This is the second part in a multi-part series on Professionalism. If you haven't already, read Part 1 here.
Ethics are concepts of right and wrong. Some decisions are easy to make ethically, while others require a conversation with your coworkers, your managers and support system. Ethics are an important part of professionalism, and here's why.
Employees—and medical employees, specifically—are expected to stick to a code of ethics. Most facilities have a written code of ethics for you to follow, and of course, there's always the Hippocratic oath. But even if your company doesn’t have a written code, you should come up with your own ethical guidelines in order to build your reputation for professionalism.
To help guide you, here’s a helpful list of ethical Do’s and Don’ts.
- DO be honest. Never lie or create stories to make yourself look better.
- DO admit mistakes. Not only is this the right choice ethically, it will also make you look much better to your supervisor or manager than if you falsely blame someone else for your mess-up.
- DO be respectful to all people. No matter how difficult a coworker or patient is being, you always need to show them respect. Never talk down to people or try to make them feel inferior.
- DON'T gossip, share secrets, spread rumors or speak negatively about coworkers. Not only is this unethical, but it makes you look bad.
- DON'T blame others. Even if your coworkers did make a mistake, passing around blame never solves the problem. Work on solutions instead.
- DON'T falsify time cards or other documents. If you're late, you're late. Don't try to cover yourself by being dishonest.
- DON'T lie, cheat or steal. These are general ethics, and they count in every aspect of your life—including your work.
Many ethical dilemmas aren't easy or straightforward. It can be tough to make the right choices at work, but it’s important that you show ethics in all aspects of your professional life. Your decisions help set the tone for the company’s culture. Do you want to have a hand in creating a negative culture that supports gossiping and stealing—or do you want to set a good example by being honest and respectful?
Now that you know a little bit about building a code of ethics, we'll explain how to build a professional reputation on social media. Stay tune for The Professionalism Guide Part 3: Social Media.