Nursing has been said to be one of the most trustworthy professions and I am honored to be a part of it. The American Nurses Association Code of Ethics provides the foundation for an ethical workplace. Of course there are good and bad in all professions; stealing, addictions, inappropriate or inadequate patient care are just a few of the unethical practices that can occur in a hospital or other healthcare setting. Nurses receive a moderately high salary as compared to some other professions and I am sure some people enter the field because of the pay rate, but the majority of nurses choose the profession because of a desire to help people. Financial gain is definitely not what matters most to the majority of nurses as evidenced by the fact that many of my former coworkers experienced much better job satisfaction in our small community hospital than in the large hospital which provides better pay and benefits. Speaking strictly from a staff nurse point of view, ethical standards cannot be compromised when dealing in patient care. It is difficult to think of healthcare as a business, but I am acutely aware of the fact that, at least at the executive level, it is just that. I question the current practice of large hospitals creating healthcare systems by buying out small community hospitals. I feel as though the corporate system of the large hospital acted unethically in closing the small community hospitals, leaving many people without the accessible healthcare they had grown to trust. Although hospital systems are considered non-profit, I agree that economic gain plays a major role in decision making. I know that the Chief Financial Officer has questioned the physician about the decrease in administration o...
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...nic on subsequent days for simple injections or iron infusions. I have picked up patients for their treatments so they would not be at risk of infection from having to ride a crowded bus after receiving chemotherapy. All nurses need to act as advocates to ensure that every patient receives appropriate care.
Every person has a right to receive quality patient care to improve health and alleviate suffering. Ongoing education, yearly competency examinations, review and maintenance of care guidelines and certifications all serve to ensure patients receive optimum treatment. Errors do occur and are handled by first being honest with the patient and then in filing an incident report that is meant for review and quality improvement, not punishment. Discussing problems and working together to find solutions is the primary method of ensuring ethical practice in nursing care.
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