What is professionalism?


  Posted by: manpreet.boora      27th September 2017

Literature pertaining to health care suggests that professionalism is a competency that can be taught, developed, measured and assessed. The Oxford English dictionary defines professionalism as the competency or skill expected of a professional. However, it could be argued that professionalism extends beyond the scope of clinical knowledge and skills and is most certainly multifaceted. Professionalism includes working within a regulatory framework with adherence to ethical practice; situational judgment and awareness; the ability to interact and communicate with patients as well as inter-professionally and the commitment to continually enhance and improve the knowledge, values, skills, and understanding required to provide consistently high-quality dental care.

As every dental professional is aware, continual development and progression are essential in every part of the industry. However, with the rapid advancements, we are seeing year on year, it may not be possible to keep abreast of everything. As such, practitioners should at least make the effort to be familiar with clinical and technical innovations that may potentially affect their practices. While this may seem like being a perpetual student, it is the personal responsibility of every dental professional to remain up-to-date with all the relevant skills and experience they need to maintain clinical competency, as well as gaining confidence in those acquisitions in order to strengthen their professional judgments.

Judgement, at its simplest, is forming an opinion. Yet when applied to dental care it becomes part of a process that involves weighing up all the clinical facts and treatment options with their advantages and risks as well as the interaction between the practitioner and the patient to come to the most appropriate method for treatment.

This does not necessarily mean that one practitioner should be able to perform all areas of treatment. Part of acting with professionalism is the ability to recognise our individual capabilities and acknowledge that there will always be cases that are beyond our skills or the technological parameters of a practice. This could be due to the particular needs of the patient or the complexity of the treatment required. Yet, whatever the reason, having the professional judgment to refer a patient to another dental professional with the relevant skills and facilities is essential. By requesting the skills and services of clinicians that perhaps specialise in a specific area of dentistry or by utilising the advanced technology of another practice, it is possible to add value in terms of accuracy and outcome but it also extends the scope and professionalism of the practice.

When it comes to referring patients it is, of course, imperative to work with dental professionals you can trust to deliver first class dentistry. It is a good idea to look around, but the London Smile Clinic, for example, is a dedicated referral practice with a team of highly qualified dentists that strive to provide a five-star dental service to referring dentists and their patients. As a center of excellence in dentistry, the clinic offers an efficient and streamlined pathway for all types of complex treatment including endodontics, orthodontics, prosthodontics, and implants. But most importantly, the London Smile Clinic recognises how important it is to work with professionalism, as part of your team.

Developing the trust of patients is one of the most important attributes of professionalism. When patients trust a practitioner’s professionalism, competency and judgment they are more likely to seek dental services, comply with treatment and recommendations and return for further appointments. Furthermore, when you refer, you are strengthening the professionalism of your practice and team.

For more information, please contact 020 7255 2559 or
visit www.londonsmile.co.uk/refer

Dr. Tim Bradstock-Smith is principal of the London Smile Clinic, an award-winning center of excellence in dentistry that is based in Central London. The Clinic offers an extensive range of services, which include specialist orthodontics, implant dentistry, and dentures.

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.