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People entering Respiratory Care bring with them a wide variety of skills, experiences, abilities, needs, values, expectations, and aspirations. The challenge of becoming a professional involves participating in collective behaviors and a common set of values that establishes a group identity that can be recognized by others. We consider respiratory care practitioners to be health care professionals and are surprised when patients or others fail to see us as we see ourselves. This presentation is intended to provide insights into what it means to be a professional. Part of being a professional is to:
  1. serve the needs of society.
  2. understand the characteristics of professionalism.
  3. behave in a professional manner.
  4. enhance and promote professional image.