Importance of Ethics in Nursing
Principles of Nursing Profession
Ethics are a fundamental part of nursing. All nurses should have respect for their patients, protect their rights and maintain dignity. Nurses should create a favorable environment for mutual trust and respect between the patients and rest of healthcare professionals. Nursing may include checkups and revealing of personal information. As a nurse, patients entrust you with their dignity hence it is your responsibility to guard their privacy, listen to the concerns and consider their wish about the kind of care they prefer to receive.
Role of Nursing Ethics in Working Environment
Nurses may work alone or with the other healthcare professionals. The collaboration between nurses, colleagues, and doctors is an important aspect of quality and safety of patient care.
Nurses perform their duties based on the instructions by physicians or make their judgment when it is necessary. Nursing ethics include fair and equable treatment for all the patients regardless of the following factors:
- Economic status
- Sexual orientation
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Ethical Responsibility of the Nurses
Nurses should maintain a high level of professional competency by participating in professional development and continuing their education. The ethical responsibilities for nurses include promotion of health, alleviating suffering and preventing disease.
Code of Ethics for Nurses states that nurses have the responsibility to provide care to patients as well as their families or associated groups. The code lays emphasis on the fact that at times, patient care goes beyond an individual. At such times, it is essential to inform the family, community, or business associates about the treatment of a patient and its progress. Sharing patient information should only occur when it is appropriate and within patient privacy laws.
Ethics in Nursing and Morality
Nurses are responsible for reporting any immoral behavior by other professionals. They should inform their staff leader about healthcare professionals who they find engaging in illegal activities, work with non-reported impairment or demonstrate incompetence. Additionally, nurses should intervene is they come into contact with patients who are victims of sexual, domestic, child or elder abuse. They also must report cases of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis.
Balancing Job Performance and Nursing Ethics
Ethical nursing makes up a framework for maximum patient care. Ethics is at the forefront of nursing, but nurses should balance the requirements of the healthcare systems that they work in and needs of their patients. For instance, American Nurses Association recommends that the nurses should do the following:
- Honor and support the rights of their patients
- Advocate for ethical nursing practice
- Serve on the ethics committees
- Resist any compromise on ethics
- Educate nursing students about ethics
The priority of a nurse is to focus on the kind of care and rights of the patients. They should put aside any prejudices on the situation and demeanor. For example, a nurse must treat an incarcerated patient in the same way as other law abiding persons. They should also find a way of taming a hostile patient and provide the same level of care they offer to amicable patients.
As a nurse, you can offer advice, but a patient has a right to make their decisions about health care. Part of the decision includes accepting or refusing to get treatment. Patients expect to get accurate and full information about their health conditions. Since the nurses are knowledgeable about medical terminology, it is their role to explain information to their patients for them to understand and determine the best options.
The bar for sticking to ethics in nursing is high because, for 14 years in a row, Gallup poll rates it as the most ethical and honest profession.
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