Nursing Ethics

An introductory overview into nursing ethics
Basic themes and conceptions that formulate the nursing ethics
-Promotion of a wholistic ethical care environment
-Creating, maintaining and upholding the basic wellbeing of the patients
-Practice and maintenance of good care decisions and skills
-Confidentiality and privacy
- Promotion of patients dignity
-Justice for the patients
-The principle of accountability

The process of utilizing ethics and the basic value in the course of nursing
Ethical experiences and expectation in the field of nursing
The future state of the nursing profession
Philosophy of Nursing Ethics
Nursing ethics refers to the field in nursing concerned with studying the basis of nurses professional duties in order to establish good nursing practices for the nursing field. It is involved with the evaluation of the nursing professional actions in order to facilitate the provision of good nursing services to patients and the society as a whole. It aims at establishing a professional code of conduct that outlines the accepted behavior of nurses in their profession. In the past, the field aimed at establishing the virtues that constituted a good nurse but in the present, the field aims at making sure nurses respect the patients right outlined in the nurses code of conduct for nurses established in the international code of nurses and the nurses council in many countries (Joel, Kelly, 15)

The first code of ethics for nurses was ratified by the international nurses council in 1953 but it has undergone major revision and edition ever since its formulation with the last major review in 2005. The purpose of the code is provide guidelines to nurses on the principles of working ethically in their profession as well as guiding them through the ethical disputes that arise in their career between them and either the patient, families and the health system laws. The code of ethics also serves as a standard that can be used for self regulation and evaluation for the nurses and also acts as a means that can be used for feed back. The code of ethics also acts as a source of information for the public as to the commitments and duties of the nurse in the nursing field as well as providing the criteria for nurses in decision making, in accordance with the accepted nursing laws and standards (Hunt, 34). The code of ethics is revised periodically in order to make it remain in tune with changing societal values

Ethics in nursing are mandatory for nurses to uphold and be accountable for. The concept of ethics is a broad one and requires the nurses to be aware of the societys views that influence health. These societal ideologies form part of the ethical practice and serve as nurses learning sources although they may not be outlined in the nurses code of ethics.

Themes in Nursing Ethics
They are the duties that are core to in nursing ethics. They are outlined in the several values that guide the building of relationships between nurses and the patients and other people as well. They include
Promoting wholistic ethical care

It is a central value in the nurses code of conduct and it requires nurses to give compassionate care by using the correct speech, and nonverbal signs that reveal their concern for others need in healthcare. To build such relationship between them and the patients, this value is central in building such relationships and it requires to always strive to understand and appreciate the needs of other people. The value also obligates nurses to intervene and address unethical practices that might be existing in their profession. In case of inadequate equipments or facilities, the value requires nurses to collaborate with others in order to minimize the risk and circumvent adverse effects.
Upholding wellbeing and health of their patients

This primary value requires nurses to work effectively with people at all levels in order to maintain the highest standards possible for health and well being of their clients. The value requires nurses to only provide support that is aimed at improving the wellbeing of their patients. The ethical duties under this value obligate nurse to make sure that they liaise with other health care sectors in order to provide the best possible care to the persons under their care, as well as making sure that individual rights in accessing care are not interfered with for those under their care
c). Maintaining and practicing good decision making skills
This value promotes an individuals right to access relevant information from the nurse and make informed decisions. It obligates nurses to ensure they promote and respect an individual right to make their own decisions.  The ethical responsibilities under this value include nurses ensuring that they provide people under their care with the relevant information that they require to make their own decisions about their health (Pinch, 217). The other ethical responsibility is to make sure that the nurses do not misuse the power to make decision for their clients and making sure that they uphold the clients right to make an informed decision for their heath

Upholding privacy and confidentiality
This theme in nursing ethics requires nurses to maintain privacy of their clients information they gather from people under their care. The ethical duties of the nurse under this primary value include nurses making sure that only the correct people have access to their clients information. Another one is ensuring communication with their clients are not overheard in the course of their communication (Hunt, 20). The other ethical responsibility for the nurse is making sure that they safeguard information in the medical records they prepare

