The code of ethics is an important part of the nursing foundation where nurses are directed to practice with compassion and respect for human dignity, responsibility, accountability, confidentiality and patient safety (ANA, 2012). Nurses are expected to follow this professional morals and values but also to practice their own personal standards as well. Values are one’s fundamental beliefs acquired from childhood through family and society. Morals are values that attribute to a system of beliefs. Ethics is the ability to make right and wrong decision based on adopted morals (Navran F. J., 2010). Every human is shaped according to their culture, spiritual and individual values that were instilled upon them by their family and community and in the nursing world, one nurses’ beliefs may differ from how others may practice nursing and handle ethical dilemmas. The culture this author grew up on expects the younger generation to be respectful, compassionate, responsible and be accountable for own mistakes. This author believes that every human is entitled to have the same equal treatment without prejudice.
These characteristics shaped this author’s personal beliefs that as a nurse, this author has an obligation to the patients to provide them with such regard. Nurses are always impelled to give the best quality care to their patients and address all their concerns. This author feels responsible to keep patient safe, secured and comfortable at all times and keeping them informed regarding their treatments and condition along the way. Spiritual value has always been a challenging topic outside healthcare but this author learned that when a patient is in a difficult situation, beliefs could be set aside to find the best solution for the patient. There has been many controversies regarding blood transfusion and Jehovah Witness religion and as a nurse, this author do not feel that it is appropriate to interfere with a patient’s decision if they opted to follow their spiritual obligation regardless of life and death situation.
Every human has their own personal beliefs and own values which forms over their lifetime by analysis of their own observation. Nursing as a profession symbolizes many values such as honesty, responsibility, providing care to patients equally and with dignity (Gokenbach, 2012). The obligation every nurse has in the society and their patient is to provide the care they are entitled and respect their wishes to the best of their ability. Patients give their trust to their caregiver that they are receiving proper care, safe treatments and correct medications. This author believes that nurses have a moral obligation to be impartial with every patient that they encounter and to provide the same courtesy even with a difficult patient. For instance, when there is a patient who complains of pain at all times and the reports from other nurses states that the patient is a pain medication seeker, this author will not disqualify the patient’s complaints and still provide the proper care and treatments needed and ordered by the physician.
But this is a dilemma that can also place a nurse in a difficult situation since nurses are obligated to treat subjective pain complaints but finds this to be unsafe as it may lead to pain addiction. According to CDC, Drug overdose has been climbing since 1990 and most of the deaths connected to it were prescription drugs. When nurses are faced with this dilemma, the most ethical thing to do is to educate the patient on the risks, monitor the effect of the pain medication and offer pain management programs for their own safety. Ethical dilemmas provide a great amount of stress and anxiety to nurses, which can affect how they are able to provide safest care to their patients. One of the biggest ethical dilemmas that this author face in everyday practice is how doctors do not give enough time for their patients because of the amounts of patients they are to see in a given day.
This author has encountered doctors who are not completely assessing their patients when they round and do not have the best bedside manner since they are always in a hurry. Many of the complaints received from patients were that doctors leave their room so fast and were unable to ask any questions related to their care. It puts nurses in a very difficult situation since nurses are not able to respond to patients with all honesty when being asked about the doctor’s qualifications. How do you explain to the patient that a profitable company means protecting the people who bring in the profit and disregarding the fact that the patients are not getting what they deserve and the care that they need in the first place. Being that patients is this authors priority, this author continues to advocate for them by speaking with their doctors and other healthcare members connected with their care to find solution and answers.
This author persevere in making healthcare management aware of the situations involving patient dissatisfactions with their doctors and hoping that it will one day be resolved. This author’s professional moral compass compels this author to provide the best care in a responsible, reliable, honest and compassionate way. Although faced with everyday dilemmas in nursing practice, the values this author has learned from nursing practice is what motivates this author to continue doing the right thing by remaining responsible, accountable, respectful and keeping patients safe. The everyday experience this author has gained from these dilemmas is what provides strength and knowledge in finding the direction this author wanted to take.
American Nurses Association: Nursing World (2012). Code of Ethics for Nurses. http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/EthicsStandards/CodeofEthicsforNurses Navran, F. J. (2010). Defining Values, Morals, and Ethics. Palm Coast, Florida, USA. Gokenbach, V., (2012) Nurse Together. Professionalism in Nursing: What Does it Really Mean? http://www.nursetogether.com/Career/Career-Article/itemId/2245/Professionalism-in-Nursing-What-does-this-really-.aspx Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012) Policy Impact: Prescription Painkillers. http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/rxbrief/
My Nursing Ethic
Complete the questions below.
PASSION: Why am I here?
Nursing profession accomplished my goal to know the real me. It gave me the opportunity to size up my strength, patience, and compassion when caring for different types of people in different situations. The pride that I feel when I tell others of my profession radiates on me. Being able to save lives everyday is a wonderful feeling. The contentment I feel when I discharge a patient home after being in a hospital for a long time and the joy on their faces as I hand over their discharge papers is priceless. MOTIVATION: What moves me to act?
My family is my motivation to provide the best care and treat every patient as part of my family. New diseases and illnesses are being detected everyday without any cure and this dilemma motivates me to be more vigilant in keeping my patients safe. I am motivated by other nurses who continuous to rise to the occasions when needed, such as creating policies for a better and safer workplace, research findings that affects millions of people, and making a difference on life of their patients through proper care. INSPIRATION: What keeps me in motion?
There are many people who inspire me to do better as a person. My family who has supported me ever since gives me the most inspiration of all. My family migrated here from the Philippines and rebuilt our life through hard work. Every member contributed to fulfill our dreams of making it here in the United States and become a good citizen. One particular person who inspired me is my mom who held the family together through thick or thin. She is the person who quietly finds solution to every dilemma that we went through and still able to find time to instill good values to her children. LOYALTY: Whom do I serve?
My loyalty lies to my community, patients and my family. My family is a great source of who I am as a person and the positive attitude I have extends to my patients and my community. I wanted to treat my patients the way my family or I would like to be treated. I am always on the look out for things happening around me to keep my community safe.