Nursing is a field that requires a true understanding about ethics. Ethics by definition is the study or use of moral belief. Morality is the the act of actually following these beliefs. So to follow the code of ethics is to be moral. Each nurse is expected to follow the standards set out by the code of ethics from the American Nurse Association (ANA) and from his or her place of employment in order to practice morally.
The ANA's code of ethics highlights that a nurse should care for all patients equally regardless of race, sex, creed, sexual orientation, medical diagnosis or source of payment (Smeltzer, Bare, Hinkle & Cheever, 2010). The nurse must be committed to the care and protection of the patient and is responsible for the patient's total health which includes their healthcare environment. The nurse helps to uphold these standards by using the most current information to implement evidenced-based practice and by collaborating professionally with other care providers to treat the patient. Additionally, a nurse must use all available resources to effect positive changes in the nursing field as a whole (Smeltzer et al., 2010).
Most healthcare facilities have their own code of ethics by which they expect the employed nurses to adhere to. As described by Florida Hospital DeLand's (FHD) risk manager, LeeAnn Stewart, RN, this hospital follows the Compass Point code of ethics which speaks about: fulfilling regulatory responsibilities, providing excellent care, maintaining accurate records, delivering financially responsible care, and communicating honestly, striving for fairness, and protecting patient privacy. Nurses are expected to abide by this code, failing to do so can result in verbal warnings, written reports, fina...
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...e, plays an important role in communicating and supporting the wishes of the patient, even when doing so may be against the opinions of the family and physician” (Parker, 2007). Could you be an “ethical nurse” and advocate for these patients and treat them with dignity and equality? These are very practical questions to ask ourselves in order to assess our own ethical beliefs.
American Nurses Association. (2001). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements. Retrieved from http://nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/EthicsStandards/Codeof
Parker, F. (2007, November 26). The power of one. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 13(1).
Smeltzer, S. C., Bare, B. G., Hinkle, J. L. & Cheever, K. H. (2010). Brunner & suddarth's textbook of medical-surgical nursing. Philedelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.