Professionalism: An attempt to measure definition and understanding
International Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences
Professionalism is under scrutiny in all service-providing professions. Healthcare is one of them. There are rules and regulations mentioned from professional bodies that place the foundations of the definition of professionalism which have to be followed. A prospective study was conducted in a District General Hospital, with the aim to establish if professionalism was clearly defined. A questionnaire with open questions was given to 242 individuals from different disciplines including
... including healthcare workers, students and members of the public. Their answers were grouped and then categorised using the points that the General Medical Council (GMC) uses to characterise professionals. The participants were divided in different groups according to their discipline and their grade of seniority and the findings were then analysed. The majority of the answers support that Teamwork is one of the fundamental criteria that constitute professionalism. On the other hand, Health, meaning the wellbeing of the health worker, had the lower preference between the participants' answers. Senior clinicians' group scored high and in general the Clinical group performed better than the Non-Clinical one. Students were divided into two sub-groups (Group A and Group B), according to their discipline. Group A performed at a similar level to Junior Clinical group. Group B achieved lower scores in certain categories such as Audit and Evaluation of Practice. In conclusion, all groups demonstrated a good understanding of the definition and factors that influence professionalism. Findings supports that an educational programme with an emphasis on the significance of all criteria the GMC mentions, will give a better outcome in future studies and this will help the community that the healthcare workers serve. In addition, educational programmes for the wider community would improve the relationship between healthcare workers and the public. A future study to include larger numbers of public members will better define their understanding about professionalism.