As a future professional in the field of psychology, knowing the code of conduct as well as the general principles of ethics is essential for ensuring that patients receive the care they deserve. After reviewing the American Psychological Association, APA (2016) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, the principle A – Beneficence and nonmaleficence – was chosen as the focus. My future work is likely to involve being in a psychiatric facility and dealing with complex patient cases, which means that I will have to use all of my professional abilities to benefit those with whom I work. Patients in such facilities can often struggle with self-harm, depression, anxiety, physical complications, and so on. I see my responsibility as safeguarding their well-being and contributing to their lives through applying my professional knowledge.
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Because patients in a psychiatrist facility are often stigmatized, the ethical standard of beneficence and nonmaleficence also aligns with the principles of overcoming the stigma of disability (Behnke, 2009). It is important for mental health specialists to recognize what challenges their patients face. By doing so, they might benefit patients in the most effective way possible, ensuring that no harm has been done. For example, it is essential to find a treatment that will not deter a patient’s physical condition for the sake of improving his or her mental state. A psychologist must use professional judgment and care for identifying how their actions may influence patients’ lives as well as for alerting against any problem that can lead to the worsening of a patient’s well-being (APA, 2016). Thus, I see my future work at a psychiatric facility as challenging because it will continuously encourage me to find the most ethical options of treatment to promote beneficence and avoid maleficent actions that decrease patients’ health and lead to further complications.
The principle of non-discrimination is also essential to consider in the case of working with patients from a psychiatric facility. It is important to recognize that mental issues can develop in patients from all backgrounds and with any health history. For me, as a professional in the field of psychology, it is imperative to become an advocate for patients of diverse backgrounds to unite them together as a small community and to treat them according to their needs and not their societal status (Walden University, 2013a). In my opinion, patient education is the most viable solution in this case because it will allow patients to share their experiences and help each other understand the challenges of discrimination that they have encountered.
Lastly, in order to ensure principles of beneficence and nonmaleficence, it is my goal as a professional to have a solid educational background and research proficiency. As a professional, I should include my skills, individual knowledge, and past accomplishments in choosing the direction for future learning and practice (Walden University, 2013b). During academic work, I was expected to evaluate my readiness to participate in research. Now, ready to become a professional in psychology, I am also expected to choose the direction in which my work will be headed. I have set the goal of providing ethical and empathetic care to patients that I serve through applying professional knowledge and human understanding for minimizing harm. In addition, I also acknowledge the importance of maintaining personal mental and physical health for improving my ability to help those with whom I work.
Behnke, S. (2009). Disability as an ethical issue. Monitor on Psychology, 40(6), 62.
Walden University. (2013a). Code of conduct.
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Walden University. (2013b). Professional development plan.