My Nursing Ethics
The field of nursing requires decisions to be made that affect the lives of people. Most of these decisions are tough and require the nurse to put into consideration a number of factors. The guidelines are mostly based on ethical, societal, spiritual, and personal values held by the nurse. Some of these values are universally accepted, and every person in this profession must abide by them. Others vary from one individual to another, but all tend to make the work of a nurse better and reduce the degree of error in their judgment. I have a set of principles that guide me in my profession. These principles just like of any other nurse are based on my personal view, the society expectations, and my spiritual beliefs.
The beliefs that I have are greatly influenced by my spiritual teachings and the teachings of the society I was raised in. These two have greatly influenced my personal views, and I greatly rely on them when making decisions. I was taught from an early age that I should always treat the other person with love, because God expects us to love one another and treat each other just like we would wish to be treated. This means that when handling a patient, the choices I make should exactly be similar to the ones I would expect another nurse to make if I were a patient. The Bible also teaches that we cannot claim to love God if we do not love our neighbors; the Bible then defines our neighbor as the person in dire need of our assistance. As a nurse, my patients are my neighbors, and their welfare greatly relies on me. I can ruin their lives or make them better just by a mere decision that I make. The Bible teaches us to carry our responsibilities with honor and at any time of difficulty we call upon God through prayer and He will come to our aid. This has greatly helped me, because any time I am in a tricky situation, I always seek for God's guidance.
The society has its values that its members use to judge those who belong to it. The society in which I was brought up expects those in public and private practice to use their education to serve the society in the best way possible. They do not compromise on quality and cannot understand why a qualified nurse can make a wrong decision. This leaves no room for errors, and this has made me very critical of the decisions that I make. This is because I would not wish to let down the society that through its contributions in terms of taxes has enabled me go through the academic system. The society is a part of me, and at any time when one of the members suffers I also suffer. Therefore, I treat all my patients as if they were my siblings and ensure that whatever I decide to do with them is the best that any nurse would have done. I leave no allowance for errors even if I am aware of the fact that I am just human and susceptible to errors.
The personal values I have are a product of my religious beliefs and society values that I try to uphold. I strongly believe that as a nurse I am supposed to make my society better by using the knowledge I have acquired to offer services to the society that will make it a better place. I believe that every individual has a role that he/she is supposed to play in the society, and that is why we acquire different qualifications. This is therefore upon me to do my best and this, I strongly believe, is my purpose here on earth. I also believe it does not hurt to do a good deed and therefore I do not find any reason why I should offer substandard services that will only serve to ruin my reputation that I value so much. This acts as a guide to me that ensures that whatever I do is as good as it is humanly possible.
Nursing has values, morals and ethics that guide all nurses. Morals stand for what is right in the field of nursing. The moral code in ethics expects nurses to prioritize the welfare of the patient over any other interests. Ethics is a system of moral principles. Nursing has its system of moral principles that guide its nurses. There also exists a system of values in nursing that contains beliefs held by nurses. Problems arise when the moral system does not agree with the moral values of a nurse. This is particularly when dealing with a case that the nurse feels should be handled differently, but the professional ethics dictate otherwise. Situations such as a patient suffering from a disease that medical check-ups have failed to reveal may put my moral values in collision course with my profession codes of ethics. This arises when an employer has a policy that requires the nurse to prescribe medicine that has no medical effect on the patient if doctors fail to diagnose the disease a patient is suffering form. This is done to ensure that the hospital makes some money from the patient and creates an opportunity for the patient to return to the same hospital and get them more money. My personal values and moral principles do not allow me to exploit a patient when I know very well whatever I am prescribing to the patient is a placebo, and its aim is just to get some money from him/her. This would leave me in an ethical dilemma where either of the choices I make would be good to one party and bad to the other. Giving the patient placebos would earn the hospital and my employer money but would be of no help to the patient while telling the patient the problem has not been identified. Therefore no medicine prescribed would save the patient money, while at the same time be a loss to the employer.
The ethical dilemmas that I am likely to face in the field of nursing are likely to be a test of my resolve to do what is right to the patient no matter what. The problems will differ in magnitude, and some will be very tough due to their nature. Cases such as billing an employer for services they are supposed to have used but have not used are likely to be common due to the policies of the hospitals I may work in. The best decision will be based on undertaking considerable research to get to the bottom-line of the issue before I make any conclusion. There may be other situations that may be created by unethical demands by a patient. There may be cases when a patient requires me to make recommendations that will earn him/her medical leave, but from my diagnosis the patient does not require the time he/she is asking for. The problem might arise from the patient insisting that the problem is greater than what the doctor report says and feigning greater pain. The employer expects the patient back to work to avoid losing money through salary earned when the patient is at home. On the other side, the patient expects a sick leave to recover fully from the medical problem. These will be common issues that will always test my decision making and how strongly I am attached to my moral and ethical principles.