Ethical standards are essential in all employment settings. Consequently, nurses should be conversant with the guiding principles of nursing (Walsh, 2010). This would enable nurses to provide quality services to patients and work within an acceptable ethical framework. Usually, nurses cooperate with colleagues to provide efficient services to patients. They also work to observe professional ethics in employment settings and to forge close relationships with patients. This paper will explore my professional moral compass. Additionally, it will expose the dilemmas nursing staff face in their practice.
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How personal, cultural, and spiritual values contribute to worldview, philosophy, and practice of nursing
Personal values are essential in motivating one for such practice. Moreover, cultural and spiritual values are also essential aspects. The way I see patients is essential in determining how to care for them. Moreover, my upbringing also determines how I view patients. Furthermore, my spiritual background contributes greatly to nursing practice. For instance, I view patients as people first. This enables me to establish a two-way interaction with them. Essentially, this ensures that patients are fully engaged in the process of caregiving. My personal view creates mutual awareness thereby improving caregiving which aligns with the philosophy of nursing. My cultural values have also enabled me to view patients as multifaceted individuals in a life trajectory. This enables me to help improve the quality of life for patients to help them achieve their visions in life. The spiritual values that have taught me to prioritize human life also influence my worldviews since they enable me to provide the best care.
Defining Values, Morals and Ethics with regards to obligations to the practice of nursing
Values are those things that one believes are important. I prioritize the life of individuals. This enables me to respect human dignity, autonomy, social justice, integrity, and altruism. Morals relate to the standards of bad or good behavior. Nursing morals require that nurses exhibit a high level of accountability and integrity. Moreover, nurses need to show moral courage in their practice. Ethics deals with systematizing wrong or right conduct. Nursing ethics requires following a professional nursing code of conduct when exercising professional duties. Although most of my values align with nursing codes of ethics, some of them create an ethical dilemma in nursing practice. For instance, I am pro-life yet I have to take into consideration the principles of a pro-choice patient. In addition, I must care for patients who have been aborted yet I do not consider abortion as a moral obligation.
Ethical dilemmas challenge nurses in every aspect of their practice. I have faced numerous ethical dilemmas in my profession. Nursing codes of ethics require me to appreciate patients’ right to autonomy. Nonetheless, this affects nurses, especially in pro-life versus pro-choice scenarios (E. Bandman & B. Bandman, 2002). I put it upon myself to support patients whatever her/decision is. My primary role is to ensure patient safety. I, therefore, put patient wellbeing way above any other circumstance. In this regard, I would support patients who have decided to be both pro-life and pro-choice. On the other hand, I would deny patients the right to harm themselves. I would restrict a patient’s freedom if my actions would protect his or her life.
Other ethical dilemmas include honesty or deception for patients with life-threatening conditions. In this case, I can only do my best to protect the patient’s life. Therefore, I would rather deceive the patient if there were reasons beyond doubt that the truth would cause harm. In essence, my primary focus is to protect a patient’s life.
Spirituality means diverse things to different people depending on their beliefs. In most cases, spirituality is associated with religious people such as pastors, clergies, and prophets, among others. Spirituality refers to dominions in the inner life of individuals. It exposes feelings, affection, and intentions (RCN, 2011). Moreover, some consider spirituality as going to churches, mosques, or other religious places. People use various ways to contact their spiritual side. Some of the ways include yoga, prayer, mediation, and the use of songs, among others. Spiritual care is essential in nursing practice since it identifies as well as responds to the needs of the human spirit. On the other hand, Pluralism refers to the acceptance of two or more beliefs that may be religious or not. Scientism tends to focus more on natural science as compared to other branches of learning. Additionally, postmodernism tends to revive historical techniques and elements (Philips, Brown & Stonestreet, 2008).
The term prime reality touches on the very existence of God. Theistic people believe in the existence of God who is constantly involved in our activities. On the other hand, atheistic people do not believe in God. It is essential to note that although theistic people consider God as prime reality, they have different definitions of God. I fall in the bracket of theistic people. I believe that prime reality is God who comes first in our thoughts. I believe that my foremost thoughts at any time start with God because God is present and real in my worldview (Sire, 2004).
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The nature of the world around us
Based on one’s belief, an individual can view the world as autonomous or created. Moreover, he or she can view the world as orderly or chaotic. Furthermore, one can refer to the world as a spirit or matter. I believe that God created the world. In addition, I believe that God created everything in the world. I also believe that the world is orderly although we tend to make it disorderly and that it is the matter since it occupies space and has weight. Scientific and religious beliefs tend to agree on the world is the matter.
A human being
Some worldviews consider a human being as a sleeping god. On the other hand, other worldviews consider people as naked apes. Moreover, some beliefs also consider human beings as a vastly multifaceted machine or as a creation in the image of God. All these views depend on one’s spirituality. I believe that God created man. I also think that human beings were created in the image of God (Philips, Brown & Stonestreet, 2008). This perspective tends to differ from that of scientism.
What happens to a person at death?
Several views have been raised concerning what happens to a person at death or after death. While some views posit that one becomes extinct at death, others believe that one transforms to a higher level. Additionally, some perspectives believe that one moves to a shadowy existence while others argue that one is reincarnated after death. I believe that people who die in Christ go to paradise while those who die in sin go to hell at death (Sire, 2004).
Why it is possible to know anything at all?
Some theorists believe that knowing anything is because of the impetuous development of our consciousness and rationality. This perspective tends to emphasize the fact that these developments come from the adaptation and evolution process. On the other hand, some theorists believe that God developed people’s conscience at creation. I believe in the latter view since we are made in the image of God who knows everything. It is only clear that God made it possible for people to know things around them.
How do we know what is right or wrong?
Some theorists believe that knowing good or bad develops impetuously as people develop in their culture. This perspective also posits that people learn from mistakes as they keep developing in society. Another perspective argues that God created humans and enabled them to know both good and bad. I believe that God gave people the ability to choose what is right or wrong. Moreover, God enabled humans to justify and analyze their actions. In this regard, right or wrong is determined by an individual’s choice.
The meaning of human history
Human history has been a contentious topic in the world for decades. While Christians, Muslims, and other religious sectors believe that God created humankind, scientists are assured that people are the result of the process of evolution. Knowing the origin of people defines the meaning of human history. Some believe that human existence has no meaning since they come and go. However, I believe that God authored human history. That means God had a plan for people even before they were created. God wanted to establish an eternal paradise for people to live holy and loving life.
Bandman, E. & Bandman, B. (2002). Nursing Ethics Through the Life Span. (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Philips, G., Brown, W. & Stonestreet, J. (2008). Making Sense of your World: A Biblical Worldview (2nd ed.). Salem, WI: Sheffield Publishing Company.
RCN (2011). Spirituality in Nursing Care: A Pocket Guide. Web.
Sire, J. (2004). The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog (4th ed.). Westmont, IL: Intervarsity Press.
Walsh, A. (2010). Pulling the Heartstrings, Arguing the Case: A Narrative Response to the Issue of Moral Agency in Moral Distress. Journal of Medical Ethics, 36(1), 746-749.