Ideas on becoming a health care professional

Becoming a professional is one that evokes an array of opinions within an individual; a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction being a prime influence that is shared amongst most. Often there are many who believe that becoming a professional comes with many responsibilities; however this is not always the case. Professionals may discover that it is possible to lead a balanced and productive lifestyle. A professional can be defined as: an individual who delivers treatment, through adhering to moral and ethical values and upholding humanistic values.

Within this definition, there are many categories within which a health professional may be classified. This could range from specialist physicians to dieticians, to nurses or physiotherapists who each deliver in various ways. Nevertheless, the beauty of becoming a professional is that they all uphold the universal goal of ensuring patient wellbeing and maintaining a duty of care. As a student embarking on a patient centred course, I believe that humanistic values such as honesty, integrity, trustworthiness and above all, compassion play a central role in what it means to become a professional.

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The development of particular expertise plays an integral role in becoming a professional. Furthermore, I believe that becoming a healthcare professional requires skills of acquiring knowledge and applying this to a range of situations. The ability to adapt to change is thus a quality that all professionals should develop, especially as the diversity of patients augments. The thought of becoming a professional can evoke an optimistic attitude and a sense of job satisfaction.

For example, a survey conducted by the school of public health at Harvard University, (Anon, 2014) found that patient satisfaction, commitment levels and job satisfaction were the most favourable aspects of working in that sector. As a result, I feel that with clear job satisfaction, one can be motivated to develop the skills necessary to become an effective professional and to deliver high quality health care to patients. There are also limitations of becoming a professional.

For example, research postulates that stress induced by the increasing demand for health care by patients can have a negative effect on health professionals, causing psychological stress and an increased risk of suicide. Additionally, Murray et al. , (2001) conducted a study on medical professionals in the USA and demonstrated that they became less happy about their job from 1986 to 1997. As a result, this suggests that the idea of becoming a professional can pose some disadvantages, particularly to the individuals who endeavour to embark on a career of this nature.

To conclude, it is evident that the idea of becoming a professional is both rewarding and gratifying for the qualified individual; however the role also comes with a sense of responsibility. For example, research demonstrates that there are many limitations that come with being a professional, the decline in mental health being a major concern in society, especially due to the rapidly increasing population requiring health care. As a result, it is important that students take careful consideration on what being a professional veritably entails, as the typical misconceptions of wealth, status and satisfaction of the role can prove misleading.