There are so many different levels of nursing with such a variety of healthcare providers. With this, how would you still know who is a nursing professional? Gone are the days of telltale nursing caps, white pantyhose and dress uniforms. Most nurses welcome scrubs and crocs with open arms! This leaves many patients, residents or clients wondering who the professional staff is and who is housekeeping.
This led me to wonder, what makes a nurse professional?
Is it the number of letters after someone’s name? Is it their position? Is it their personal qualities and behavior? Can the unit clerk or housekeeper be considered a professional?
I am sure you have met many "professionals" with fancy titles, lovely offices and more letters after their name than you have in your own name. Some of whom have left you with a very sour taste in your mouth after dealing with their unprofessional behaviour.
Furthermore, I am certain that we have all met less educated providers that impress us with their honesty, integrity and caring behavior towards those on any level of the social, educational or economic scale: the janitor who takes great pride in his shiny floors, the ward clerk who is always one step ahead, or the LPN/ LVN who has an uncanny yet accurate intuition when it comes to patients' needs.
So, what does a nursing professional look like? How does it act and behave? How can we, as nurses, become more professional no matter what or how many letters come after our name?
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:
I would love to hear your thoughts on this issue! Leave a comment below or E-mail me at Stephanie@yourlifeunlimited.ca.