Making Moral and Ethical Decisions in Nursing | Free Essay Example

Making Moral and Ethical Decisions in Nursing

Words: 549
Topic: Health & Medicine

Discussion Prompt 1

Making moral and ethical decisions is one of the challenging tasks that nurses have to face every day. It remains apparent that the profession of a nurse is associated with several obligations since a nurse is responsible for the lives of the patients. In the context of this discussion, I answered the survey that was surveyed on physician-assisted suicide (PAS), as this practice is still under vehement debate (Downar, Bailey, Kagan, & Librach, 2014). I can state that answering some of the questions was rather difficult, and it was the primary reason for the majority of moderate responses. For example, the actual situations, when the patient did not want to continue the treatment, were highly emotional. As on the one hand, I wanted to help a patient, but on the other side, my related actions would not comply with the Code of Ethics. Simultaneously, I despised the nurse, who could have been infected with Ebola.

When making these decisions, I relied on critical thinking methods, legal framework, and ethics. A combination of these practices guided my thoughts and perceptions of the situations and provided a rationale for choosing a particular option. Nonetheless, apart from relying on legislation when selecting an answer, I would still prefer anonymity. Overall, it could be said that these surveys are very helpful since similar cases often take place in clinical practice, and nurses have to face ethical dilemmas. I would say that this instrument would have a positive impact on my career as a nurse, as now, I can evaluate a situation from dissimilar angles, comply with the regulations and ethics, satisfy the preferences of the patients, and minimize the percentage of active and latent errors.

Discussion Prompt 2

It is evident that the safety of patients is dependent on the actions of the nurses, and sometimes, they make errors. In this case, active errors are the mistakes that have an immediate influence on the patient and may potentially hurt his/her health (Steiger, Etminan, & Hanggi, 2015). One of the examples is making a mistake during surgery or giving the wrong medication to a patient. These faults may result in severe medical complications or death. In this case, monitoring and control procedures such as punishments have to be enhanced while the administration has to provide a favorable working environment for nurses and physicians. Nevertheless, finding the core of the problem has to be prioritized.

At the same time, latent errors also tend to take place. Nonetheless, the occurrence of these problems is highly linked to the insufficient organization of the processes in the hospital, as they may provoke medical professionals to make mistakes (Balakrishnan, 2015). In this case, one of the examples is the issue of staffing. At my workplace, due to the lack of the workforce, nurses and other medical professionals have to work extra hours, and this matter might not only result in burnout but also increase the percentage of active medical errors due to the inappropriate nurse-to-patient ratio. Another matter is not following safety regulations during different procedures (Steiger et al., 2015). In this case, one of the potential strategies to avoid them is to monitor working processes continuously and propose relevant adjustments. Taking advantage of this method will help diminish the frequency of active and latent errors.


Balakrishnan, N. (2015). Dependability of medicine and neurology: Using engineering and management principles for better patient care. New York, NY: Springer.

Downar, J., Bailey, T., Kagan, J., & Librach, L. (2014). Physician-assisted death: Time to move beyond yes or no. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 186(8), 567-568.

Steiger, H., Etminan, N., & Hanggi, D. (2015). Microsurgical brain aneurysm: Illustrated concepts and cases. New York, NY: Springer.