The pillars of professionalism

Professionalism – ethical, patient-centred, communicative behaviour – is just as essential as any other dimension of practice, says Becky McGall.

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Professionalism is often taken for granted – but qualification alone does not necessarily confer it. According to the College, professionalism in optometry is defined as being honest and knowledgeable; acting ethically in the best interests of patients; applying knowledge; improving competence and critical judgement; communicating effectively with patients, colleagues, other health professionals and the wider community; and actively following professional guidance (COptom, 2014). 

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