Health care professional

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so you want to be a healthcare professional 

BHA 3202, Standards for Health Care Staff 1

Course Learning Outcomes for Unit II

Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:

4. Discuss the impact personal skills have on the workplace.
4.1 Describe the various types of personal goals that can affect professional development.

Course/Unit

Learning Outcomes
Learning Activity

4
Unit Lesson
Chapter 11
Unit II Essay

4.1
Unit Lesson
Chapter 3
Unit II Essay

Reading Assignment

Chapter 3: Setting Goals and Time Management

Chapter 11: Professionalism in Action

Unit Lesson

José has decided to apply for the position of healthcare administrator at his clinic. Jane suggested that he
should think about where he wants his career to go from the short-term to the long-term before he interviews
for the position she will be vacating next month. She has stressed to him that professionalism, and all that the
term implies, is the key characteristic that the healthcare administration position requires. José will need to
reflect on his goals and the manner in which he presents himself to his colleagues at the clinic.

In Chapter 3 of your textbook, we look at how to set goals and utilize time management skills to enhance our
skills, knowledge, and abilities in the healthcare administration field. Let us look first at the different types of
goals we can set, starting with the types of goals to consider:

• personal,
• educational,
• career, and
• community.

Personal goals are the things that make life interesting. We may want to learn to ski or try skydiving one day.
Having personal goals enhances one’s self-concepts and self-esteem. They can be as simple as going to a
new movie or planning for retirement.

Education and lifelong learning should be something all professionals keep in mind, and setting educational
goals is an important part of being a professional. Being in this program is clearly a part of an educational
goal that you have set for yourself. Being successful at meeting educational goals also tells others that you
are someone who can meet goals too.

UNIT II STUDY GUIDE
Goals and Professionalism

BHA 3202, Standards for Health Care Staff 2

Another type of goal the healthcare professional must address is the career goal. You have already
demonstrated that you have set a career goal by enrolling in this program and course. While these are clearly
educational goals, they actually are also career goals. As José is learning, advancing in his career at his
healthcare clinic is now a career goal of his and one that he needs to plan for carefully to ensure success.

José is wondering what exactly community goals are and if he has any and just does not know it. As Chapter
3 explains, we are all a part of a community, and we all contribute in some way to our communities. José is a
part of the healthcare clinic community because he and associates go out for dinner once a month and even
play on a softball team together. Belonging to one’s professional organization also is being a part of a
community, and having goals within such a community may mean planning to be the president of the
organization in 3 years or going to a conference on behalf of the organization in 1 year (Colbert & Katrancha,
2016; Porter-O’Grady & Malloch, 2015).

Once we think about the types of goals we need, we need to consider the timeframe to set for our goals.
There are three timeframes to consider:

• short-term,
• mid-range, and
• long-term.

Short-term goals are those that can be accomplished in half a year or less. Examples of short-term goals are
listed below.

• Personal: Lose 10 pounds in the next 4 months.
• Educational: Attend one continuing education seminar in the next month.
• Career: Apply for a new position as a healthcare administrator this week.
• Community: Join a healthcare administration association next month.

Mid-range goals are those that that take from 6 to 12 months to accomplish. Some may need renewing when
the year is over or may need to be changed if accomplished sooner than anticipated. Examples of mid-range
goals are listed below.

• Personal: Save to buy a new car in the next 10 months.
• Educational: Finish a Bachelor of Healthcare Administration program in the next 12 months.
• Career: Learn about the healthcare organization’s strategic plan for a new department in the clinic,

and apply for the position of healthcare administrator when it opens in 6 months.
• Community: Run for a seat on the town’s planning commission in the next election in 8 months.

The last timeframe for writing goals is long-term. These goals range anywhere from 3 to 5 years and can even
be as far out as 10 years in the future. Goals that far out are difficult to plan for accurately. Examples of long-
term goals are listed below.

Consider This!

José has always felt that he has enough education with his associate degree, but Jane has
mentioned to him that there is much more knowledge that he does not possess. José reads
one professional journal and two trade newsletters, so he feels he is keeping up, but he does
wonder what a bachelor’s degree has to offer him and if he should think about earning a
master’s degree too.

• What can José do to learn about the areas of healthcare administration in which he
lacks knowledge or experience?

• Are there any professional journals he might consider reading?
• Should he consider taking some continuing education courses offered by the local

healthcare administrator’s organization in town?

BHA 3202, Standards for Health Care Staff 3

• Personal: Enter a triathlon 3 years from now.
• Educational: Find a university that offers a master’s in business administration, and enroll 4 years

from now.
• Career: Become the chief business administrator for the local healthcare center 5 years from now.
• Community: Run for the state legislature 7 years from now.

