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Ethical Practices in Nursing Healthcare

Ethics refer to principles that govern the character, conduct, or attitude of a person. The field of healthcare is not an exception when it comes to ethics. In the 1950s, the American Nurses Association (ANA) created the Code of Ethics, which contained guidelines and standards followed by the nurses (Joseph et al., 2020). The Code of ethics has helped provide a conducive environment besides provided a better association between patients and nurses (Riaz et al., 2017). These guidelines assist the nurse in making critical decisions in case of unavoidable circumstances. Some of these include justice, accountability, fidelity, autonomy, and veracity. Ethics governs the five facts stated above, and hence they are relevant in the field of nursing, aiming to promote better healthcare.

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Firstly, justice is paramount, and therefore nurses need to beware of inequalities caused by differences in age, race, and religion, among others. By understanding these inequalities, nurses can practice fairness, for example, all patience entitled to adequate medical care despite skin color differences. For instance, more attention is paid to young adult patients than older patients can be avoided if nurses practiced social justice. Cases involving religious considerations are situations where a nurse must apply careful decision making and still achieve virtuous healthcare practice.

Secondly, a nurse should be accountable for anything that occurs to the patients when on duty. Professionalism requires a worker to account for successful events in line with duty and deviational occurrence. A nurse must follow all guidelines and account for every relevant detail on healthcare because such record is acting as a statistical tool and a reference tool for the health professionals in solving similar problems that may occur in the future (Amer, 2019). For instance, patients who have cancer may provide statistics that can be used to find a cure for the disease that can save future patients. Therefore, nurses should be accurate in gathering data so that medical officers can extract valuable information from the record and use it to improve future health services.

Thirdly, nurses should be respectful and dedicated to their duties and governed by the attitude of fidelity. Sometimes, nurses may encounter very rude and sentimental patients while on duty. In such a case, it is prudent for the nurse to halt personal interest to offer better care. If the unsettled patient seems to escalate the situation, the nurse can opt to recommend a different professional to handle the case without disrespecting the patient. Therefore, handling pressure at the workplace, ensuring better service through courtesy and providing alternatives shows respectfulness and faithfulness.

Fourthly, patient autonomy can enable them to make individual decisions regarding their treatment and care. However, such a privilege may lead to dilemma for nurses when deciding on the appropriate services for a patient’s wellbeing. The essence of being able to make independent decision is to allow the nurses to improve patient service provision, the health system, and contentedness (Greaney & O’Mathúna, 2017). Whatever the situation, patients should receive care, and have a right to receive care from nurses.

Finally, veracity is also considered when it comes to the nursing profession. Nurses should be ready to provide patients with truthful information regarding their health. In this regard, patients can make personal choices on the grounds of autonomy (Amer, 2019). Honesty promotes trust between the nurse and the patient (Riaz et al., 2017). Patients expect truthfulness from their caregivers to avoid any mistrust and the feeling of being cheated. Therefore, disclosing information to a patient is important and promotes care quality since the nurse establishes candor.

In conclusion, the Code of Ethics constitutes fundamental values which nurses are obligated to follow. Medical workers, such as nurses, must equip themselves with knowledge concerning ethical issues to provide quality services. Since the bottom-line of nursing healthcare is wellness, patient satisfaction should be the compass of medical research and practice. Ethical practices among health workers can only be achieved by emphasizing on the adherence to moral standards and virtues while providing care.

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References

Amer, A. (2019). The ethics of veracity and its importance in the medical ethics. Open Journal of Nursing, 09, 194–198. Web.

Greaney, A.-M., & O’Mathúna, D. P. (2017). Patient autonomy in nursing and healthcare contexts. Key Concepts and Issues in Nursing Ethics, 83–99. Web.

Joseph, M. L., Phillips, B. C., Edmonson, C., Godfrey, N., Liebig, D., Luparell, S., & Weybrew, K. (2020). The nurse leader’s role: A conduit for professional identity formation and sustainability. Nurse Leader. Web.

Riaz, S., Khan, E. A., & Jafar, T. (2017). Ethics in health care settings: Practices of healthcare professionals and perceptions of patients regarding informed consent, confidentiality and privacy at two tertiary care hospitals of Islamabad, Pakistan. Journal of Ayub Medical College Abbottabad, 29(3), 472–476.

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