I believe ethics play a pivotal role in many professions. I have interacted with many professionals before coming to this conclusion. The nursing profession, in particular, has a clear foundation on ethics. It is ethics that allows them as medical professionals to make tough decisions when needed. Their ethical foundations further aid them in their effort to understand how best handle medical dilemmas without harming or in convincing the parties involved.
In my understanding, nurses also rely on ethics to establish decisions that have far-reaching consequences culturally, socially, and professionally (Grace, 2014). Their decisions go a long way in regulating behaviour and conduct in their work areas. This is greatly fundamental due to the role played by nurses in creating environments that enable care to individuals of different ages, groups, families, and communities. Ethics thus advocate for a safe environment that allows for the realization of health policy and management.
General observation is that nursing and ethics correlate in many respects. Nursing is anchored in key facets of justice that cover human rights. The fundamental purposes of nursing look at the promotion of life, dignity, and alleviation of suffering. All these virtues are enshrined in the bill of rights as per the UN global charter (Grace, 2014).Human rights have always been established to promote autonomy, independence, and non-interference which nursing affords to its immediate public. The ethics of nursing thus facilitate nurses to be effective in their mandate as caregivers.
There are a number of theories that explain ethics in nursing. Firstly, consequentialism is used to highlight the link between action and effect. Nurses in their endeavours ought to conduct themselves I an ethical way with a focus on the result of their actions. The theory thus stipulates the correlation between nursing as a profession and its intended implications. Deontology, on the other hand, as an ethical theory posits that nurses ought to place value in their conduct and intentions. The theory advances the need for nurses to be dutiful as per their mandate to be dubbed ethical. Another ethical construct focuses on virtue. The nurses ought to radiate moral characteristics that will enable them to execute their roles ethically. By being virtuous, nurses can easily incorporate qualities. Principalism is the next school of thought within the nursing ethics (Grace, 2014). The ethical constructs of principalism are mainly autonomy, non-malfeasance, justice and beneficence. All these elements attempt to show the compatibility of individual, societal or religious belief systems.
When it comes to testing and application of ethics within the nursing field, the conduct of nurses in many medical establishments can be reviewed. Ethics can be observed in how the nurses converse with the patients. A nurse ought to appear caring and understanding in the way he or she relates topatient. The nurse should adopt a clam demeanour and incorporate emotional stability in his or her endeavours (Lachman, 2006).
Ethics can also be observed in the way a nurse divulges critical information to patients and their loved ones. He or she should incorporate empathy and dignity in the communication. Privacy being a key facet in ethics can also be observed in how nurses handle information given to them by patients and other medical practitioners in confidence.
Professional Responsibilities and Ethical Standards
Professional ethical standards are essential in ensuring that individuals conduct themselves diligently within their areas of specialization. The standards further ensure one is accountable for his or her actions. The accountability ensures that an individual can defend his or her outcomes in line with the expected outcomes. The standards ensure that only qualified the necessary services to their intended clients.
The knowledge should fall under set merits for it to be termed standard and worth for the market (Lachman, 2006). Professional responsibilities delve on how the duties and expectations accorded to professionals. The responsibilities arestipulated in codes provided in a workplace. Professional responsibility is essentially anchored on individual diligence and role within an organization. Professional responsibility is focussed on meeting moral and ethical obligations within a work setting or as demanded by profession.
Nursing as a profession has its own professional responsibility. Nurses in their training are taught how best to execute their roles in collaboration with other professionals. In nursing, professional responsibility goes hand in hand with professional responsibilities which are founded on a number of areas. Patient interests should always be paramount. The interests are above any bias or prejudice.
The nurses have the responsibility to tender to the patients by provided care and attention (Grace, 2014). Their actions ought to exude compassion and professionalism. Through their training, nurses ought to act as intermediaries between patients and their doctors. They should also be effective in their mandate of communicating the patients concerns to other parties such as visitors and doctors. As for accountability, the nurses ought to focus on the responsibility nurses take for their actions as they go about their duties. Every decision a nurse takes ought to be justifiable due to the sensitivity involved.
Professional responsibility can be analysed through set ethical standards. The nurses ought to be knowledgeable of the code of conduct in the hospital setting. They need to be also aware of the professional ethics learnt in nursing college. The knowledge enables them to execute their duties by incorporating acceptable norms which are part of their professional responsibility (Grace, 2014). For instance, the advocacy role played by the nurses ought to be carried out effectively. They act as the patients advocate when it comes to legal rights, general rights and privacy protections. The nurse thus is expected to provide these services as part of a professional mandate (Lachman, 2006). Ethically, all these services should be initiated through set procedures that are cognizant of patients and institutional rights.
The professional responsibility and ethical standards apply to any profession. Nursing as a profession has its disciplinary measures and systems. This is anchored in the need to establish compliance and regulate the conduct of their nurses in their respective capacities. The disciplinary measures are effected when complaints by colleagues, patients or any other raise concerns regarding an individual performance of duties.
Through managerial systems within a medical facility, a code of ethics is availed to a nurse to ensure that he or she endeavours to pursue set rules and regulations in their mandate. Ethical standards can be evaluated and amended with time to incorporate emerging issues within the discharge of duties. To test the professional responsibility and competence of nurse, there is a need to verify a nurses credentials and work experience (Lachman, 2006). It is through this verification process nurses can be ascertained whether they are fit for a medical establishments demands and roles.
Grace, P. J. (2014). Nursing ethics and professional responsibility in advanced practice. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Lachman, V. D. (2006). Applied ethics in nursing. New York: Springer Pub. Co.
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