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Importance of professional development for enhancing the quality of healthcare and professionalism of nurses
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The term ‘professionalism’ can be explained through some improved characteristics, skills, and competence level, by which people can become more involved and incorporate the best efforts in their professional area. From the past few decades, people become familiar with this term professionalism, due to the accelerated growth and development of human societies. Besides this, in order to maintain competitiveness, it is required to become professional in the individual specialised area. Although professionalism is essential in every field, in the case of nursing, it is a vital part in enhancing the values and virtuousness associated with the roles and responsibilities of nursing. The nursing profession is oriented with personal appearance, presentation, behaviour, and professional characteristics, such as proficient practices and qualities. This essay focuses on the factors influencing nursing professionalism and the impacts of professionalism on the workplace as well as personal career.
I am working as a nurse in the Labour and Delivery (L&D) department at a tertiary care hospital, situated in the Middle East. My nursing experience is approximately for 12 years. Since I have worked in this department for a long time, therefore, I feel that professionalism is highly required for developing my career. In my department, there are total 6 assessment beds, 11 delivery rooms, and 6 bedded Induction room.
In order to enhance the skills of professionalism, people need to focus on a number of associated aspects, such as skills, control, self-regulation, and knowledge. Besides this, through the word professionalism, the activities performed by a person for conforming the ethical and technical standards can also be defined. A set of goals, characteristics, or codes of ethics, all can be represented by the term ‘professionalism’. People sometimes get confused among the words ‘profession’ and ‘occupation’, therefore, in many cases, they use these two words interchangeably. However, according to the statement of Carpenter (2018), profession implies the specific area of individual education, based on which they can determine their future goals or careers, whereas occupation is the field from where people can earn money for survival. Thus, it can be assumed that people need to follow a longer process of professionalization for being professional in their chosen area of work.
In the case of nursing professionalism, Tanaka et al. (2016) stated that people need to adhere to the intellectual growth and development, by maintaining an accurate degree of responsibility. People also need to provide their attention on improving both their practical and theoretical field, for managing any types of complex situation emerged in the workplace. Professional nurses need to enhance their group-consciousness for becoming an active and efficient member of the healthcare team, as healthcare systems are entirely dependent on the collaborative nature and teamwork. A number of criteria are required to be addressed in the nursing profession, such as understanding professional nursing standards, codes of ethics, high level of intellectual functionalities, specialised practical knowledge, skills of crisis management, and high level of accountability (Park and Oh, 2014).
Being professional in a nursing career is vital as it helps people to understand the importance of maintaining nursing values and disciplines. Nurses need to consider a number of characteristics in order to enhance professionalism, such as autonomy, adherence to the professional and ethical standards, application of evaluation theory, effective communication, education and competency, and participation in problem-solving and decision-making process. Based on the statement of Dehghani et al. (2016), professional nurses also require to involve in the continuous research and development programs for improving the community services. Apart from this, in order to enhance professional characteristics, nurses need to involve with the CPD programs or Continuing Professional Development programs, through which they can learn developing professional skills throughout their entire career.
CPD can be explored as a process of continuous updating the professional skills and knowledge along with the improvement of the professional competency standards. CPD provides commitments of being professional, remaining up-to-date, and maintaining improvement, for providing best care quality to the patients and improving their personal career as well as wider professions. As opined by Westrick (2016), CPD programs are associated with relevant, current, available, accessible, adult-learning, and
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