A Brief Note On Ethics In Nursing

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As Professor Lori McElroy MS, RN, CNE enforces: “Drug therapy should provide maximal benefit with minimal harm.” But aside from pharmacological reasons, I also believe this statement defines an ethical professional nurse as a whole, one who is committed to providing high-quality and safe patient care based on their practice on professional standards of ethical conduct as well as professional values. According to Taylor, Lillis & Lynn (2015) and Baldwin (2016), these values include:
1. Altruism – the concern for the welfare and well-being of others, who include both patients and other healthcare providers.
a. Example: A nurse advocates for patients, particularly the most vulnerable.
2. Autonomy – the right to self-determination. Professional practice reflects autonomy when the
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Example: A nurse preserves the confidentiality of patients and health care providers.
4. Integrity – acting in accordance with an appropriate code of ethics and accepted standards of practice. This is reflected in professional practice when the nurse is honest and provides care based on an ethical framework that is accepted within the profession.
a. Example: The nurse documents care accurately and honestly.
5. Social justice – the upholding of moral, legal and humanistic principles. This is reflected in professional practice when the nurse works to assure equal treatment under the law and equal access to quality health care.
a. Example: The nurse supports and promotes fairness and nondiscrimination in the delivery of care.
These professional values provide the foundation for nursing practice and guide a nurse’s interactions with patients and clients. In addition to values, ethical nurses should have several essential virtues, or human excellencies, that enable them to be responsible human beings: competence, compassionate caring, subordination of self-interest to patient interest, self-effacement, trustworthiness, conscientiousness, intelligence, practical wisdom, humility, and
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