A patient’s healthcare experience depends on the manner in which they are

A patient’s healthcare experience depends on the manner in which they are treated. Depending on this treatment, a patient may or may not feel reluctant to return for future assistance from a health professional. In this essay, I will discuss the importance of having an integrated health professional use the ABC and D of dignity conserving care. I will give a brief overview of an integrated health professional and the three dimensions of professionals. In addition, I will briefly discuss the ABC and D of dignity conserving care. I will share my thoughts, feelings and behaviour to show my insight as an emerging health professional. Lastly, I will discuss what I have learned about myself and link this knowledge to the dimensions of an integrated health professional. An integrated health professional is one that is emotionally mature, has a strong professional identity, is politically astute and culturally competent (Olckers, et al., 2007, p. 2). In other words, an integrated health professional is a well-rounded individual. Professionalism is an integration and variation of skills that are essential for all health professionals. There are three dimensions of professionalism that affect personal ‘doing’, ‘being’ and ‘becoming’ (Olckers, et al., 2007, p. 2). These three dimensions are knowledge, being emphatic and reflection. A knowledgeable health professional is a lifelong learner that acquires social and cultural knowledge to stay relevant in practice (Olckers, et al., 2007, p. 3). The knowledge acquired is composed not only of facts but also ever-changing surroundings and situations. An emphatic health professional puts themselves in their patient’s shoes to promote a sense of human dignity and well-being. They are attentive to the patient’s need and wants. Their interpersonal skills are based on moral-ethnicity sensitivity and social understanding (Olckers, et al., 2007, p. 2). A reflective health professional is one that reflects with the intention of achieving professional excellence by interacting with their feelings and cognition. An integrated health professional is one that focuses on all dimensions of professionalism equally. The use of these three dimensions of professionalism betters not only the health professional’s interpersonal and intrapersonal skills but also maintains their patient’s dignity.Dignity, respect and kindness are essential values that need to be considered when a health professional engages with a patient. When in practice, an integrated health professional should act in a manner that will not jeopardise their patient’s sense of dignity. The ABC and D of dignity conserving care is a mnemonic that aims to maintain patient dignity by reminding health professionals to care for and care about their patients (Chochinov, 2007, p. 185). The ABC and D of dignity conserving care guides health practitioners while in contact with patients. The ‘A’ stands for attitude, ‘B’ for behaviour, ‘C’ for compassion and ‘D’ for dialogue. A health professional’s attitude can affect the way they treat their patient as well as the patient’s self-worth and self-esteem. The behaviour of a health professional can be modified by their attitude. A Positive attitude paves the road to positive behaviour. A compassionate health professional is aware of their patient’s suffering and strives to alleviate it. Dialogue is important for the exchange of information between a patient and a health professional. Compassion and efficient dialogue are developed over the years through life experiences. Using the ABC and D of dignity conserving care affects how a patient responds to a health professional.An integrated health professional that uses the ABC and D of dignity conserving care can make the experience of patienthood pleasant. It is important to be an integrated health professional that practises dignity conserving care as this amplifies the client-clinician relationship. A kind, respectful and dignity-conserving health professional enforces feelings of trust, honesty and openness with their client. This then betters their relationship and ensures optimum care. The importance of being an integrated health professional practising dignity conserving care is to provide the best possible care to patients.Mr Mdluli did not receive the best possible care simply because the nurses did not use the ABCD of dignity conserving care. Mr Mduli, who was experiencing excruciating pain, had to collect ointment from ward 1. The nurse’s apathetic attitude, lack of compassion and abusive behaviour make Mr Mdluli feel like a burden hence he opted to collect his own ointment. The nurse is unaware of the effects of her hostility on Mr Mdluli. Her hostile behaviour leads to more discomfort and pain experienced by Mr Mdluli. A compassionate nurse should have empathised with his pain and collected the ointment for him. The nurse should have treated Mr Mdluli with the kindness and respect he deserves. As an emerging health professional, I can clearly see that Mr Mdluli was ill-treated. The nurse does not practise the ABC and D of dignity conserving care. I think that the nurse’s behaviour is extremely unprofessional. Her unprofessionalism is shown through her impertinence and her disregard for Mr Mdluli’s needs. She has a sense of entitlement and thinks she is superior thus treating Mr Mdluli as a burden rather than a patient. Her unprofessional behaviour reflects negatively on all health professionals. This makes me, an emerging health professional, feel ashamed because I will one day be associated with this type of behaviour. I feel resentment towards the nurse because she attacks, belittles and ignores Mr Mdluli while he is feeble. This type of behaviour should not be practised by any healthcare professional. If I were the nurse I would have behaved in a professional manner. I would treat Mr Mdluli with the same level of respect and tenderness that I would expect from a health professional. I would be attentive to his needs and practise empathy. I would talk to him with patience and show him that I am listening with the intention of helping him. Through Mr Mdluli’s situation, I have learnt my various areas of vulnerability. I have learned that I can be sympathetic. I felt pity for him because the pain experienced from being burnt is unbearable. This can lead to over-identification and raise feelings of anxiety. To avoid this, I need to practise the reflection and empathic dimensions of professionalism. This way, I have the ability to think about my reaction to the situation as well as the emotions that are evoked by certain situations. I can then use this reflection to ensure that I will not have a similar reaction in the future. Through reflection, I learn to be empathetic rather than sympathetic I have noticed that in most instance I am overly passionate. In effect, I get too involved in situations and forget to take a step back, reflect and react more rationally. Reflection should be my main focus as this is where I lack most. Being reflective will help me deepen my understanding of myself and of others (Gibson, et al., 2002, p. 9).Healing a patient is the first thing on the agenda and oftentimes this can lead to health professionals overlooking personhood. They do not look beyond their patient’s illnesses. This can have a negative effect on a patient’s self-worth, self-perception and dignity. In conclusion, for health professionals to be efficient, they should be knowledgeable, emphatic and reflective and they should use the ABC and D of dignity conserving care. Knowledge, being empathic and reflecting makes you a better person and health professional. These qualities also make the experience of patienthood better.

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