Professionalism in the work place is of utmost importance especially in health care related fields. The reason the standards are so high is because we are the first people our patients see when they come into the office. Our appearance and how we handle ourselves is not only being evaluated by our peers and employers, but our patients as well. How friendly we are, the compassion we show to the patients as they explain the reason for their visit that day determines whether or not they will revisit the office. Imagine how a person feels when visiting a new health care office and the person who greats them does so without a smile. When brought into the examination room, the medical assistant barely pays attention to the patients concerns. The patient is apt to not feel comfortable or cared for; this will most likely result in the patient not returning to the office in the future. A warm friendly environment is important in welcoming prospective patients and making them feel comfortable, but it is just as important in keeping relationships between our coworkers comfortable.
Interoffice communications should remain professional and work related during office hours and when patients or patient’s families are present. When there is inappropriate behavior amongst the staff it makes a bad impression of not only the people involved but the entire facility. When working among many different people there is often conflict caused by misunderstandings, miscommunication and even rumors. Participating in these behaviors is an excellent example of unprofessionalism, a medical assistant should do their best to avoid these issues and remain friendly to everyone. Having poor time management, using the business office phones or computers for personal use are also examples of unprofessionalism. Having respect for our coworkers is an example of professionalism. This means using our break time effectively and returning from break at the appropriate time. Prioritizing and helping others when needed keeps things running smoothly and is a great example of courtesy. Having good work ethics is another example of professionalism in the workplace. Showing up for work when scheduled and arriving on time are perfect examples of having a good work ethic.
This includes how to deal with inappropriate behavior of coworkers, such as stealing medications, mistreatment of patients and breach of confidentiality. All three examples are criminal offenses and need to be reported to not only your employer but to the state as well. Feeling guilty for reporting a coworker for misuse of medications or improper treatment of patients, or confidentiality breach should not hold someone back in reporting the offenses. Professionalism in the workplace is determined by many factors; appearance, attitude, dedication, work ethic, communication, trust and time management. When all health care employees strive to do their best in all these areas professionalism will not be questioned by your employer, coworkers, or patients. A positive attitude is our best tool in achieving good relationships with coworkers and patients often beginning with little more than a smile.
Young, A. (n.d). Kinn’s: The Administrative Medical Assistant-An Applied Learning Approach. (6th ed.).
St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.