Code of Ethics Provision 4 is concerned with the principle of responsibility for nurses’ activities and treatment. It is the professional and ethical duty of a nurse to provide, to the extent of their competence, emergency medical care to anyone in need of it. In addition, nurses are personally responsible for the quality of nursing care and the level of the training. However, this statement presents a challenge for a nurse since it makes her or him responsible for their education. The Code provides a solution by telling that educators must collaborate with their students to assess their learning needs (American Medical Association, 2016). In this way, it would be possible for medical workers to keep up with innovations in the field of healthcare services.
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There is no doubt this Code provides several virtues for nurses and patients as well. First of all, it states that as a member of the medical community, it is the nurses’ responsibility to ensure the availability and high quality of nursing care for the population. However, another important factor that should be taken into consideration is that healthcare professionals should be taken accountable for their actions (American Medical Association, 2016). In other words, the responsibility of a nurse means that his or her every action should be done with the benefit to the patient. A medical professional still has the right to make independent decisions during treatment; however, they should be considered carefully.
Another interesting virtue is that medical care professionals are allowed to assign their work to other nurses. It can present several challenges; for instance, a nurse would wish to delegate the responsibility of his or her actions to another nurse. Fortunately, a Code offers a solution by stating that only tasks should be entrusted to other workers. In addition, a nurse is personally accountable for the quality of the work not only to patients but to their families, workgroups, and the whole community.
Code of Ethics Provision in nursing is similar to its namesake in pharmacy. The topic of responsibility and being held accountable for the staff’s actions is present in both documents. Pharmacists are also liable for the quality of their work since they have several obligations to an individual patient, to the community, and society as a whole. Moreover, the pharmaceutical worker must maintain the prestige of his or her work and the relevance of knowledge. For this reason, as nurses, pharmacists should keep up with new medication, acquire and maintain knowledge on drugs and technology. Specialized pharmaceutical education gives a worker the right to be responsible for the rational distribution of medicine. As a result, there is an apparent need for both types of professionals to educate themselves on such topics because the quality of their service depends on it.
Based on the current advances in healthcare technology, it seems there would be no apparent need to revise the provision in 15 years. The reason for this is that the responsibility for nursing judgment and actions cannot be passed to technology. It can certainly support nurses in assessing their competence and obtaining knowledge by providing educational material, but the responsibility cannot be delegated to it. The same statement is accountable for distributing tasks between workers. For this reason, it would be unnecessary to revise Provision 4.
American Medical Association. (2016). AMA principles of medical ethics. Web.