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What would you do? How could you have avoided this scenario?

What would you do? How could you have avoided this scenario?

What would you do? How could you have avoided this scenario?
HLT 307 Week 4 Discussion Question Two

Consider the following scenario:

Someone that you thought was your friend posted on a popular social networking site embarrassing photographs of you taken at a party last weekend. This was done without your knowledge or permission. The following day you receive a call from your employer asking you to meet with your boss and your HR department to discuss your behavior.

What would you do? How could you have avoided this scenario?

‘Professionalism’ is under increasing scrutiny
across the health and social care professions,
with many of the issues that emerge later in
people’s careers being linked to a broad range
of behaviours distinct from their technical
ability. Fitness to practise cases heard by
regulators such as the Health Professions

HLT 307 Week 4 Discussion Question Two
HLT 307 Week 4 Discussion Question Two

Council (HPC) and the General Medical
Council (GMC) often include components of
inappropriate or unprofessional behaviour
which would not be captured by competency
testing. These behaviours are not trivial,
including issues relating to substance abuse,
theft or sexual assault against patients or
service users. Identifying and addressing these
issues is also a problem to be faced by
possible revalidation processes. However,
there is evidence from medical professionalism
research that issues presenting in later careers
may be associated with similar concerns in
training. For example action against doctors by
state medical boards in the United States was
found to be predicted by factors such as
disciplinary action in medical school
1 and a low
supervisor rating of their professionalism
during their residency year.2

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This potential association has value if the
identification of concerns early in training
allows early remediation to be attempted,
in the form of targeted training, or in
extreme cases counselling away from that
professional role:
“Attempts to identify… risk of subsequent
professional misconduct should be
encouraged because this offers the
opportunity for support and remediation if
possible, or if not, redirection of the student
into a more suitable area of study. This is
not just a matter of public protection;
students deserve support and assistance
and must have realistic career
expectations.”3, p.1041
However, while the desirability of addressing
and improving professionalism is relatively
unchallenged in the literature, the concept of
‘professionalism’ is not well-defined,
conceptually or methodologically: “the word is
full of nuance and as with words such as ‘love’
or ‘quality’, perhaps each of us is clear what
we understand by the term, but we find it
difficult to articulate.”4, p.2. This difficulty in
articulation extends to the academic literature
and to attempts to engage with
professionalism as a theoretical construct.
Much of the recent literature around medical
professionalism has focused on
professionalism as a competency, or
something which can be taught, developed,
measured and assessed.5, 6, 7 One recent review
of this area8 identified many measures and
approaches, but found no clear consensus on
validity. It outlined five ‘clusters of
professionalism’ found in existing measures,
which were:
– adherence to ethical practice;
– effective interactions with patients and
service users;
– effective interactions with staff; and
– reliability, and commitment to
improvement) which illustrate the
behavioural focus of many of
these approaches.
A study with paramedics,9 one of the
professional groups involved in this study,
found a similar range of dimensions, from
integrity through teamwork and careful delivery
of service, to appearance and personal
hygiene. The variation in the precise
dimensions identified in the literature illustrates
the semantic difficulties in labelling such broad
constructs, but there is a common pattern of
identifying attitudes and ideals,
communication, and good practice.

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