What is personal ethics? Many people have their own perceptions and definition of what personal ethics are. When speaking about personal ethics this topic deals with what an individual believes to be morally right or wrong. Personal ethics comes from what one was taught by child by their caregiver whether it was mom, dad, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, or uncle. Since these ethics were instilled in us as children by our caregivers we carried these ethics into our daily lives and the decisions that we made. As a child my mother main focus was to make sure I knew right from wrong. As a parent she just didn’t say that something was wrong, but she told me why it was wrong. I think this is the most important aspect when understanding ethics and why people make the decisions they make. I think it is important to hold personal ethical views so when one is being faced with a challenging moral issue they will be able to efficiently handle the situation.
My mother and grandmother based their ethical views according to their religious background. Both my mother and grandmother are Christian ministers and their views were guided from the Bible. As a nurse I make ethical decisions every day. Some of these ethical decisions are easy and some not quite so easy; however, my decision is based upon how I was taught and my personal beliefs and what is the best outcome for the patient. I think as a nurse I am still learning and can always make room for improvement. My personal ethics are constantly being tested as a nurse and the decision I make not only influences patients but also my peers. As a nursing manager in my facility it is my job that I make good ethical decisions because I have other nurses looking at me to make concrete decisions in some cases. Values are a person’s principles or standards of behaviors. My value is what I consider to be important in life. What is important to me may not be important to someone else.
This is what I had to consider in the world of nursing. I would come to accept that everyone is different and though they are different and values are different we both should be able to respect one’s views and decisions. This is important so that we may achieve our primary goal of purpose which is to care for the patient. My values and beliefs are rooted and grounded in my Christian background. Values that I was taught as a child was “do unto other as you would have them do unto you”. Simply put to treat people how you want to be treated. This causes a sort of immediate feedback for creating our moral standards and making ethical decisions (Scivicque, 2007). As a manager, I have learned how to be humble, and listening and learning from others. Another important value that was instilled in me as a child was to share and to be grateful for what you have.
This I come to realize that I being a young woman most women my age have not accomplished the things that I have. By knowing this I do not take my career for granted. I enjoy my co-workers and patients that I work with. I enjoy overall caring for people and watching them thrive towards their highest potential. An example of an ethical dilemma I might encounter in the nursing field is the giving of blood to a Jehovah Witness. According to a Jehovah Witness’ beliefs they do not believe in administering blood or blood products for life-saving measures.
The ethical dilemma is what do you do in an emergency situation? What if their beliefs go against everything you stand for? M best response in this situation is to focus on the patient as a whole. As a nurse we have to care for the patient physically, spiritually, mentally, and socially. Physically the patient would need a blood transfusion, but spiritually the patient will decline due to beliefs. I think this is the perfect opportunity to educate the patient of the risk and benefits of receiving the blood transfusion.
As a nurse I take my job very seriously. While I’m working I ask myself what if these patients were my family members. How can I be present with the patient and listen to their concerns without judging them as a person? These are all questions I have to ask myself when providing care to my patients. I am not a perfect nurse by far but I am striving to be the best versatile nurse I can be to ensure that my patients reach their optimal level of wellness.
Scivicque, C. (2007). Developing Personal Ethics. Retrieved from http://suite101.com/article/developing-personal-ethics-a34018
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