The Patient's Rights and Confidentiality in the Nursing Profession

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This reflection indentifies what I have learnt about confidentiality and privacy, patient’s right to know about their health condition health and empathic response in Nursing Profession.

Nursing as a caring profession needs communicating receptively, empathy, trust and respect to establish and maintain a strong therapeutic relationship with the patient and the family.

I will make reference to a significant experience I had as a student nurse during my clinical practice in the obstetric and gynaecology unit of the hospital I trained in my country.

Confidentiality will be maintained at all times. During the period of my placement, I was assigned Mrs M who was diagnosed with Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD). During my break period, I walked with my colleague through the hallway to the cafeteria and we were engaged in a discussion about my patient’s diagnosis and the prognosis. I told her that according to the discussion the doctor had with the nursing team, she had minimal chances of survival from the disease. Unknown to us, the patient’s son was following us at the back.

When my break period was over, I came back to the unit to check on my patient. On getting to her bed side, I notice she was crying so I tried to console her and know why she was crying. She asked me why nobody told her about her illness knowing it was serious and will lead to death. She asked why we lied to her.

My initial thought when I met her crying was that she was in a severe pain, but when she asked the question; I knew that the son told her about what he overheard me discussing with my colleague in the hallway.

Upon reflection, I had the ethical and legal responsibility to maintain the confidentiality and privacy of client health information obta...

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...hought about my experience with Mrs M including the breach of confidentiality, false reassurance I gave her that her condition would improve with treatment, I could not help but cry.

If I could change the experience in a way, I could have acted with integrity, honesty and professionalism in all my dealings with Mrs M and other health team members.

In conclusion, reflecting on this my past experience had helped me in promoting the values of client’s well being, respecting client choice, assuring privacy and confidentiality, respecting sanctity and quality of life, maintain commitments, respecting truthfulness, and ensuring fairness in the use of resources. (CNO 2002)

College of Nursing of Ontario (2002). Ethics. Toronto: Author

Kunyk, D., & Olson, J.K. (2001). Clarification of the conceptualizations of empathy.

Journal of Advanced Nursing, 35(3), 317-325.

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