Hello, my name is Dr. Tablet, but you can just call me Tab. This is part 2 of our 3-part video series on professionalism. In this video, I’ll be talking about accountability, honesty and integrity, appropriate attire and appearance, and punctuality.Accountability is being responsible for your decisions and actions. For example, you are accountable for the health information you give to patients. If you tell a patient it is safe to take alcohol with their medication, you are responsible for making sure that information is correct. A common pitfall for students is trying to do tasks they are not completely familiar with in order to live up to what they think is expected of them. Being on practicum is when students begin to recognize how much they don’t know. It’s okay say you’re unsure as this is part of the learning experience.While learning involves stepping out of your comfort zone, it is important that you have a firm grasp on what you know and what you don’t know. Being accountable for your actions involves acknowledging when you are unsure of something and then working to gain the knowledge needed to ensure that the task is completed correctly. Remember, before providing any medical advice to patients, it must be reviewed by your practice educator. Being accountable also means taking responsibility when you have made a mistake. Imagine you were supposed to call a patient back by the end of the day, but for some reason, you did not, and your practice educator asks what happened.Which of the following responses demonstrates accountability?
a) I forgot but the phone call wasn’t really necessary.
b) Another student was talking to the patient too and I thought they were going to do it
c) I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to call yet. I’ll call them now since I realize it’s a time sensitive matter.
Option C is the best response as you apologized, took ownership for what happened and took steps to resolve it.
Next let’s talk about integrity.
Integrity means acting honestly and with strong moral principles. This could mean being on task even when no one is watching, submitting original work with proper referencing, disclosing any real, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest, and being proactive in acknowledging and rectifying errors, including lapses in professionalism. For example, imagine you overlooked discussing a drug interaction with a patient. The right thing to do in this situation is to call the patient as soon as possible and let them know that you forgot to tell them about something.
First impressions are important and so it makes sense for us to talk about attire and appearance for your upcoming practicum.
Your appearance is an important part of your professional identity. From a patient’s perspective, your appearance speaks to your ability to provide quality care. Patients are observant and may form an opinion of you based on your appearance. Patients will even notice minor details like pen stains on your lab coat, or even a wrinkled shirt. They may not tell you directly but might be less willing to trust you based on what they see on the outside.
Take a look at these two students. Which one looks more approachable? Knowledgeable? How about Trustworthy? This is why it’s so important for students to present themselves professionally in appearance as well as in all other areas. Remember, while you are on practicum, you are representing the Faculty and UBC. Make sure to double check with your practice site to find out what their dress code is as the dress code policy may differ from site to site. Here are some examples of appropriate attire (see examples on screen). And make sure to wear your name badge with the title student pharmacist. Your practice site will usually require you to wear a short, clean, and pressed white lab coat. Remember to introduce yourself as a student and do not misrepresent yourself.
The last thing on our list is punctuality.
It is important for you to be on time for all practicum activities. This means arriving early to ensure you are ready to work at your scheduled shift time, returning from your breaks on time, and remaining at the practice site for all scheduled hours. Being punctual also applies to completing and submitting all assignments on time.
Thanks for watching Part 2 of the professionalism video series. Please watch Part 3 where you’ll have the chance to apply what you’ve learned. I’m Dr. Tablet and I hope you have a fanTABulous practicum!
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Alyssa Low (Undergraduate Student) for helping to create this video and Garrett Tang (Undergraduate Student) for designing original images (e.g. Dr. Tablet).