job performance.

Continue Education

In the medical field, learning is an ongoing process that requires constant learning to keep up with the latest advancements and technologies in modern medicine. Medical staff should maintain all certification and education requirements, even if that means taking additional courses that may help them further their career and improve knowledge.

Go Above and Beyond

Employees should take that extra step whenever it will benefit themselves, a coworker, or a patient. Not only does it convey professionalism, but learning how to perform a variety of tasks will also make for a more valuable employee. Going above and beyond is also the ideal way to increase efficiency in the workplace.

Engage in Teamwork

Working as a team is also a great way to exhibit professionalism. Employees can show their respect for coworkers by changing shifts when personal issues arise or assisting other employees when shortages occur. Therapists, psychiatrists, nurses, doctors, and other medical staff all play major roles in the lives of patients, making it essential for employees to work together as a team.

Communicate Clearly

Communication is an essential trait in the medical world, as employees are constantly communicating with patients and coworkers. Hospital workers should always be honest and direct when speaking to avoid any misunderstandings. Gossip should be avoided, as well as inappropriate talk or behavior. When taking notes or records, use proper handwriting and punctuation and complete forms in full.

Superior Bedside Manner

Bedside manner is arguably one of the most valuable characteristics of a professional hospital employee. Medical staff must be friendly and considerate towards employers and coworkers, as well as good listeners, responsiveness, and overall, respectful. Part of being professional is to maintain a professional distance with patients, not getting too close emotionally.

Consider the Patient

Sometimes, hospital staff will forget how the patient is feeling. It is important to remember that patients in the hospital are often frightened, uncomfortable, frustrated, or just ill. At times, patients may feel that they are not getting adequate attention from their caregivers, and their opinion should always be respected.

Convey Pride

Pride is an important quality in a hospital employee. Even if a medical professional has been working more than twelve consecutive hours, pride should be taken in daily activities. Hospital staff should take pride in the way they work, their interactions with patients and coworkers, and their knowledge of medical information.

Be Kind and Respectful

Hospital staff should always be kind and respectful to make a good impression. It is important to remember to smile often, use proper manners, and engage with coworkers and patients in a respectful manner. Employees should not allow their personal lives to affect your job performance, no matter how much stress they are under.

Don’t Hear, Listen

When hospital workers deal with patient after patient, they often begin to “hear,” rather than listen to what the patient is actually saying. Medical staff must maintain eye contact and recognize nonverbal communication. It’s important for employees to take notice of nonverbal cues, as this will help establish a level of trust and show your respect and professionalism. So what is professionalism? It’s ultimately a combination of everything previously mentioned that is essential to being successful as a healthcare professional.

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