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Firstly, the responsibility has to be accepted and demonstrated. The required skills and competencies need to be acquired to produce responsible conduct and behavior, it is a professional requirement (Wheeler,2012). Responsibility leads to accountability and therefore are integrally linked, Bovens (1998) defines responsibility as a dimension of accountability
Accountability and responsibility are integral to safe professional practice and are based on a formal obligation in law and to higher authorities whom there is a legal relationship with and holds a person to account ( ).
The ward 6 scenario raises issues of patient safety and risk, autonomy, confidentiality, consent, safeguarding, the duty of care, capacity, and negligence, however, the focus of this essay will be on the key concepts of patient autonomy, confidentiality along with patient safety and risk due to a word constraint. Confidentiality is important to build a professional relationship and trust between the patient who could disclose sensitive information and the healthcare provider. Professional accountability allows nurses to work within a framework of practice and follow principles of conduct set out by the NMC that maintains the patient’s trust in the individual nurse and nursing as a whole (Caulfield, 2005).
Secondly, patient autonomy should be at the heart of all nursing if patient-centered care is true to be achieved. Finally, patient safety and risk were chosen as these are present in all aspects of practice. Identifying and managing clinical risk is imperative for reducing harm and implementing measures to reduce risks to patients (Braine, 2006).
A definition of responsibility relates to the acceptance and carrying out of a task or duty within a person’s sphere of competence in an accurate and timely way, whereas accountability can be defined as being required or expected to justify actions or decisions (Sharples and Elcock, 2011).
Accountability cannot be considered without autonomy, responsibility, and authority which overlap and are preconditions for accountability (Dewar, 1999). The governing body NMC puts the professional as personally accountable not only for actions and tasks are taken on in practice but also for any omissions and therefore be able to justify any rational about the care or decisions made (Wheeler, 2012). The responsibility and judgment taken to accept and perform any duties competently must be used in the best interest of patients and based on evidence for best practice (NMC, 2015).
The framework for professional accountability is made up of four pillars deriving from types of authority in nursing practice, these are professional, ethical, lawful, and contractual (Caufield,2005).
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