Nurses: The Ultimate Professionals

Published: 17th January 2011
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Professionals are individuals who through education have achieved a level of competence in their field and abide by the rules, regulations and standards of the industry in the practice of their business. Beyond this, however, the professional has inner strengths that motivate him/her to give high quality service to others. This definition applies to the many male and female nurses who provide patient care and emotional support to those who are ill.

Healthcare professionals are both task-oriented and people oriented. Nurses have a caring nature that sets them apart; you can tell a nurse who puts their patients first because it's all about the standard of care they give. Outwardly, you will see nursing professionalism coupled with compassion for each person cared for. Underneath nurses have a duty to each patient by the oath they have taken. Although only the caring side of nursing is plain for all to see, nurses still have rules they must follow in order to abide by the professional standards of their careers. They are conscious that their work is a reflection of their inner character and is a statement of their commitment to excellence in the work place.

Each person who enters into medicine takes the Hippocratic Oath. This oath states that they will take care of their patients with respect to their ability to do so. There are very important confidentiality laws that forbid a person from obtaining or using medical records for their benefit or to sway an opinion. HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) was a law that was passed in 1996 by Congress giving patients specific rights regarding their medical records and who is able to view them. Nurses are taught about the HIPPA laws because they must be secure with medical records regarding all their patients. HIPPA also covers what patient or client information a healthcare professional may verbally share with others. This law is deemed so important that penalties for violating patient confidentiality are severe. Professionals have a high level of personal responsibility and respect for others' rights.

There are other aspects of nursing professionalism that non healthcare people may not think about. Many nurses who work at hospitals or clinics have to maintain an appearance that is professional. The health care uniform is a symbol of knowledge. It represents the many hours studying anatomy or meds, the hours spent in clinical practice; the numerous nights spent cramming for tests. It is the physical representation of years of studying and work that went into achieving that precious nursing degree You can often tell a nurse from another person by their uniform, also known now as nursing scrubs. Some hospitals have color coded uniform scrubs for certain departments but other hospitals allow for freedom of expression when it comes to nursing uniforms. Still maintaining professionalism, nurses may also be allowed to wear colorful uniform scrubs to give themselves a certain style and fashionable look.

Nurses should be free of tattoos (or at least have tattoos covered) and unconventional piercings; many female nurses cannot have manicured nails because they have to wear surgical gloves. Jewelry is allowed but should not be flashy or get in the way or be harmful during patient care.

The work ethic of a good nurse is always professional. They work long hours and donít leave their jobs the minute their nursing shift ends. Nurses often work overtime in order to finish patient care tasks or review patient charts with the oncoming nurse. Because they are the caring side of medicine, it is up to them to maintain a professional attitude in all situations. Nurses are often the person who comforts and consoles patient and families when tragic news is delivered.

Nurses are often taught to keep their home life separate from their work because they need to focus on their patients more than themselves. Work hours are devoted exclusively to job performance; leisure and personal affairs wait until the job is done. There are usually charge nurses who oversee a department and managers who oversee a unit. There is a nurse network that gives each person personal time if needed. Nurses have a bond that gives them compassion for their co-workers in case they need somebody to talk with.

Sometimes patient complaints can arise if a person doesn't feel they are getting the standard of care they deserve. The head nurse assures that their unit works professionally towards solving the problem and keeping the patient properly cared for. A nurse must always act professional when dealing with patient issues. Nurses who are professional at work are respected by their peers. Those who allow personal problems to cause strife at work are not tolerated because nurses are professionals first and caring above all else.

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