The exciting part of nursing! or so I thought. Professional ethics, I call it the line of demarcation or boundary between a student and a professional. It gives light and guidance to "what is okay" and "what is not," or better yet “what is legal” or “what is not”.
Nursing Code of Ethics is the legal aspect of nursing practice. Before you even start your first day of work, familiarize your self with the legalities of your profession. You don't want your hard earned licensed facing a lawsuit against a patient, family member, co-worker or your manager right? so start it Right. choose wisely!
Quinn and Smith (1987) note that professional life is a source of duties and values critical to a nurse’s daily practice. Being a nurse is a joy meeting “angelic patients” and tough at times dealing with self-centered arrogant creatures (sorry for the term but its true!).
Your ultimate goal is to help but people can accuse you of cruel intentions, How cruel! There are times that you want to shout in front of their faces just to let out steam and cry out, “I’m not your slave!” or “I can’t be in two places at once!”
As unique human beings, nurse’s values should not conflict with those of the client. Nurses strive for a self-awareness to help us understand attitudes and feelings and control behavior in professional relationships. Keep in mind that objectivity enhances the ability to act in a disciplined and knowledgeable way when assisting clients with health related problems.
This is when I use autosuggestion in my mind, “Relax sherrylyn this is not about you, this is about your job as a Nurse, close your eyes for a moment and have a nice deep breath…” most of the time it helps. It may take some time, just be patient and learn to shake it off!
Most ethical dilemmas involve conflicts over philosophies, values, and professional duties. A dilemma is a situation requiring a choice between equally desirable or undesirable alternatives (Curtin and Flaherty, 1982)
- Personal Liberty of Action
- Promote client decision-making.
- Support clients right to informed consent.
- Make decisions when client’s choice poses harm.
- Autonomy is truly exercised when members of the health care team agree to importance of autonomy.
-Duty to do no harm
- Avoid deliberate harm, risk of harm, and harm that occurs during
performance of nursing actions.
- Consider degree of risk morally permissible.
- Determine whether use of technological advances provides
benefits that outweigh risks.
-Doing or active promotion of good
- Provide health benefits to clients.
- Balance benefit and harm.
- Consider how client is best helped.
-Fairness or equity
- Ensures fair allocation of resources, such as appropriate staffing or
mix-of-staff, to all clients.
- Determines the order in which clients should be treated; for example,
clients in pain are treated first.
As a CAREGIVER whether you are a Nursing Assistant (NA), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Registered Nurse (RN) all of us are LEADERS in our own simple little ways. The people that surrounds us respect our know-how and by so doing have expectations from us.
An expectation of others to be honest, trustworthy, protect privacy, wise decision maker, protector, caring, client advocate, comforter, teacher and most of all - a Leader!