Importance Of Ethics In Nursing

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Practicing nurses encounter various ethical questions and dilemmas in their everyday work life. The world is so diverse, nurses come in contact with people from different cultures and beliefs. Studying ethics teaches nurses compassionate nursing, patient advocacy and why it is important. It also teaches nurses that even though the understandings of ethics differ from person to person because of their culture, communities and ethnic/religious backgrounds; it is imperative to set a side one’s own beliefs to ensure quality health care.
What a person see, hears, or feels in their life will influence one’s understanding of ethics. What is true for one will not be true for all, because of how people make decisions. For example, nurses can face
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Virtue ethics, Deontology and Utilitarianism are some of the ethical approaches studied by healthcare workers. Virtue ethics teaches one that virtuous choices must come naturally. Knowing what is morally right and wrong must be a learned habit. Deontology guided by philosopher Immanuel Kant focuses on ethical obligation and the duties that reasonable people are obligated to follow, regardless of situation. Lastly, utilitarianism which philosopher John Stuart Mill helps nurses understand their actions and outcomes, while posing the question does the ends justify the means. These ethical approaches are important to healthcare because they provide nurses with ethical guidelines to become a morally good nurse. For example, a nurse who studied virtue ethics will understand that it is morally wrong for them to make a medical error and not report it to the patient or their employers. Furthermore, studying Utilitarianism teaches healthcare workers to maximize happiness. In a massive car accident a medical responder would use the resources available to provide care to the greatest number of people, rather than exhausting resources on one individual who is unlikely to…show more content…
Again, nurses treat patients from diverse communities, cultures and religions. A patient advocate would create a trusting relationship, where it is possible to learn about the beliefs of the patient to protect their autonomy. For example, a Jehovah Witness needs a blood transfusion, a patient advocate would know they do not belief in blood transfusion and suggest alternative treatment that agrees with their patient’s autonomy. Another example of patient advocacy is reporting suspected abuse; when a child comes in with bruises in a form of hand prints. Being a patient advocate means protecting the patient’s wellbeing, whether it is there autonomy or from physical harm. It allows patients to gain trust in the healthcare system by giving them the sense that their wants and needs are heard and respected. It also provides patients with respect and dignity, throughout healthcare visit. Nurses that advocate for their patients are practicing compassionate
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