What It Means to Act Professionally?

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 8
Words: 1987
Reading time:
8 min
Study level: College


Nurses from different care unit areas impart different levels of experience/knowledge and perspective. Patient care problems must be tackled from a multi-level nursing and interdisciplinary approach and perspective to truly be effective. A variety of health care professionals of differing backgrounds is essential for optimum resolution. The nurse effectively safeguards the patient as a customer and ensures that revenue for the hospital is captured appropriately so it can be channeled back into providing the best care for the patients. In many health cares, there is a lack of effective communication; this adds stress not only to the patients but also to the staff.

In health care, communication is intellectual to excellent care and good teamwork. Listening to the patient and solving their problems forms part of the caring and curing process. This paper will look at the meaning of professionalism in health care specifically nursing, elucidate how effective communication and interpersonally relationships can be used to quicken the curing process, highlight some of the duties of a professional nurse, and conclude by explaining how proper monitoring of nursing behaviors contributes to the provision of quality services.


A professional is a person with friendly, cognitive, and moral attributes. A professional nurse or health provider can therefore be defined as a person with collegial discipline and who carries his/her work with dignity, purity, and integrity for the benefit of the patients. Many health care professionals have evolved commercially as they desire to maintain their core values, best practices, and exemplify behaviors. A health care provider or a nurse should possess the necessary knowledge and competence required to conduct his/her work professionally. This means that a nurse must go through the required training, be legally qualified to offer her/his services, and above all, be willing to develop a good interpersonal relationship with the client (Martenson, et al 2010). It is no doubt that expertise, as well as competency, cannot be overemphasized in patient care.

A professional nurse can be defined as a person who is committed in promoting integrity and excellence in all her/his services. He/she has the responsibility to serve patients selflessly. Lioyd et al (2007) observe that, the health care professional is a kind of a vocation or calling that requires specialized knowledge and diverse skills and methods in scientific principles. Practitioners are expected to maintain high standards of conduct and commitment while offering their services to the entire public. All heath care providers including nurses are required to go through long periods of training where they are equipped with the necessary skills and methods to enable them to carry out their duties professionally. This profession is not a business but a vocation that calls for commitment, self-sacrifice, devotion, and trust towards the public.

Effective Communication

Effective communication in nursing ensures that quality services are provided for the patients. According to Hart (2010), the first step in ensuring that there is effective communication is self-respect and self-awareness. Self-respect decreases the chances of depending on others for self-worth and it becomes hard to act contrary to your will. On the other hand, Self-awareness enables individuals to approach the situation with an idea of what to expect, being in charge of their emotions, and less likely to blame others in times of failure. This helps health providers in communicating with the patient and they can give them enough room to express themselves. The patient feels loved and this quickens the recovery process.

People are different and do not respond the same to a given form of communication. Nurses are supposed to value other people’s right to make demands, express their feeling or even to ask for favors. There is need to identify, distinguish and value different forms of information in order to ensure that all patients are satisfied. For this to happen, the nurses need to spend more time with the patient. Spending time with the patients helps to recognize and foresee how they are likely to react and with that one can be able to distinguish the right form of communication to use on them.

Good skills in communication are essential for better care and even better health. Health care providers should be taught communication skills as this can help in improving their care to patients. This is an attempt to provide essential insight of the key elements of provider-patient relationship in communication that will help them shun failures. This patient- provider relationship plays a significant role in health care delivery system.

Nurse-Client Interpersonal Relationship

In 1952, Peplau published a seminal work titled “interpersonal relations in nursing”. In her publication, she focused on the need for nurses to understand their demeanors for the sake of easier problem identification (Happell, et al 2008). Paplau’s contribution to nursing in general and to the field of psychiatric nursing in particular has been enormous. She is considered the mother of psychiatric nursing, but her contribution to the professional of nursing exceeds what she gave to psychiatric nursing. She promoted professional standards and regulation through credentialing. She introduced the concept of advanced nursing practice.

The theory of interpersonal relations is clear in that it shows us how the nurse-client relationship is a critical foundation in the practice of nursing. There is need for forming a partnership between the client and the nurse instead of the client submissively receiving treatment and the nurse submissively playing the doctors role. This has been found to work because some patients are not necessarily sick but lack some one who they can open up to.

The interpersonal relationship between the nurse and the client normally goes through three separate segments; orientation, working face and termination. During orientation, the nurse and the patient meet get to know each other and recognize and elucidate the patient’s needs and progresses toward patient reassure in a helping environment. In the working phase, the patient begins to act in response selectively to those who can help meet the felt need. In this phase, the patient begins to experience augmented sense of belonging as well as a developing ability for problem solving, alone and with others. The patient takes advantage of existing services to meet the felt needs and begins to gain a greater sense of control (Basford & Slevin, 2003).

Patients in this phase have not yet been fully reinstated health and may show unstable degrees of both independence from and dependence on these nursing caregivers. The second part of the working phase is a changeover period and may at times be difficult for both patient and nurse. It is important that the nurse uphold the therapeutic relationship in a non hypercritical impression while this investigation is occurring. In the termination phase, the therapeutic relationship is concluded after the patient’s needs have been met. Disagreements and worries found in the earlier phases are resolved, and the client is ready to gain full independence.

