what a professional looks like

Professionalism is the competence or skill expected of a professional and  Professional is a person competent or skilled in a particular activity(English Oxford Pocket Dictionary,2017). Unprofessionalism is defined as not conforming to the standards of a profession or unprofessional behavior.

Cross(1995) suggested that Professionalism depends on the persona; and in clinical practice, no one has the same perspectives on how to handle patients and act professionally. Students are constantly reminded what they have to do in order to expand their knowledge on being professionals. Clinicians are also playing a big role in the students’ lives especially during clinical rotations. A clinician’s perspective on professionalism is reflected greatly on the students, how they handle their patients and the feedback they receive on how they interacted with the patients.

The kind of relationship I had my clinician on my past clinical rotation was not a perfect or near decent one. She and I always had minor miscommunications. I didn’t understand her mode of teaching as she didn’t understand how I never asked questions every time by texting as I preferred face to face. Well, I gave up pitching my ideas to her since she never gave me feedback, but I made sure that at the end of each day I’d report to her on what I did with all my patients(face-face). she’d still give me no feedback on my treatment ways or techniques, she did, however, assign me more patients than other clinicians would assign their students. I didn’t complain knowing that I would at the end of the block thank her “maybe”. instead of her coming to me and ironing our misunderstandings she’d rather yell not at me but telling her colleagues. Obviously, I didn’t like it so I spoke to her about it since I thought it showed unprofessionalism.

According to my perspective, It all starts with how we conduct ourselves in front of other people. One can never know how someone acts unless he/she gets to assess the kind of quality the professional is. I can see what their job means to them without them having to tell you about it but showing it to all those who are around them (that’s if they have all it takes to be where they are). As mentioned communication(families, MDT, and patients) is one of the major skills in being a good, emotionally stable professional.

Professionals have a clear knowledge of the position they hold to fulfilling their careers. As mentioned before communication skills set the ground for a good relationship between them and their patients, their students, other professionals, and their patient’s families. The emotional stability of a professional revolves around how well they handle traumatic situations/stressful situations either work related or personal.  A good professional empathizes with his patient’s suffering and the pain they are feeling so that they can be able to support and give comfort to their patients. In order to have good interpersonal skills, a professional should be able to create a good working environment with other professionals.

Paying attention to detail in the medical field is very crucial and also making sure not to skip steps as that could lead to having far reaching consequences, which leads us to being able to solve problems in every situation possible especially the ones that require them to respond quickly. Lastly, I think the starting point in doing all of the above is starting with respecting all who are around you at all times.

Feedback is important in any medical education to promote learning and ensuring that certain standards are met. Hewson M.G and Little M.L(1998) mentioned this to have been a difficult component of clinical teaching, perceived and clinical teachers often avoid this aspect of responsibilities. I confronted her on this since I thought I was not learning anything from her but mostly teaching myself and also luckily I had other members of the multidisciplinary team to assist me where they could. Hewson and Little(1998) continued to state that if one perceived an incident involving feedback to be helpful(whether corrective or reinforcing) the feedback technique(s) used are probably effective. Conversely, if a person perceives a feedback incident as unhelpful, then the feedback techniques used are probably ineffictive. To which category would someone who received zero feedback fall into?

I would have liked to have received feedback on where I needed to improve and quite frankly that was not what i got. At the end of the block she told me that my consistency and persistence should remain the way it was and that the reason why she didnt think I needed most of her help was because she thought I could handle anything that came my way and thus she trusted me with all her patients in the ICU and Highcare units. Although it was not a pleasant block in terms of getting my clinicians help. Im glad she acted that way towards me because I learnt a lot from myself, the multidisciplinary team, and my clinician.


  1. The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English(2017). Retrieved April 14, 2017, from Encyclopedia.com:  http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/professionalism
  2. Hewson M.G., Little M.L (1998). Giving Feedback in Medical Education. Verification Of Recommended Techniques. 13:111-116.
  3. Cross V., (1995). Perceptions of the ideal Clinical Educator In  Physiotherapy Education. Physiotherapy 81(9):506-513.

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