Remember something very important. Goals are the results that we are trying to attain. They should not be
written in stone. They have to reflect the reality of our lives and the world around us. They should be
malleable and grow as we grow.

In Chapter 11 of our textbook, we learn about professionalism and what that term means. We see how ethical
behavior applies to the professional and learn about the unique world of health care to which the healthcare
professional belongs. There are many concepts the healthcare administrator has to consider, all of which add
up to providing the patient with the highest level of professional care possible. A few are listed below:

• certification,
• ethics,
• living wills,
• confidentiality,
• personal beliefs and morals,
• trust, and
• malpractice.

Medical ethics dictate all that the professional who cares for a patient does. Whether one is a physician,
nurse, or healthcare administrator does not matter. What matters most is that provided care is based on
established moral principles and is of the highest quality. How we conduct ourselves when faced with moral
issues, such as the brain-dead patient’s family that wants to pull the plug or the employee who refuses to
participate in an abortion based on his or her religious beliefs, is dictated by medical ethics.

José remembers a news story about a man who killed his wife because she had Alzheimer’s disease and was
slowly wasting away. His personal view was that he approved of what the man did and disagreed with the
resulting arrest and murder charges. Jane brought that memory back when they were talking about what the
role of a healthcare administrator could entail. She wanted José to think about what his role would be if a
family member asked a staff member about euthanasia for his sister who had Stage 4 breast cancer and was
slowly dying in severe pain. How he would support the staff member and the patient’s brother in a
professional and compassionate manner would lead to him listing his personal ethics and comparing them to
the standards of medical ethics.

Being a healthcare administrator and displaying professional behaviors means understanding the way the
healthcare organization runs. How is infection control established in a way that protects the patient as well as
the employee? How does one determine who receives what care in a disaster? What is the protocol for
protecting a patient who is the victim of sexual assault when the local media is requesting information?
Professional behavior is the guiding standard in all of these situations and more.

BHA 3202, Standards for Health Care Staff 4

As you do your readings for this unit and work on your assignment, keep in mind that the key themes of this
unit all will lead you forward in your career, regardless of where you are now. Identify your short-term, mid-
range, and long-term goals. Consider how the healthcare administrator behaves as a professional on a day-
to-day basis and stands professionally to lead the healthcare team in the times that test us all.

References

Colbert, B. J., & Katrancha, E. D. (2016). Career success in health care: Professionalism in action (3rd ed.).

Cengage Learning.

Kerasidou, A., Kingori, P., & Legido-Quigley, H. (2016). “You have to keep fighting”: Maintaining healthcare

services and professionalism on the frontline of austerity in Greece. International Journal for Equity in
Health, 15, 1–10.
https://libraryresources.columbiasouthern.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direc
t=true&db=a9h&AN=117162726&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Porter-O’Grady, T., & Malloch, K. (2015). Quantum leadership: Building better partnerships for sustainable

health (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Suggested Reading

In order to access the following resource, click the link below.

The following reading is one that José found helpful in understanding how the healthcare administrator must
often make tough decisions about serving patients in times of strife.

Consider This!

Being a professional is not always easy. One thing that we rarely consider, though, is how to be
a professional in the face of adversity and disasters. With more and more disasters occurring
across the world, José must consider what the healthcare administrator’s role is in a crisis. He
must consider the obligation to patients, to the profession, and to himself.

Over the last decade, many countries have faced financial crises. A good friend of José’s is
from Greece, and he shared with José what it was like for the hospitals to not have enough
money to buy needed supplies or to pay employees because the government was slow in
reimbursing them.

As one of José’s goals was to read more professional journals, he found an article with relevant
information. In the article, Kerasidou et al. (2016) wrote about what it was like to keep
healthcare services working when the government is going bankrupt.

This has José thinking about what a professional healthcare administrator would do in such a
situation. How can one encourage employees to continue coming to work when they are not
being paid? How does one keep a healthcare clinic open with no funds to buy supplies? How
can one keep a professional attitude when the world seems to be crumbling? José realizes that
it is times like these that bring out the true knowledge, skills, and attitudes of a healthcare
administrator and show his or her true professionalism.

BHA 3202, Standards for Health Care Staff 5

Kerasidou, A., Kingori, P., & Legido-Quigley, H. (2016). “You have to keep fighting”: Maintaining healthcare
services and professionalism on the frontline of austerity in Greece. International Journal for Equity in
Health, 15, 1–10.
https://libraryresources.columbiasouthern.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direc
t=true&db=a9h&AN=117162726&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Learning Activities (Nongraded)

Nongraded Learning Activities are provided to aid students in their course of study. You do not have to submit
them. If you have questions, contact your instructor for further guidance and information.

