Concepts for Nursing Practice: Chap 39: Professional Identity

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1

a sense of oneself that is influenced by characteristics, norms, and values of the nursing discipline, resulting in an individual thinking, acting, and feeling like a nurse

professional identity

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formed as a person transitions from layperson to a nurse professional during the educational process,3 and it is fostered throughout the nurse's career as professional identity is challenged and matures through experiences within the profession.

professional identity

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Strategies to develop professional identity

real and simulated experiences
reflection
role modeling by professional colleagues

4

Professional identity is composed of five subcategories or attributes

doing
being
acting ethically
flourishing
changing identities

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5 Qualities Needed for a Sustainable Professional Life

engagement
development
assimilation
use appropriate habits
contribution

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four identity statuses

identity diffusion
foreclosure
moratorium
identity achieved

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characterized by a lack of interest in commitment, and even in exploration. “whatever seems good at the moment.”

Identity diffusion

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the person keeps talking about changing those around him or her and conspicuously not about making change him- or herself.

foreclosure

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characterized by overwhelming anxiety that is “hard to sit through” with someone.

Moratorium

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the person is reasonably self-aware, has a sense of self, and can manage overwhelming anxiety should it occur

identity achieved

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which Exemplars of Professional Identity has the following characteristics:
• Following through with pain medication
• Calling the physician when the patient asks you to
• Checking the Code Cart by the prescribed time
• Giving medications within the 30-minute window

Integrity

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which Exemplars of Professional Identity has the following characteristics:

• Taking time to talk with a troubled family member
• Responding to a patient's call light with genuine interest
• Comforting a colleague who has just had a death in his or her family
• Using eye contact to apologize for a misstep with a colleague

Compassion

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which Exemplars of Professional Identity has the following characteristics:

• Speaking up when a colleague did not wash his or her hands before entering a patient room
• Conveying the details of the conversation a dying patient had with you to other members of the health care team
• Taking practice issues to the practice council to positively change practice on your nursing unit
• Speaking out about bullying occurring on the nursing unit

Courage

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which Exemplars of Professional Identity has the following characteristics:

• Realistically viewing family members' ability to cope with a crisis
• Being nonjudgmental as staff deal with a unit-based crisis
• Clearly identifying your part in an error and not accepting more blame than is yours
• Seeing the larger picture when issues arise with patients, families, and coworkers

Humility

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which Exemplars of Professional Identity has the following characteristics:

• Sharing with family members the details of a conversation you had with their loved one previously in the day
• Listening carefully to help family members carry out their wishes, and working with the hospital to do what you can to help that happen
• Communicating with the family about their loved one's surgery schedule, course of events, and expected finish time
• Working to get prescriptions filled before a homeless person leaves the hospital

Advocacy

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which Exemplars of Professional Identity has the following characteristics:

• Encouraging patients in their difficult times
• Seeking additional resources for patients with limited discharge planning issues
• Encouraging coworkers to seek employee assistance options for difficulties they are having
• Creating a positive, encouraging environment for patients and families

Human Flourishing

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doing what she says she will do and acts with consistency and purpose

integrity

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feeling what another is feeling and responding to it with the intent of doing something to help

compassion

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(1) to affect change and (2) “to stand in opposition for moral rightness

courage