Most professional healthcare organizations have defined a mission statement, a code of ethics, and core values. These three documents must be agreement with each other and work together to define the organization. A mission statement communicates the overall purpose of the organization, and uses concepts such as philosophy or distinctive factors (Babnik, Breznik, & Dermol, 2014). A code of ethics is defined as “one of the characteristics of a profession.
It is defined by the profession through the professional association and serves to inform members of that profession and society about the profession’s expectations in ethical matters” (Kikuchi, 2005). Finally, core values are the chosen principles or virtues on which importance is placed (Fremgen, 2009). Here we will discuss these aspects of the American Nurses Association (ANA), as well as the relationship between the organizations goals, social responsibility, and the congruence between the ethical values and those of the professionals who belong to the organization.
The nurse, in all professional relationships, practice with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth and uniqueness of every individual, unrestricted by considerations of social or economic status, personal attributes, or the nature of health problems. The nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient, whether an individual, family, group or community. The nurse promotes, advocates for, and strives to protect the health, safety and rights of the patient.
The nurse owes the same duties to self as to others, including the responsibility to preserve integrity and safety, to maintain competence, and to continue personal and professional growth. The nurse participates in establishing, maintaining and improving health care environments and conditions of employment conducive to the provision of quality health care and consistent with the values of the profession through individual and collective action. The nurse participates in the advancement of the profession through contributions to practice, education, administration and knowledge development.
The nurse collaborates with other health professionals and the public promoting community, national and international efforts to meet health needs. The profession of nursing, as represented by associations and their members, is responsible for articulating nursing values, for maintaining the integrity of the profession and its practice, and for shaping social policy. The relationship between an association’s nurse’s culture, ethical behavior and decision making can be divided into severe parts.
According to the Ethics Resource Center when serving the health care industry place more emphasis on profit, they risk losing their integrity. Health care practices that are more concerned with their place in the market often face greater challenges in maintaining ethical standards. Administrators, doctors and other health care workers provide ineffective care when their priorities become skewed. Care eventually is eroded when the organization’s culture promotes greed and power over patient-centered care.
Now there are seven guidelines in making ethic decision making when individuals find themselves in the position to make decisions, they should first consider some of the guidelines associated with ethical decision-making, and keep these in mind throughout the entire decision-making process. Nurses deal with people during some of the most vulnerable times in their lives. It is therefore critical that there be a clear description of the duties and obligations that are an integral part of being a nurse. A high standard of ethics and personal responsibility is imperative.
The American Nurses Association Code of Ethics is a nine-part that defines the expectations and responsibilities of the professional nurse. A code of ethics makes the primary values, obligations, and goals of a profession explicit. The American Nurses Association code of ethics serves a few purposes. It is a succinct statement of the ethical obligations and duties of every individual who enters the nursing profession. It is also the professions nonnegotiable ethical standard. The American Nurses Association code of ethics is also an expression of nursing’s own understanding of its commitment to society (ANA, n. d. ).
Part of the statement of purpose, or mission statement, is that the American Nurses Association is dedicated to ensuring that an adequate supply of highly skilled and well educated nurses are available. The American Nurses Association is committed to meeting the needs of nurses as well as health care consumers. The code of ethics for nurses was established as an example for handling the responsibilities as a nurse in a behavior consistent with quality nursing care and the ethical responsibilities of the occupation. One ethical theory the American Nurses Association bases their code of ethics on is ethical relativism.
They believe that people’s opinions vary from society to society and what one person believes is right is not necessarily what another person believes. This relates particularly to autonomy due to the fact that each individual is allowed to make their own decisions based on their care. The patient has the choice to accept or decline the care offered by their medical provider. the medical team has to abide by the patients choice whether or not they agree with it. another ethical theory that the American Nurses Association stands behind is deontology.
Deontology, according to American Nurses Association (2014), “examines a situation for the essential moral worth of the intention of act, or rightness or wrongness of the act”. This theory correlates well with beneficence because it essentially means to be compassionate. As a nurse it is important to attempt and do well in every aspect of your job but it is most important to strive to help each individual to the best of ability. Most codes of ethics have little to say regarding charter and virtue, as such moral values are difficult to methodize than rules and principles of behavior.
The American Nurses Association code is arguably unique in its relative emphasis on virtue and character, most especially the virtue of compassion. Most ethicists today recognize the importance of virtue and character in concert with the recognition of rules and principles in order to achieve a more complete and fulfilling moral life and in order to more sincerely and authentically discharge one’s moral duties. Even in the American Nurses Association code, the primary intended interpretation is likely to have been deontological and contractarian, but the importance of character and virtue is not ignored either.