In the course of nursing practice in the case of the elderly, there are many instances where ethical issues have arisen as a result of differences in the course of care. Various topics of interest in the care of the elderly including quality of life, long-term care and planning as well as other issues of interest have raised ethical questions in nurses. There have been instances where nurses have openly faulted each other for lack of knowledge in a specific area of interest. This paper will deal with some ethical issues in the course of elderly care.
Cultural biases have been found to exist in the course of daily practice and are things that can easily be adjusted by the nurse in the course of practice. Cultural biases are social views that may affect the objectivity of person who is practicing whether they are religious, or otherwise. As human beings, nurses are still open to stereotyping. As such, nurses have often been found to encounter such cultural biases that have shaped their social lives in the course of practice. The beliefs about aging must thus be examined for their truth, even among nurses (Hartman-Stein & Potkanowicz, 2003). It is necessary for the nurse to have an objective or evidence-based, view of the aging process and the care for the elderly. Nurses must thus be careful of cultural biases that they have concerning the care for the elderly in order to ensure that the proper approaches are taken to give the elderly best quality of care.
As a part of the duty that nurses have, there is a duty for the nurse to educate the members of the public concerning the care for the elderly. However, their educative role extends to the assurance that they are equally knowledgeable about the current affairs in caring for the elderly. Instances where nurses have not understood the difference between long-term care and nursing home care should not be the case where there is availability of a wealth of information on the same. Moreover, instances where nurses publicly admit of their lack of knowledge on various subjects such as Medicare should not be the case (Edlund, Lufkin, & Franklin, 2003). Therefore, an ethical role of the caregiver in assuring the patient of quality care is having their information right. Thus, the knowledge of the right information will be an assurance that the nurse can provide the best quality care to the patient in question.
Moreover, geriatric populations are also a cause for concern for caregivers. In todays age where there are many grandparents who happen to be the caregivers for children, it is necessary to have the appropriate education for the care of individuals who are elderly, yet care for the children who are in their custody (Mion, 2003). Good quality care and ethical practice will also involve education to the elderly on their role as geriatric populations. Nurses must also keep up with emerging practices in their areas of care. For example, elderly people nurses are now facing new needs such as the geriatric populations that they have to care for.
As a result, emerging issues in the care industry necessitate the development of nurse knowledge in handling such circumstances to ensure effectiveness of care. Nurses must be aware of current trends such as caring for geriatric populations, having sufficiency of information concerning the population they care for as well as avoid cultural biases in the administration of care.
Edlund, B., Lufkin, S., & Franklin, B. (2003). Long-term care planning for baby boomers: addressing an uncertain future. Online Journal of Nursing Issues.
Hartman-Stein, P., & Potkanowicz, E. (2003). Behavioral determinants of healthy aging: good news for baby boomer generations. Online Journal of Nursing Issues.
Mion, L. (2003). Care provision for older adults: who will provide. Online Journal of Nursing Issues.
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