To continue building your professional toolbox, do an online search, and find three types of certification that a
healthcare administrator might obtain. List the requirements for earning each type of certification that you may
be personally interested in obtaining.

BHA 3202, Standards for Health Care Staff 1

Course Learning Outcomes for Unit I

Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:

1. Summarize the essential qualities of a healthcare professional.
1.1 Describe how personal excellence and professionalism affect career growth.

Course/Unit

Learning Outcomes
Learning Activity

1.1
Unit Lesson
Chapters 1, 2
Unit I Essay

Reading Assignment

Chapter 1: Study Skills: Laying the Foundation

Chapter 2: Characteristics for Personal and Professional Success

Unit Lesson

This course helps you to learn about and prepare for a career as a healthcare professional. Throughout this
course, we follow José, who currently works as an office clerk in a healthcare clinic. He learns what it requires
to ready himself to pursue and accept the role and position of a healthcare administrator. Examining the role
of a healthcare administrator—a person who likely has served in many other healthcare roles and who now
has many different positions under his or her supervision—gives a greater perspective on the overall qualities
and requirements of healthcare professionals in general.

José has been working in his position for 3 years now. He has seen several healthcare administrators come
and go in that time, and he believes he is perfect for the role now that Jane, the healthcare administrator for
the last 18 months, will be leaving. He is excited about the prospect of moving forward in his career but a bit
apprehensive about how to prepare for applying, how to update his résumé, and how to plan for the interview
processes to come. Throughout this course, we explore all of these aspects of the role of healthcare
administrator, joining José in his journey.

In Chapter 1 of your textbook, we begin this journey by considering how to achieve personal excellence. Do
you think as a professional who works in the healthcare industry does? While the textbook focuses on being a
success in the role of a student, the same rules will apply to being a healthcare business administrator.

• Do you have good study skills? Even in the role of a professional, one never stops learning. Knowing
what and how to study helps you when planning for new policies and procedures or when preparing
the next year’s budget.

• Formulating a plan for improvement in relation to your current study skills helps you when planning to
improve patient outcomes in a healthcare clinic or when creating a new marketing plan.

• Branding is the name of the game in any industry and is important from the personal to the
organizational level. It is also important for departments within larger healthcare organizations. It is
one thing to boast and a very different thing to share accomplishments and talents with those who
need to know, whether that be patients, faculty, colleagues, or an organization’s board of directors
(Colbert & Katrancha, 2016).

UNIT I STUDY GUIDE
So, You Want to be a
Healthcare Professional?

BHA 3202, Standards for Health Care Staff 2

Clearly, laying the right foundation in all we do matters to success at both personal and professional levels.

Chapter 2 in the textbook helps us understand what being a professional means. In health care, many
different interactions occur between those who care for patients. From the physician or nurse practitioner right
on to the receptionist and billing department clerk, every person who interacts in the healthcare organization
must maintain a professional stance to ensure that quality care is provided and that challenges are met with
successful outcomes (Ruddiman, 2016).

When we consider what it means to be a professional healthcare administrator, we have to think about the
characteristics that make up the role, the standards that one must reach, and the benchmarks that tell us we
are professionals. Some of the characteristics that make up the professional healthcare administrator role
include those listed below:

• being an advocate for those who need a voice;
• being assertive, not aggressive;
• being dependable;
• being honest;
• having a positive attitude;
• having respect for all;
• showing responsibility;
• being self-motivated;
• being humble; and
• holding values high (Colbert & Katrancha, 2016).

It is easy enough to believe that we all hold all of these qualities, but how do we show them to the world? On
page 31 in your textbook, there is a box called “Food for Thought.” In reading over the questions in this box, it
is worth considering how we walk the walk and talk the talk. The professional healthcare administrator has to
consider things such as what others have told him or her over the years about how he or she presents
to others.

Do you remember your parents telling you to speak up more clearly? Did your teachers and instructors seem
to cringe when you raised your hand? Has your supervisor ever told you that you have good ideas but seem
to have an attitude that is off-putting to others? Have you been ignored in meetings when you timidly try to
offer suggestions about how to implement a new policy?

These are all indications that what you think about yourself as a professional may not match what others are
seeing and hearing from you. As popular culture puts it, it is all about the ‘tude! The attitude that you project is
how others will respond to you and how professional they will see you.

Consider This!

