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What is Professionalism?

Some dictionaries define professionalism as the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person.

So what is a professional? Again, according to some dictionaries, a professional is characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession; exhibiting courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace.

As a student nurse, your workplace can be several different areas: the classroom, the Simulation Center, the hospital or nursing home, etc. Whenever and wherever you wear the nursing school uniform or name badge, you are representing TTUHSC. Your behavior and conduct not only reflect the school, but also the nursing profession as a whole. You all know what professional behavior is when you are in the public eye. Are you aware that professionalism also extends to the classroom/academic setting?

You behavior in the classroom reflects your basic understanding of the definition of a professional. The following is a list of suggestions regarding expected classroom behaviors that reflect professional decorum:

  • a. Be Prompt - If the class starts at 9 AM, be in the class and ready to learn by 8:55.
  • b. Be Organized - computers, ethernet cords, paper, pens, books, and printed power points, etc. should be available for your use at the beginning of class.
  • c. Be Prepared - read the assigned material prior to class in order to more fully understand what is being presented.
  • d. Be Actively Present - ask for clarification on those things that you do not understand.
  • e. Be Respectful of the instructor: Do not use face book, Pinterest, shopping, etc. during the lecture.
  • f. Be Quiet - If you need to leave the class room for any reason, do so quietly and as quickly as possible to avoid distracting others. Do not talk to each other during the lecture. Turn off your cell phone.
  • g. Acknowledge the Value of Time - If you send an e-mail to an instructor, you can expect the instructor to respond in a timely manner—usually within 48 hours. By the same token, you should respond to e-mails in a timely manner. Your time is valuable - so is the instructor’s.
  • h. Be Aware that there is a difference between being assertive and being aggressive. An assertive student is confident, but remains polite while voicing an opinion. An aggressive student can seem hostile, especially when he or she is frustrated. The old adage “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” is true. An instructor is more likely to listen to your position if you remain polite, aware of his/her education and experience and can back up your assertion with facts.

Please refer to the TTUHSC Student Handbook, Part II, Code of Professional and Academic Conduct (“Student Code”) Section D, for a detailed description of professional conduct

Please refer also to the School of Nursing Student Handbook