Nurses play important roles in the recovery of patients. How they behave and how they display their learned ethics in the practice of their profession has somehow influences and effects on their patients’ life. In view of this, this paper will discuss the significance of professional ethics to nursing practice. Moreover, general information on the nursing Code of Ethics shall be explored. Professional Ethics in Nursing and the ANA Code of Ethics Nurses perform different tasks in their profession.
Among many others, this includes taking care of patients, decision-making, as well as to act as patients’ confidants. Technically, the duties of nurses are exposed to interaction with patients through provision of care and even the provision of emotional support to them. Hence it is important that nurses are aware of their professional ethics as well as the moral principles of their job. Professional ethics in nursing are codes of conduct that are quite different from the norms of behaviors.
Rather, they are standards that are designed to suit the roles and duties of the nurses. Specifically, such codes of ethics for the profession of nursing are defined in the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics. One of the codes of ethics for the nursing practice is the nurses’ duty to provide service with respect for human dignity, regardless of the patient’s social status, religion, nationality, or any factor that invites bias or pre-judgment to the patient. It is a nursing practice to ensure that patients are treated with respect and equally.
Researches and studies indicate that this practice presents warm emotional feeling to patients, letting them know that they are being cared for, thus resulting to the patients’ positive outlook to recovery. Another nursing practice code is the nurses’ duty to protect the right to privacy of the patients. Information that is confidential in nature should not be disclosed by the nurses to anyone. For instance, it is the right of an HIV/AIDS patient to maintain privacy concerning their illness. The 4 Key Principles
The 4 key ethical principles in the profession of nursing are autonomy, do good, do no harm, and justice/fair play. These are principles that are general and broad in context in the practice of nursing. Autonomy, or respect for individuals, concerns mostly on the doctrine of informed consent (EEF, 2004) relating to provision of sufficient information to a patient or to a concerned individual, understanding of the information, and provision of the right to decide. In most cases, autonomy presents the benefit of informed choice to patients or to a capable person.
Do good (beneficence) and do no harm (non-maleficence) are two of the most basic ethical principles in the practice of nursing. It is the goal of nurses to cause no harm to their patients and to provide them with the good service they need for the improvement of their health. Justice and fair play is a right that every patient must receive. There are instances where this right is denied on patients due to personal interest of other parties (i. e. relatives of the patient, or the health care system itself). Hence, it is an ethical principle of the nurses to protect the patients’ right to justice and fair play.
Conclusion The role of the nurses is not only to provide patients with care for the improvement of their health. Based on the code of ethics of the nursing profession, they are also responsible to a large percentage of the patients’ life. They generally become among the drivers of the patients’ life once they are admitted to their care. Nurses are responsible to the health and well-being of their patients. Bibliography : Proper Conduct In Epidemiologic Research. Retrieved on April 3, 2006 from European Epidemiology Federation Online. Web site: http://www. dundee. ac. uk/iea/GoodPract. htm