José has decided to apply for the healthcare administrator position in his clinic. He decides
that he will talk with Jane about how she sees his talents, skills, and abilities related to the
position of healthcare administrator.

In preparing to talk with Jane, José must think about what he needs to do to prepare himself.

• How can he best present himself to Jane to ensure that she sees he is serious about
his desire to apply for and succeed in the new role?

• What are some possible websites that José could visit to learn more about the
profession of healthcare administrator?

• Are there any professional organizations he could join to acquire new knowledge and
connections?

BHA 3202, Standards for Health Care Staff 3

How we physically present ourselves is just as important as what we say. Our emotional competence or
intelligence is equally important. How open are we to new ideas? Do we value knowledge? Do we show this
to our colleagues by how we sit, hold our head, or cross our arms? Managing and leading others who are
emotional human beings, as well as managing and leading ourselves, is important to being a successful
healthcare administrator. If we do not lead with an awareness of the soft side of administration, we will not be
followed or be successful in our professional roles (Clapp & Town, 2015; Porter-O’Grady & Malloch, 2015).
We should assess if we are mindful of our emotional needs and how we project them to others. We should
consider if we expect more of others than we do of ourselves.

As we embark on this journey toward becoming a professional healthcare administrator or advance in our
careers as José is attempting to do, these concepts are important to keep in mind. They are valuable
throughout this course and well into the future of our healthcare administration career.

References

Clapp, S., & Town, L. (2015). Thriving at work through emotional intelligence. American Medical Writers

Association Journal, 30(2), 94–96.

Colbert, B. J., & Katrancha, E. D. (2016). Career success in health care: Professionalism in action (3rd ed.).

Cengage Learning.

Porter-O’Grady, T., & Malloch, K. (2015). Quantum leadership: Building better partnerships for sustainable

health (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Ruddiman, A. (2016). President’s comment: Thoughts on professionalism. British Columbia Medical Journal,

58(5), 247.

Consider This!

Jane told José that he was a hard worker who always produced for the healthcare clinic;
however, she told him that there seemed to be a disconnect between what he produced and
how he produced it.

Jane asked José to think about the last staff meeting they had, and she specifically asked
what he thought about how his colleagues responded when he started speaking. José told her
that he saw nothing wrong and that people often seemed to think he was a bit pushy, but he
just wanted to make his point forcefully. Jane gave José a series of questions to consider
about the meeting, which they would talk about when he comes back later in the week.

• Did anyone try to talk when José was talking?
• Who looked at José when he was talking, and who looked away?
• What comments did others make about José’s ideas?
• What did others say that made José angry?
• Did José tell anyone that his or her idea would not work?

As José considered these questions, he began to wonder if perhaps he was not projecting the
most professional behaviors in meetings. He decided he needed to create a plan for how he
would project a more positive attitude and professional demeanor in the future.

What types of skills might José practice in the future to improve his professional behaviors?

BHA 3202, Standards for Health Care Staff 4

Suggested Reading

In order to access the following resources, click the links below.

The following reading located in the CSU Online Library will help you gain deeper insight into how having
emotional intelligence can make the workplace a more productive and pleasant environment.

Clapp, S., & Town, L. (2015). Thriving at work through emotional intelligence. American Medical Writers

Association Journal, 30(2), 94–96.
https://libraryresources.columbiasouthern.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct
=true&db=a9h&AN=108436048&site=ehost-live&scope=siteSSN:1075-6361

The following reading located in the CSU Online Library provides a perspective on how a professional’s
behaviors guide the profession and set standards for conduct.

Ruddiman, A. (2016). President’s comment: Thoughts on professionalism. British Columbia Medical Journal,

58(5), 247.
https://libraryresources.columbiasouthern.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direc
t=true&db=a9h&AN=116107227&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Learning Activities (Nongraded)

Nongraded Learning Activities are provided to aid students in their course of study. You do not have to submit
them. If you have questions, contact your instructor for further guidance and information.

Your textbook provides several tools, such as activities and personal assessments, within each chapter so
that you may immediately apply what you are learning. You are highly encouraged to complete these
activities and retain this textbook as a tool and reference as you plan and progress in your career.

Throughout this course, several learning activities are provided to help further your knowledge of healthcare
administration so you can develop your own professional tool kit for career growth.

For this unit, take the time to complete the tasks below.

• Find three websites about the profession of healthcare administration. Many contain links and
resources that you can refer to as you progress in your career.

• Search for, identify, and consider joining a professional organization that is geared toward the
healthcare administrator.

Do not forget that memberships in professional organizations, subscriptions to professional
magazines/journals, and any fees associated with job searching are tax-deductible.

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