Essay on Nurses : The Most Honest And Ethical Professionals

Essay on Nurses : The Most Honest And Ethical Professionals

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One of the most poignant statements that I have heard during my tenure in nursing school is that “Nurses are often the first person that an infant sees at birth and the last person that a patient sees upon death.” Nurses have contact with patients recurrently along this continuum of life, now more than ever. This is due to the world’s aging population and the correlating factor of higher patient acuity (Larson, 2013). This frequent and close contact with nurses has fostered a sense of trustworthiness in the minds of U.S. citizens. This is evidenced by a recent Gallup Poll which listed nurses as the most honest and ethical professionals in America (www.galluppoll.com, 2015). Nurses have the challenging task of providing this trust-worthy, quality care to their patients in the midst of some very difficult decisions. Because a nurse often balances her responsibilities as a nurse and conflicting factors, it is imperative that the nurse be of sound judgment and have an ethical premise for the care she provides. Implications for nurses who fail to comply with ethical standards could include legal action, loss of their nursing license and loss of their career. This essay will further examine an ethical dilemma that nurses often face in today’s healthcare system, the resuscitation of elderly patients.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the United States population will almost double in the number of people who were estimated to be 65 years of age or older in 2012 to amount of people who will be 65 years of age or older in the year 2050 (Ortman & Velkoff, 2014). Studies project a growth in that age group from 43.1 million people to 83.7 million people, respectively (Ortman & Velkoff, 2014). Because of this increase in the ...


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...nt to the desires of the competent patient. Implementing several of the ethical standards set forth by both provisions listed in the American Nursing Association’s Code of Ethics as well as several of the fundamental principles of ethics which guide ethical nursing care, the nurse and I understood that most ethically sound decision was to complete the code status for the patient as “Do Not Resuscitate”. Resuscitation code statuses will continue to be a sensitive topic between patients and nurses because of the delicate balance of loss and benefit experienced by the patient, the patient’s family, the nurse and the healthcare system as a whole. Nurses can better protect the patient, themselves and their nursing career in these, sometimes tense, situations by remaining abreast with the current ethical standards and continuing to implement them in everyday practice.

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