In research, ethics refers to principles held by individuals that could change the way of thinking used in the research based solely on the actions carried out and the decisions that were made. Ethics is the decision-making process bases on whether the entity being decided on is right or wrong. Research in the science and in this case, the field of nursing is governed by values that also govern communities and individuals. When conducting research in the field of nursing, there are three governing value systems: that of nursing, science and the societal aspect. The nursing aspect is concerned with the ability of the researchers to carry out their research ethically, the science aspect is in respect to the values of the researcher scientifically, and finally, the societal aspect refers to the adherence to human rights when carrying out the research.
Background of the Study
During research, ethics need to be applied on a daily basis and on every aspect of the research. The subject involved in the research, the information that is acquired and used should be handled with respect, and their dignity protected. There are dilemmas that face the researches when conducting the study. This is because more often than not, protecting the dignity of the subjects of research conflict with the maintenance of the three value systems.
Significance to Nursing
The application of ethics in the research process has brought forth conflict and differences in the decision-making processes. This is because ethics vary from one person to the next therefore one person’s decision is not necessarily the others. The lack of a singular standard of ethics causes variation in the handling of human rights during research. The nursing fraternity needs to know the values of the researcher concerning an individual’s rights versus the rights of the society. Even though there are governing laws and codes for the way that research is done, the researcher’s moral code is the most significant factor to consider when deciding the way to carry out research.
The purpose of the research was to address the most ethical issues facing nurses during research. The research accounts for the daily occurrences of nurses to determine the nature of nursing and the probable conflict that they undergo whenever they have to conduct a research (Burns, & Grove, 2009).
When conducting research in nursing, the subjects that are included must be informed of that the research is being conducted and they must give their consent. The researcher must respect the anonymity of the research subjects. The nature and the conflict in nursing must be addressed. The final issue that must be addressed is the conflict that may arise because of the role of the researcher.
Implications to Nursing
The findings of the research will play role in nursing as a practice. The area that will be most affected will be the practice of nursing. Nursing would have to incorporate the issues of ethics that were found in the research. The three value systems of research sometimes conflict with the fundamentals of nursing which is providing care. Nurses would have to come up with a way to resolve this conflict.
Methods of Study
The research conducted was qualitative. This is because the purpose of the research was to gain insight in the field of ethics in the field of nursing. Nursing databases were used to gather samples for research purposes. The research design was case study. Recorded experiences of nurses were collected from databases. The databases addressed the issues that stood out the most concerning the ethics of the nurses. The research also looks at depth at the conflicting issues that arise from nurses conducting or being involved in research.
Results of the Study
The study showed that the ethical issues that affected research in the nursing community include; informed consent which is conducting the research after getting a go ahead from the individuals that are taking place in the research. Second, the research showed that the anonymity of the participants should be of top priority to the researchers. Third, is that the individual taking part in the research should not be harmed during the research. Finally, the researchers must protect the privacy of the participants. The research also shows that the nature of work of nursing which is the giving of care is sometimes in conflict with the ethics that are applied in research. For nurses, the application of ethics in the conduction or inclusion in research will help them know how to handle their patients and how to handle subjects when they are conducting research (Mantzorou, & Fouka, 2011).
The researchers protected the rights of all the subjects that took place in the research. All of the ethical values that are discussed in the paper were adhered to. All the participants consented to the research, they remained anonymous, and no harm came to them due to the research. The research was reviewed and approved by an institutional review board. There were no complaints about violation of privacy (Joyce, 2006).
Application of ethics in nursing research leads to difficulties in making decisions because ethics vary with the researchers. As such, the nurses should develop a way of addressing these issues to figure out a way of dealing with their patients or know how to handle subjects when they are the ones conducting the research. Nursing should incorporate ethics in its research so because it has the ability to reinvent the handling of human rights during research. From the research, it is clear to see that professionals in the nursing fraternity or any other health related profession would be interested in giving care if it is required.
Burns, N. (1997). Study guide for the practice of nursing research: conduct, critique & utilization (3rd ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders.
Fitzpatrick, J. J. (2006). Encyclopedia of nursing research (2nd ed.). New York: Springer Pub.
Mantzorou, M. & Fouka, G. (2011) What are the major ethical issues in conducting research: Is there a conflict between the research and the nature of nursing? Health Science Journal Vol. 5