What kind of behavior should patients expect from doctors?

A doctor or nurse’s professional behavior may impact relationships with patients. Unprofessional conduct can result in psychological harm to a patient.

In today's age of social media and immediate online accessibility through smartphones, it can be easy to share something that may cause regret later. Medical professionals are not an exception, if they do not use discretion with their behavior. It is possible for doctors or other medical professionals in Florida and elsewhere to cause lasting harm by participating in jokes or other immature behavior at patients' expense.

The Washington Post reported on one example of unprofessionalism. Two Florida paramedics were caught sending "selfie" photographs involving patients in ambulances. Authorities said that the two sent dozens of pictures to each other, which included patients who were injured, unconscious, sedated or incapacitated. One patient was reportedly partially nude. Both paramedics lost their jobs and received felony charges.

The importance of medical professionalism

How can doctor and nurse professionalism positively or negatively affect a patient relationship? A medical professional who creates a good rapport - or a positive "bedside manner" - with patients may increase a trusting relationship. Many doctors are able to joke around with patients without being unprofessional. In fact, a friendly personality is often a good thing for medical staff to have, especially when they must often deliver difficult news to patients and their families. It is important for those in the medical field to adhere by a code of conduct that shows respect, compassion and trustworthiness to patients, states an article by the University of Washington School of Medicine.

On the other hand, medical staff behavior in the operating room and elsewhere can cause serious problems. Surgeons might write insulting comments in a patient's chart or make fun of patients under anesthesia, without realizing that a patient's family member might see the chart or the patient could record the surgery with a portable recorder. Hospital staff who share inappropriate jokes that patients overhear, or engage in horseplay on the job, might project an unprofessional and offensive image. Such behavior might result in a patient experiencing depression, anxiety or a distrust in the medical profession as a whole.

There are more consequences to unseemly behavior that medical professionals should consider, in addition to the possible loss of their jobs and legal repercussions. When entering their field, doctors, nurses and others in the medical industry should be aware of the kind of behavior that is expected of them. Those who have been affected by unacceptable behavior may wish to contact an experienced Miami medical malpractice attorney.