The expectation of adhering to core ethical elements sets AAPC apart from other certifying organizations. These core ethical standards assist in assuring public confidence in the integrity and professionalism of AAPC members. One of the core ethical principles of professional conduct is respect.

To assess your level of respectfulness, answer the following questions:

  • Are you considerate of other people?
  • Do you treat people the way you want to be treated?
  • How do you react to others with different opinions?
  • Do you treat people with dignity, courtesy, and civility?
  • Do you strive to solve problems in a positive manner?
  • Do you intentionally ridicule, embarrass, or hurt others?

Respect is important in everyday life. We are taught respect from an early age. We are taught to respect our parents, teachers, siblings, and elders. We are taught to respect school rules, the feelings of others, family and cultural traditions, our country and its leaders, and the law. It is important for members to respect the right of others to express their opinions, including opinions differing from our own.

Self-respect is the foundation of a positive direction in life. Developing and maintaining a strong sense of self-respect can help fulfill your potential. Consistently conducting yourself in this manner will help you develop healthy relationships and will let others see you as a person worthy of respect. Respecting yourself, appreciating your own good qualities, and highlighting the positive in other people's lives will help you earn the respect of others.

Self-respect can be, in part, demonstrated by your appearance. If you seek respect, consider putting time and effort into your appearance. You should practice good grooming habits and dress neatly. Clothes do not need to be expensive; however, they should be in good condition and laundered. Practice good hygiene and take care of your health.

How you present yourself in oral and written communication is also important. Practice good grammar and use appropriate and professional language in your verbal and written communications.

Respecting the rights and privacy of others as well as the confidentiality requirements of your workplace, AAPC, or other organizations is an important reflection of your degree of professional conduct. Ethical professionals do not violate confidences or talk about others in a derogatory manner. Ethical people treat others with dignity.

Finally, professional coders should demonstrate respect for the credentials they hold and the organization to which they belong. Respecting your credentials requires continuous diligence in not only maintaining, but improving your level of professional competence. This requires meeting your continuing education requirements and challenging yourself to go beyond the minimum standards. Respect for our organization does not prohibit criticism or the free sharing of ideas, but does require you to do so constructively.

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