The Nurses Code of Ethics details that, in all professional relationships that nurses encounter, they must show compassion, respect for dignity, worth and uniqueness for every person. There should be no hindrance in regard to the social status of the patient, economic background, personal characteristics or the nature of the health problems the individual is suffering from (Flanagan, 1976). Nurses practice their profession equally with no regards to their personal beliefs and values. This may become a problem as nurses come from diverse backgrounds and have differing views of different situations. Things like culture, religion, tradition, gender and family play a fundamental role in shaping a system of beliefs and values that eventually influence morality. This in turn, influences how nurses practice their profession. As a nurse, I take it as my primary responsibility to make the patient my obligation and ensure that I provide unbiased care making sure that my personal values, beliefs and morals do not influence my professional working relationship. It is my duty to use sound critical thinking skills coupled with the evidence based practice, and care without bias.
Many ethical principles are presented in the nursing profession, and it is up to those practicing nursing to uphold these principles in their nursing care. Ethical principles encompass beneficence, veracity, autonomy, confidentiality, non-maleficence, fidelity and justice. It is in the best interest of the patient for nurses to be advocates for patients and provide respect, loyalty, honesty and to prevent undue harm (Burkhardt & Nathaniel, 2008). When an individual has self-awareness of his or her own values, it aids in appreciating the values of others, therefore, helping provide the necessary standard of care. Ethical principles can be used in identifying the best and most appropriate decision when conflict arises. This is because one can make the best and sound decisions given the conflict at hand. This is because one follows the set guidelines of the ethical principles.
Burkhardt, M. A. & Nathaniel, A. K. (2008). Ethics & issues in contemporary nursing. Clifton Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning.
Flanagan, L. (1976). One strong voice : the story of the American Nurses' Association. Kansas City, Mo.: American Nurses' Assn.