From the sets of slides I chose the medical professional. The personnel that appeared in the first slide appeared to work in a small medical clinic. In a small clinic the staff is usually more casual than in a hospital setting. Slide number two showed staff members that were dressed casually and in hospital scrubs. These staff members fall into the business casual while some maintain medical attire. The third slid showed people dress strictly in hospital attire, suggesting that they work in a large hospital as surgeons or specialist. Medical offices are usually more casual than the typical medical clinic or hospital, and allow the staff to dress in more of general business casual attire. A recent CNN FN survey revealed that 64 per cent of Americans do not want their doctors or nurses to be dressed in extremely casual attire. When dressed ultra casually, the patients said it inferred with these medical professionals: did not always use good judgment, did not pay attention to detail, and did not care about a high-level of professionalism in their practice, which could easily transfer into casual or careless attitudes about their patients’ diagnosis and treatment (Mayosonave, 2004). This can also be applied to office staff as dress policies usually come from the top down. If a doctor or groups of doctors allow their staff to be ultra causal, it reflects back onto the doctor. Patients will assume that the doctor may be disorganized or sloppy with her/his work as well. That’s just how nonverbal communication works. Whether accurate or not, people make certain assumptions based upon mere appearance. Some medical offices allow (and/or encourage) their staff to wear scrubs or scrub-like uniforms. Scrubs can send the “authorized medical worker” message on the nonverbal level, but it’s important that the scrubs are clean, not rumpled. The funny thing about scrubs is that the word itself implies a “scrubbed” condition, but all too often they fall far short of the mark, particularly the perm-press versions. Scrubs were originally intended for surgeons and surgical attendants. Now it has become common for all medical personnel that have patient contact and/or work with agents that easily soil or stain regular clothing (such as medicines, bodily fluids, cleaning supplies, etc.) to wear scrubs. However, as a Nutritionist there is no need to wear scrubs because they do not handle these items. Business casual with a lab coat is normally worn if working in a hospital or business casual if working in an office setting. As a Nutritionist/Dietitian professionalism goes beyond attitude and beliefs. It encompasses how I interact and relate and communicate with others and how I approach my work to ensure what I am doing is safe and effective. Meeting standards of professionalism is important in every profession, but in healthcare, it is crucial. We make assumptions that those working in healthcare are compassionate, have empathy, and communicate with their patients in a way that is respectful of their feelings, but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. We all know someone who has had a poor experience as a patient. Unprofessional behavior by medical professional leaves a lasting impact on patients. Professionalism of healthcare practitioners is central to safe, ethical, and dignified healthcare. It forms part of the trust that the public places in healthcare practitioners. Patients need to feel respected, well cared for and communicated with. They need to be cared for using the best evidence base, and to feel safe and supported throughout their care. Historically, dietitians have relied on role models at home or university, placement supervisors and then managers and colleagues to learn on the job, sometimes with an element of luck in the quality of these mentors. It is a hard area to teach and assess, clearer descriptions and more thorough understandings are required for the dietetic profession. As a result professionalism goes beyond a dietitians’ attitude and beliefs. It encompasses how they interact and relate and communicate with others and how they approach their work to ensure what they are doing is safe and effective. Also professionalism is about being committed to lifelong learning and developing yourself and your practice.
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