Discuss at least five (5) barriers to professionalism in Nursing.

Discuss at least five (5) barriers to professionalism in Nursing.

1. Make a comparison of characteristics of occupations and professions in terms of the following:

a. Training
Does not need any extensive training. A person with an occupation need not have specialized knowledge of his trade. Persons who have specialized and technical skill or knowledge, which they apply, for a fee, to certain tasks that ordinary and unqualified people cannot ordinarily undertake.

b. Nature of Job
An occupation is what occupies or engages one’s time. Person’s usual or principal work or business, esp. as a means of earning a living. A vocation or high-status career, usually involving prolonged academic training, formal qualifications and membership of a professional or regulatory body. Professions involve the application of specialized knowledge of a subject, field, or science to fee-paying clientele. It is axiomatic that “professional activity involves systematic knowledge and proficiency

c. Decision making process

No one has autonomous power; another person supervises him or her. Moreover, any person can make assessments, as this type of work does not require high degrees of knowledge and skill. Have power. This power is used to control its own members, and also its area of expertise and interests. A profession tends to dominate, police and protect its area of expertise and the conduct of its members, and exercises a dominating influence over its entire field which means that professions can act monopolist, rebuffing competition from ancillary trades and occupations, as well as subordinating and controlling lesser but related trades.

d. Values, beliefs, ethics

There are no ethical regulations involved. Policies or rules may apply according to job description, but no formal or governing bodies regulates it. Regulations enforced by statute distinguish a profession from other occupations represented by trade groups who aspire to professional status for their members. In all countries, professions have their regulatory or professional bodies, whose function is to define, promote, oversee, support and regulate the affairs of its members. For some professions there may be several such bodies.

e. Rewards and motivation

Comes from the amount of salary that they may acquire for the job. Promotion can also be a motivation. Enjoys a high social status, regard and esteem conferred upon them by society. This high esteem arises primarily from the higher social function of their work, which is regarded as vital to society as a whole and thus of having a special and valuable nature.

f. Accountability

No autonomy with regards to accountability. They may answer to supervisors or employers. A higher ranking professional can be regarded as accountable. Tends to be autonomous, they have a high degree of control of their own affairs: “professionals are autonomous insofar as they can make independent judgments about their work” This usually means “the freedom to exercise their professional judgment.

2. Differentiate profession from occupation in terms of;

a. Preparation
Persons engaged in an occupation are not paid for their knowledge, but only for what they produce. There can be specialized training but no formal and extensive education is needed.

Involves technical, specialized and highly skilled work often referred to as “professional expertise.” Training for this work involves obtaining degrees and professional qualifications or licensure without which entry to the profession is barred. Training also requires regular updating of skills through continuing education.

b. Commitment

Short-term and temporary. May vary as means to make a living. Long-term, lifetime commitment with a continuous process of learning and progress.

3. Discuss at least five (5) barriers to professionalism in Nursing.

1. Education preparation
For decades nurses have sacrificed personal time, personal energy and personal finances to gain advanced educational qualifications. They know if nurses are properly educated, they can help people with complex health problems most effectively. Well-educated nurses can find solutions to health problems more comprehensively, more promptly and more efficiently than others, thus patients are exposed to the best possible nursing interventions. There is a shortage of nurses with expert qualifications in the workforce and only a handful of nurse practitioners. The result is a patient population that becomes ill unnecessarily, takes longer to recover than necessary and is re-admitted for care more frequently than is desirable or cost-effective. The need for the addition or expansion of RN-BSN degree completion programs should be assessed and these should be recognized as time limited.

2. Gender related issues
By the mid-1800’s, Florence Nightingale’s accomplishments in contamination control, hygiene and cleanliness during the Crimean War, alongside her social prominence and political influence, united with changing the perceptions of gender roles. Villenueve (1994) states that before the Nightingale era, nursing was not a segregated occupation and Nightingale’s vision held no place for men in nursing “except where physical strength was needed”. This established the underpinning of the myth of the feminine nurse– eluding that it was natural for women to be nurses, and unnatural for men (Anthony, 2006). Anthony (2006) states, Nightingale advocated for nursing as the ideal occupation for gentlewomen and opposed the involvement of men in nursing, stating, “Their horney hands were detrimental to caring and nursing”. Moreover, society distinguished that men in nursing are not medical or homosexual outcasts. With decades of evident gender segregation and bigotry, this will take numerous generations to develop new sociological values. Incorporating more men in the profession will fulfill significant shortages in nursing practice, diversify the current image of nursing and promote collegial leadership amongst disciplines

3. Culture
The increase in global mobility of people, the patient population has become more ethnically diverse, while the nursing forces remain virtually unchanged. Nursing staff, work with patients from different cultural backgrounds. Consequently, one of the challenges facing nurses is the provision of care to culturally diverse patients. Hospitals and health care agencies must accommodate these needs by initiating diversity management and leadership practices. Culturally bound beliefs, values, and preferences a person holds influence how a person interprets healthcare messages.

4. Conflicts within nursing/Internal
When two nurses disagree, an interpersonal conflict occurs. These types of conflicts aren’t limited solely to nurses, as patients can enter into an interpersonal conflict with a nurse if they don’t agree with an assessment or recommendation. Interpersonal conflict can be visible as it sometimes results in a person verbally attacking someone else. It can be damaging to a medical facility if patients witness the conflict. A nurse occasionally feels conflicted as she struggle to balance her job requirements with her personal life and beliefs. In this situation, a nurse is experiencing intrapersonal conflict. Ethical dilemmas are often a source of intrapersonal conflict, although nurses can experience it for other reasons. For example, a nurse at work may have an intrapersonal conflict if her child is home sick, since she feels an obligation to her employer and a need to be home with her child.

5. Conflicts within other medical profession/External

Healthcare is delivered by people who work in organizations, large and small. Successful health outcomes depend on the efforts of many people within the organization, including clinicians, support staff and managers. All of these people, not just other nurses, are our colleagues. Each organization, in turn, depends on many other organizations, such as insurance companies, vendors and other healthcare organizations. Each individual is part of many groups, both formal and informal. Some conflict occurs when two or more departments in the same facility compete for resources. Money, equipment and personnel are the most common resources likely to create an organizational conflict. An ongoing organizational conflict can be detrimental to staff and the facility, as constant competition for resources can create stress and result in poor service to patients. Other profession may delineate the job opportunities and distinctions that the nursing profession can perform. There might be misunderstandings with the delivery of information if there is no cooperation within the other health care team.

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