Professionalism within Podiatric practice
Ellis, Mairghread JH
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Ellis, M. (2009) Professionalism within Podiatric practice, Podiatry Now, vol. 12, , pp. 15-26,
Background: Podiatry aims and professes to undertake patient-centred practice. However, no podiatric literature was sourced that examines or discusses that most central component of our practice - the nature of our relationship with our patients; nor has any published research specifically focussed on this area. Aim: This study aimed to explore the nature of the patient-podiatrist relationship from the perspective of both private and National Health Service practitioners. Methodological approach: A phenomenological approach, with a hermeneutic focus, was utilised to construct meaning and understanding from the data of semi-structured interviews with eight participants. The researcher acknowledges herself as situated within the research, and a reflexive approach is demonstrated throughout. Iterative thematic analysis was undertaken to enable development of meaning and understanding. Findings: Findings were developed into six categories - relationship, engagement, role, image, reward and personal development, coming together in one overarching theme, that of professionalism. Discussion and application: Professionalism is discussed through the concept of macro- and micro-professionalism. The patient-podiatrist relationship can be a lens through which to consider aspects of micro-professionalism. This research proposes that professionalism be redefined from an explicit and public corporate concept, to its demonstration at an individual level - accepting that it is indeed professional to 'care', both for and about the patient, and that caring is beneficial to both patient and practitioner.