■A professional looks the part.
Like it or not, the way you dress is important. You can be the sharpest tool in the shed but if you are covered in dirt, it will be hard for anyone to tell. Professionals spend the time, money and energy to look the part. Maybe it shouldn’t matter, but it does. Sorry.
■A professional treats everyone with respect.
Whether it's a colleague, patient, resident, or client, nursing professionals treat everyone in their nursing practice with dignity and respect. They see value in each person, no matter how high or low on the totem pole they happen to be. This is not always an easy thing to do, but it surely is always the right thing to do.
■A professional commits to life-long learning.
School is never out for us, whether it’s "automobile university" (listening to informative CD’s in the car), always having a book on the go, keeping up to date with professional magazines or websites, attending personal or professional conferences, or simply by listening and learning from others.
■A professional does their best at what they are being paid to do.
They are committed to excellence whether they "feel like it" or not; whether external circumstances warrant it or not.
Can anyone with the right attitude be a professional in nursing? Yes. Nurses, you may have specialized nursing skills and training, perhaps more so than your lesser skilled colleagues. You invested more years in schooling and obtaining nursing education than some of your peers. But, what is to be gained by holding yourself high and making others feel low?
Instead, what if we hold the bar high for everyone? If we treat everyone we work with as professionals and expect everyone to act like a professional in the realm of what they do, I would bet my last nickel we wouldn’t be disappointed!
So a number of questions beg to be asked:
1.Are you a nursing professional?
2.What could you do to act MORE professionally?
3.Do you treat others professionally?
4.What could you do differently to improve professionalism in your workplace?
5.How would things be better in your workplace if you treated others more professionally?