Promoting dignity
This primary value in nursing ethics requires the nurse to value the people under there care. Nurses are supposed to treat all persons as equals and should relate well with the people giving support to the people around their care. This theme is very critical as it requires nurses to relate well with their clients regardless of their beliefs, social and financial standing or there values. The other ethical duty for nurses under this theme is making sure that they maintain their relationships with their clients to professional only in order to ensure that they do not abuse the power they have for other ulterior motives like financial gain. Other ethical considerations that nurses must consider to promote dignity include  making sure that their clients are comfortable by administering  pain relievers and other measures that might  alleviate  suffering of their clients  in order to make their clients to live a more dignified life (Joel, Kelly, p.41). The value also requires that nurses must coexist in harmony among their colleagues and other health care staff and that they must acknowledge the authority of those who are above them in leadership.

e) Promoting justice
This value requires all nurses to remain true to the principles of justice by ensuring that there is no discrimination in their profession in terms of race culture or social standing. Nurses must ensure that there is fairness and human rights are upholded in their profession. The ethical rensponlities nurses must uphold to promote justice include ensuring that there is no victimization or unfairinhuman treatment when handling their clients and ensuring that there is fair distribution of resources for their clients under their care (Hunt, 38). The theme also requires that nurses operate under a climate of openness and transparency that allow critism of any situations that may be deemed not to be of the best interest to their client and their profession

This value requires the nurses to be responsible for their actions in the practice. Since nursing is a self regulating profession, nurses must ensure that there practices meet the requirements of the code of conduct for nurses issued by there respective nursing bodies. The ethical considerations in being accountable include maintaining honesty and integrity within their professions. Other measures nurses can use to maintain accountability is by ensuring that they know the limits of their skills and in any case they are not able to handle a case, they refer it to a more competent medic. Another way of maintaining accountability is by nurses recognizing areas that may cause conflict in their profession and resolving them before the conflicts arise

Utilization of code of ethics and the primary values in nursing
All the above values are related and overlap in their usage in the field of nursing. All are utilized in the field by nurses in order to make a decision about an ethical situation. Since nursing is a self regulating field, these guidelines and values only outline their ethical duties but do not guarantee total ethical practices by the nurses. It is here that other factors like individual nurses commitment to the field come in especially the ability to form relationships with others like the people, there profession and coworkers (Lachman, 55). The ability to form such relationships is critical in ensuring ethical nursing practice.

Types of ethical experiences in the nursing field
When nurses identify an ethical situation in the course of giving their care, it is paramount that they discuss it with there clients people supporting them and their supervisors to avoid engaging in unethical practice. The earlier it is identified, the better. Some of the situations include
Ethical dilemmas where there are two opposing alternatives for the course of action
Ethical uncertainty occurs when there is a decision about the course of treatment due to over clarification.
Ethical violations occurs when there is a breach of the set standards in nursing
Ethical disengagement occurs when nurses breach their ethical duties to appoint when they start viewing it as just normal an example of this is the use of cruel non compassionate language to those who are around him.

Moral residues occur when a nurse allows himselfherself to be used in inappropriately by those who are around him. The experience a nurse gains from such comprositation can help  them in dealing with their moral residue  more effectively in the future

Moral distress it occurs when nurses have the conviction that the course of action they are proposing is the ideal one but due to several factors they cannot influence, they do not take the action. This ruins their self esteem and integrity making them to be morally distressed (Pinch, 217).
The future of nursing ethics

Pinch (2007) predicts that even in the 21st century, nursing ethics will continue to focus on the idea of creating a good nurse based on the nurses ethical responsibilities. However, she notes that there will be a shift in the ethical issues as the society advances and largely due to lesser time for building the relationship between the patient and the nurse (p.214).  He observes that this less time spent in forming the patient nurse relationship will lead to a change in what constitutes the ethical duties of nurses. Sarah recommends that nursing in the 21st century should largely be focused on describing the ethical principles of nursing ethics and there effects they have in building of the relationship between the nurse and their clients. He summarizes the characteristics that will shape the 21st century nursing ethics to be the complete and precise reorganizations of the ethical situations that are experienced by nurses, the resources nurses require functioning ethically and how nurses handle these ethical issues. He concludes that the good nurse of the 21st century will be a product of the new ethical issues that will be conceptualized in the century and will be much under the influence of the new ethical responsibilities that will shape the century.


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