Read the ABC News article titled: “‘Just a nurse’: Queensland woman writes open letter to woman at corner store” (Just a Nurse, 2016). 2. Consider the question: “Does Caitlin Brassington demonstrate a professional identity?” Provide your answer, including a thesis statement (theme) and supporting arguments. 3. Discuss the notion of professional identity and aspects of Caitlin’s self- description of her role as a registered nurse which demonstrate professionalism or professional attributes within this role. Within this discussion utilise examples from Caitlin’s blog which support your response to the assignment question. It is expected that academic literature++ through the use of suitable journal articles will be used to support your argument.
The term professional identity is a complex term to be perceived and can be broadly described as a concept that can explain how people perceive themselves within the context of their occupation and how they communicate this to the others around them. There are several elements that can shape up one’s personal identity; Shared Expertise (Larson,1977) , peer observation and work socialization (Ibarra, 1999), strength of the shared sense of commonality among the professionals , ones education( both school and university level), job titles etc. are the most notable ones. Though many of the professionals would have come a long way up the ladder or been there in the industry for quite a long time, many of them have not solidified their individual professional identity. This fact clearly calls out that branding yourself before someone else does is of key importance when it comes to building a professional identity, which, when collectively put together, change the overall perception of a particular profession. An increased sense of professional identity is said to have a profound impact on the level of satisfaction and effectiveness at work. It is common that people usually have a pre- conceived notion of a particular profession which usually has a heavy influence in their career choices. But of course, there are many, who overlook the common notion, build his or her sense of professional identity and follow their dream powered by their passion. Professional identity gets its true self not just by engaging in professional development, but also by taking up the ownership of our professionalism.
In the article: “Just a nurse”, Caitlin Brassington demonstrates a professional identity that deems her nothing short of being a role model. Her attitude towards her profession is clearly visible through her letter and so are the various aspects described above that leads to what one calls a perfect sense of professional identity. What can be understood from the letter is that the practice of shared expertise, peer observation and work socialization is well in place in the environment where (Caitlin) is working in (refer: // I can educate patients, carers, junior nurses and junior doctors on disease states, prognoses and treatment plans; I have been a lecturer in a school of medicine, teaching medical students). This may also lead to the fact that there exists not just a shared sense of responsibility, but also a sense of shared commonality among the medical professionals. Their sense of duty first family next points out that a deep sense of professional identity has been rooted in them, even though unfortunately , as a society, we tend to have biased judgments for different titles within a given profession. This biased judgments, or simply put, professional branding done by others will stand no chance amongst the medical professional who seem to discard any such discouraging remarks hurled at them. Among the factors that were discussed above, there is one key factor which helps people develop a sense of professional identity: the course of education. Right from the childhood, we, knowingly or unknowingly are guided to form an opinion about everything. Holistic education is of extreme importance in the development of the children who will learn to understand the value of the things and people around them and not just to empathize on certain scenarios. Holistic education, when given at the right time, can instill a deep sense of personal identity, which later on branches out to professional identity. All the statements in Caitlin’s blog just proves that she given her 100% to what she has identified as her vision “ caring for people” and nothing can stop her from doing so. Despite the fact that she felt let down by the term “just a nurse”, she carries on with her work. Through her blog Caitlin wishes to enlighten people on how unjust it is to form an opinion without willing to know the amount of back breaking hours they have spent caring for the community. She wants to call out to all of us that we should all develop a sense of professional identity not just for the professions we are involved in, but for all the professions and that each profession makes a considerable impact on the society that we live in. simply getting carried away with the external looks for e.g. “an attire “ and forming an opinion may not be the right way.
Thus to summarize, Caitlin, through her blog, exhibits a high sense of professional identity along with all other elements that contribute to the same and also wishes all the readers to understand and share her thoughts. This blog sought out to be a huge lesson for all the readers on how important each occupation is and how important it is to respect one and all for all the work that they have put in. Her blog is also a shout out to all those nurses out there who are working their days and nights off for the welfare of their community. It is indeed the need of the hour to help everyone instill the sense of professional identity let Caitlin’s letter be a pathbreaker for the same.