Socialization refers to the process of learning new roles, skills, and characteristics of a certain group in the community. Acquiring the behaviors and attitudes enables an individual to be a better member of the group. There are many different definitions of professional socialization. However, most authors agree that professional socialization is the process in which a lay individual is adopted into a certain profession. It involves learning the norms, attitudes, skills, and values of a certain profession. Internalization of the values and norms of a certain profession into the behavior and self-concept of an individual is critical for the individual to be socialized into the profession (Lai & Lim, 2012).
All professions have certain standards, which are referred to as professional values. The professional values provide a guideline on professional behavior of an individual. They also help in motivating people in the profession. The values of an individual enable the individual to take risks to overcome barriers. It enables individuals to move from their comfort zones and put more efforts in tackling issues in the profession. In the healthcare sector, professional values act as the foundation of patient care, which is critical in improve the outcomes of various medical interventions. In nursing, professional values ensure that nurses engage in ethical behavior when providing care to patients (Dinmohammadi, 2013).
The professional values are learned. The nursing education program helps in the development and internalization of the professional values. It is vital for students to ensure that during the learning process, they examine the orientation of their values and determine how professional values would affect their professional behavior. In addition, understanding professional and individual values benefits nurses as it as it enables them to acknowledge the rewards of nursing as a caring profession. As such, nursing education plays a critical role in the development of professional values by facilitating their development. It also facilitates the development of value-based behaviors (Masters, 2014).
According to Claywell (2009), there are four stages of professional socialization. These help students transition from Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to a Registered Nurse (RN). The first step one is referred to as unilateral dependence. In this stage, the student is completely dependent on the faculty to undertake different things. At this stage, students are usually unsure about their knowledge. However, they strive to do things in the right manner. The second stage is characterized by independence or negativity. The students are confident in their knowledge and strive to do things themselves. Repeating the same things makes students feel bored. The third stage is characterized by dependence or mutuality. In this stage, students acknowledge the fact that they may not know everything. Therefore, they accept help or guidance from other people. the fourth stage is characterized by interdependence. In this stage, students acknowledge that despite the fact that they know so much, they may never know all there is to know. Therefore, they strive to use the available resources to improve their knowledge (Claywell, 2009).
I am in the third stage of professional socialization. I acknowledge the fact that I may not know everything since nursing is a wide field. In addition, nurses are confronted with different problems on a daily basis. When faced with a problem I usually seek guidance. Poor communication skills and lack of self-awareness are some of the barriers that could prevent me from reaching the fourth stage. Poor communication skills may make it difficult for me to relay information to my colleagues or decipher information from patients. Therefore, it is vital for me to improve my conversation skills. I would strive to control the tone of my voice. In addition, I would strive to be knowledgeable on a topic under discussion. I would always be prepared and have information on the diagnosis of the patient. I would also strive to use words that may be interpreted differently. I would also strive to be truthful always. I would also strive to improve my professional collaboration skills. This would help in avoiding conflicts with my colleagues. This would ultimately go a long way towards improving the quality of care I provide patients.
It is vital for an individual to know themselves in order to determine how they influence a relationship. Self-awareness is critical in improving interpersonal relationships. It is vital for nurses to distinguish their emotional needs from those of the patient. This ensures that nurses meet their emotional needs outside the patient nurse relationship. Using refractive practice and avoiding stereotypes would help me improve my self-awareness. Refractive practice would involve looking back at what happened during the period I was caring for a patient. I would also look back at what happened and the reaction of other nurses towards me. Focusing on my own thoughts would help in determining how various feelings can affect my behavior towards patients. I would also strive to avoid prejudices and biased attitudes towards patients. This would enable me to accept the fact that all patients are humans who have dignity. Therefore, they have the right to receive the best care available.
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