The Importance of Behaving Professionally.
16 Sep 2011
Following the news of a registered Nurse being struck off the dental register for multiple convictions, it is a good idea to re-evaluate the meaning of 'professionalism' and what it is and isn't we should be doing not only in our working life, but also our personal life. Committing ourselves to our profession involves a standard of behaviour and if we do not follow the standards and guidelines set by the General Dental Council, we will not only lose our job, we will also lose our place on the dental register making it impossible for us to work as Dental Nurses again.
So, what do we need to be cautious of?
Our behaviour in public/
Whether it be a party, night out on the town, afternoon of retail therapy or even queuing up in our local supermarket, we have to remember that we are registered professionals and a mere, single act of verbal or physical abuse could ruin our career and let down our patients. So, if you are ever in the position where you are being confronted or antagonised, or you are one of those people who gets a bit confrontational after a few drinks, just remember- you are at risk of losing your job if you act on impulse!
Obeying the law/
Obviously, obeying the law is something everybody should be doing, regardless of whether they are a professional person or not. A criminal conviction, regardless of how small can pose a serious threat to our registration and could lead us to a hearing in front of the GDC and ultimately result in us being struck off the register. Again, we really need to think about our actions.
Using social media sensibly/
Most of us now have Facebook, Twitter, My Space etc accounts and it is now normal for us to alert the world as to what we are doing during the day, at night and at the weekend too! We also upload photos of ourselves, sometimes not in the most flattering or sensible of tastes! Make sure that you think before you act. Could that photo of you drunkenly posing or using certain body language be taken as offensive? Could it paint you in a bad light? If you come across a photo of yourself that may relate to the above points then it really isn’t worth sharing it with the world. Imagine how your boss would react or if one of your patients came across it. It really is not worth the risk. Alternatively, posting an unprofessional status update can also have the same effect. Social media is a fun way of keeping in touch with friends and family but just always keep in the back of your mind the fact that you are a registered professional with responsibilities and people have expectations of you!
To refresh your memory of the standards and guidelines set by the GDC, please visit http://www.gdc-uk.org/Dentalprofessionals/Standards/Pages/default.aspx