Ethical Code of Conduct in the Nursing Profession
Ethics as a philosophy branch that deals with the determination of right and wrong actions that relate to people’s decisions. The code of ethics in the nursing profession was initiated as a guide to carry out duties of nursing in a manner consistent with the quality of the nursing care and ethical responsibilities of the profession (Chaloner 42). The Association of American Nursing points out that the code of nurses is not negotiable, and each of them has a duty to adhere to the laid down code of ethics. Each nurse is held responsible for his or her practice and should observe the following ethics:
Integrity and Honesty
According to Sasso et al (826), nurses should be sincere, honest and trustworthy to ensure reliability by patients. The values of honesty and veracity are fundamental in decision making process. The analogy of choices and behaviors should characterize their professional quality. Honest nurses are those who can be trusted by patients because they cannot betray their trust.
Nurses should ensure that information exchange between them and patients is not disclosed. Safeguarding and failure to reveal information acquired during their professional activity is of prime significance as per the nursing code of ethics. This is supposed to be applied to all patients despite their age. It should persist even after the death of an individual Sasso et al. 827).
Conflict with Ethical and Moral Beliefs
A disagreement may arise due to moral or ethical convictions during work. Therefore, nurses should find solutions using discourse with particular parties in conflict. In a case whereby a nurse is not ready to find a solution through dialogue or has an intention to activate a controversial doubt, they should refer to legislation within the country they work in. However, during emergencies, nurses should give the necessary assistance irrespective of the moral ethics and convictions.
Furthermore, a nurse must always maintain the belief that every attempt is made to protect individual’s life. In a case whereby death is threatening, they should take care and ensure that the patient dies with dignity. Also, when giving a public report, a nurse should clearly state whether he/ she is acting on behalf of the profession or in a personal capacity. Further, they should not use their expertise to promote commercial goods to avoid cooperation with the sovereignty of professional judgment.
Moreover, a nurse should never accept any favors or gifts from patients or relatives that can reasonably be interpreted as seeking to exert undue influence or obtain preferential treatment. Also, a nurse should ensure that his/her health allows him/her carry on his/her duties competently. Drug abuse and alcohol adversely affect competence. However, nurses have the responsibility to give overall care to scholars. They should ensure that they use their skills, knowledge and thoughts in standards of care to nurses in practice wherever learning activity occurs. Finally, as the main goal of nursing is provision of highest standards of care possible to patients, in any circumstance whereby a client is in danger, appropriate authorities should be informed (Sasso et al. 828).
Ethics is not only a theoretical issue for nurses but also a fundamental practical skill and knowledge base. These codes help nurses understand how ethics influence their practice and participate in decision making. Resolution of ethical problem and initiating ethical healthcare are not easy. Therefore, nurses should connect with the matters arising and make sure that their moral voice is heard together with that of the entire profession (Chaloner 46).
Chaloner, Chris. “An Introduction to Ethics in Nursing. (Cover Story).” Nursing Standard 21.32 (2007): 42-46.
Sasso, Loredana, Stievano, Alessandro, Jurado, Maximo Gonzalez, Rocco, Gennaro. “Code of Ethics and Conduct for European Nursing.” Nursing Ethics 15.6 (2008): 821-830.