Both nurse and client will have gained from the experience. The theory is simple and can also be applied easily by home nurses who have been left with the responsibilities of looking after the sick ones in the family (Austin, 2010).

Nursing Roles

There are seven nursing roles that are typical to clinical nursing today these are: stranger, resource, teaching, counseling, active leadership and technical expert. For there to be a relationship between the nurse and the client, the nurse has to receive a client as she would receive a stranger in rear life situations. She should provide an accepting climate that not only makes the client feel comfortable but also trusted. Trust is an outcome of a good relationship between the nurse and the patient. In nursing trust can be described as an integration of information, decision-making, and trustworthy relationship. The nurse should go ahead to answer any questions that might be bothering the client not forgetting to interpret the clinical treatment data and to give information on the same (Masters, 2005).

Every one requires teaching or training for the things that we are not conversant with. Nurse-client teaching involves analyzing and synthesizing the learner’s experience. It is the work of the nurse to offer counseling to the client when he is left under her care (Sheldon, 2009). This helps the client to understand and integrate how life is and it also quickens his recovery. The nurse also plays the surrogate role that helps the client to elucidate realms of reliance, interdependence, and self-determination. She also acts as an advocate to the client. The nurse is a leader to the client and has the responsibility of ensuring that the client meets the treatment goals. She uses her technical expertise to provide clinical skills to the client as well as operating the equipments for him.

Monitoring of Nursing Professional’s Behavior

The registered nurse is the cornerstone of the nursing staff. They are the day-to-day bedside caregiver, the initiator of the care plan for the patient, and the patient advocate. The clinical nurse leader serves as the liaison between the bedside nurse, patient, and the physician. They round with the physician, provide the overview of the care, and mediate the needed orders for the continuity of care. The advance practice nurse serves as another level of provider care and has advanced training. They are able to round, assess, and prescribe medicines and treatment for the patient under the direction of the physician that they are associated with (Park, 2009).

The clinical nurse specialist serves as the resource person for research as it is applied in the clinical setting and for best practice. The clinical nurse specialist assists the staff with needed training and gaps in procedural/educational knowledge base crucial to daily Nursing practice.

Patient care rounds are done hourly. Patients are provided a diary for their use to write down any questions or notes they have and the nurses help them update it with their current status. Patients are encouraged and prompted to inquire actively about their care, their medications, and other decisions (Neeraja, 2008). Bedside shift report also is conducted in an effort to provide good continuity of care and keeping the patient involved. The Chief Nursing Officer is crucial in promoting safety and quality for all patients. She/he is the leader and her example is seen and felt by all. Many initiatives fail when there is no support from Administration. She/he also must promote openness and a keen sensitivity for diverse populations and their differing care needs.


An effective communication is the core to quality patient care this is because patient demand a lot of support and help from other people. When handling a patient there is need for one to be respective, polite, understanding and supportive. When the patient responses are granted, they feel nice about their encounter with health care providers and their need for positive interaction is satisfied. This makes the patients to be more corporative and may wish for more contacts. However if the experience is bad, patients are more likely to avoid more communication. Bad communication causes anger and bitterness upon the patients and they may ignore the advice given to them. The effects of the experiences of a bad or a negative encounter may require many positive relations before it is fully erased.

Development of an interpersonal relationship between the nurse and the client is the key to nursing. It is also act as an important interpersonal process that works in collaboration with other human processes to make health possible. The nurse does not perform therapy on the patient, but rather, the nurse is the therapy. The use of the psychological representation enables nurses to move away from a disease orientation to one whereby the psychological meaning of events, feelings and behaviors could be included in nursing interventions. Paplau’s work persist the test of time and many nurses have realized that it is the only effective way for quick recovery. It has been proved by many nurses to work especially to patients who feel neglected and have lost meaning in life.

Reference List

Austin, K. (2010). Psychiatric and mental health nursing for Canadian practice M – Medicine Series. London: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Basford, L. & Slevin, O. (2003). Theory and practice of nursing: an integrated approach to caring practice Campion Integrated Studies. Gloucester: Nelson Thornes.

Happell, B., et al (2008). Introducing Mental Health Nursing: A Consumer Oriented Approach. Cleveland: Allen & Unwin.

Hart, V. (2010). Patient-Provider Communications: Caring to Listen. London: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Lioyd, H. et al (2007). Principles of care Volume 5 of Vital notes for nurses. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Masters, K. (2005). Role development in professional nursing practice. London: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Martenson, E. et al (2010). “The ethical demand in nursing: A Scandinavian perspective”. Ebsco Electronic Journals Service (EJS).

Neeraja, (2008). Essentials of mental health and psychiatric nursing. New Delhi: Jaypee Brothers Publishers.

Park, M. (2009). “The legal basis of nursing ethics education” Journal of Nursing law, Volume 13.

Sheldon, L. K. (2009). Communication for nurses: talking with patients. London: Jones & Bartlett Learning.