Professionalism and ethics are correlated, if a person has good ethics it will definitely affects his/her professionalism. Many definitions were found for professionalism, and according to the American board of Medical specialists “medical professionalism is a belief system in which group members (“professionals”) declare (“profess”) to each other and the public the shared competency standards and ethical values they promise to uphold in their work and what the public and individual patients can and should expect from medical professionals.
Of course professionalism isn’t only required in the health or medical fields, it is required in every field, e.g.: engineering, accounting, management…etc. and not only in work but also in communications, relations, skills…etc.
Personally I started to know about ethics and professionalism when I was a student and more specifically 2nd year physiotherapy student, I learned it theoretically, and to be honest it wasn’t interesting for me. But then I started my first clinical placement and I found that I had to apply what we had in the class room into real setting. I found that I had to deal with patients, co-patients, families, emotions, challenges, colleagues, staff, children, adult, acute cases, complex and chronic cases
All are expecting the best from me, so they can be better and I can only do that through my professional commitment. Actually no patient expects anything but the best from their therapist and this can be shown in attitude, skills, way of communication, proper examination and treatment. When a patient get that from their therapist it really helps building trust on me (as a therapist) and confident from the patient
And as I moved between different clinical settings, knowing and dealing with different people, working in different environments, I can say that by reaching my final year as a student I have changed a lot. Changes were in the ways of interaction between me and my patients, other colleagues, being on time and respecting it, getting experience of being a part of rehabilitation team in different settings, and being a role model for junior students that you feel your actions will help to build the younger generations as well
As for my country, physiotherapy and professionalism were on opposite directions, and that was because of there were no real physiotherapists. It starts with small number of technicians who had short courses on physiotherapy given to them by a medical doctor or sport medicine doctor “not a physiotherapist”, and the way they treated patient was far from professionalism in skills, techniques,…etc
Then physiotherapy schools start to open in some universities, and a lot of students apply, but there were few staff members to cover them all, therefore some universities used external collaboration to help in the teaching process.
SuPTA appears (Sudanese Physiotherapy Association) which was a great turning point for Sudanese physiotherapists and physiotherapy practice in Sudan, Setting roles for clinics, exams for getting the license of practice, certain criteria for registration, workshops…etc. that motivate every physiotherapy graduate to start developing themselves from the moment of graduation
In my opinion, being moved from having physiotherapy that is practiced by technicians into a profession with more than 2000 qualified registered physiotherapists is a great step to reach professionalism
Trying to build yourself by yourself without rudely stepping over others can be a step to professionalism, having a higher degree or making a change in your career life can be a great achievement that many people are trying to do, and since we are in the health sector we need to put patients as a priority, by this way we can understand the way they feel and what they are experiencing, so we can help in the best way possible and being professional when doing that
To reach professionalism we need to climb up the ladder to reach its top, but we must build those steps strong enough to hold us through knowledge, skills and attitudes, so first we need to work on ourselves to achieve it but it is never impossible