Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Chairperson (Advisor 1)

Dr. Charlotte Knoche

Reader (Advisor 2)

Dr. Robert DeWerff


Professionalism is an important aspect of every career minded individual. Employers desire employees with "professional" attributes. Employees are described in terms of their "professionalism," evaluated in terms of their "professionalism," and many times promoted or released from employment based on their "professionalism" levels. The word is tossed about and, when searching for a definition, one discovers that the word has as many definitions as there are definers. This author, being a health care employee/ manager and an educator, has been assessed and evaluated on her "professionalism," has assessed and evaluated both health care staff and students on their degree of "professionalism," and listened while other educators and health care employees/ managers discussed the level of "professionalism" demonstrated by current students and employees. This author perceived a gap between the "professionalism" expectations of health care managers and educators and the degree of "professionalism" demonstrated by the students and employees. Hence, the purpose of this study, limited to students within ~ private postsecondary educational institution training to become health care professionals, was threefold: first, to establish a limited, working definition of professionalism; second, to concretely determine from employers, faculty, and students the areas of strengths and weaknesses in these professionalism skills; and third, from this information, develop and present a workshop designed to strengthen, or increase the awareness in, the selected professionalism skills, thus increasing the level of professionalism displayed by the students as they enter their chosen health care profession and decreasing the gap between the employer expectation and the employee possession.

This project was conceived, designed, implemented, and evaluated by the author and her collaborator, 0. Jeanne Stoneking. The author concentrated on the professionalism traits (the first four hours of the workshop), which is the focus of this paper. Stoneking concentrated on career readiness (the second four hours of the workshop), concentrating on job search, interviewing, and resume preparation. Each workshop was designed to strengthen traits important for a professional to possess. The students that participated in the study attend the Medical Institute of Minnesota and are enrolled in one of the following six programs: Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (OMS), Histotechnician (HT), Medical Laboratory Technician (ML T), Medical Assistant (MA), Radiologic Technologist (RT), or Radiation Therapist (RTH).


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