Do We Practice What We Preach? Part 1.
Well today is my birthday and it's making me a little retrospective. As you all know I am not about making big resolutions based on the day or date; such as New Year's. However I did think back over my professional life today: what I have done, what impact I have made on the profession and what I would do differently, given a second chance. Then an unrelated conversation with a friend who is a pastor and counselor got me thinking more deeply about us in the medical laboratory science profession as a group.
We often say so many things, we are often so critical of others and we regularly bemoan how badly we are treated. That got me thinking about how much we do (or do not) always practice what we preach. Do we do what we demand of others? Do we exude a degree of professionalism commands respect?
Just look around and you will find many examples where actions speak louder
than words.” For example, we constantly say how valuable and important we are
as a profession. Then why is it that some of us are too complacent or busy to
serve on hospital committees or performance improvement teams? How do we add value to providers and patients if all we do is follow orders and provide numbers?
We tend to be passive recipients of actions taken by others. Instead we should be
bulldozing our way into every meeting where pivotal decisions are made that
might impact the future of the lab or the delivery of laboratory services to
the patient. Too many of us forfeit our hand in the game and unhappily settle for
The term “professional” is bandied about so
much that its meaning has become unclear to most of us. Often we say we are not
being treated as professionals, meaning we are not given the recognition
usually afforded well-educated individuals with a unique, complex body of
knowledge. Then why do we not belong to our professional organizations in
larger numbers, or why do some willingly choose to be less than full members of
any professional organization?
Why is our scope of practice (and the public)
not protected by licensure in more states?
If our claim of professionalism is to be more than empty platitudes we
need to act more consistently professional in dress and actions, conducting
ourselves with dignity, confidence and resolve.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. While there are many reasons for the state of affairs, I am more interested in solutions, rather than explanations for why things are bad and about to get worse.
I await your responses and will continue this conversation in my next blog with Part 2 of the discussion.