Nursing profession is governed by codes of conduct that spells out the specific duties and behavioral aspects that nurses observe (Black, 2014). There has been an evolution in the guidelines for nursing practice over changing times. Traditionally, primary consideration in nursing ethics was put on the focus and determination of the nurses’ roles. Nowadays, the code of ethics in the nursing profession focusses more on the patient than the physician. Certainly, the ethical codes have been made more relevant and matched with the expectations of the nursing profession operations.
In essence, systematic guidelines that dictate the ethical behavior in the nursing practices have been developed and adopted over the years. The ethical codes spell out the values and beliefs that are morally in agreement with acceptable behavior. In situations where the nurse’s character is not virtuous, the nurse is never depended upon to act morally with an ethical code as a guide. Essentially, codes do not eliminate moral dilemmas and can be useless if professionals lack the motivation to act morally. Often, nurses are required to be aware of the conflict of interest that may compromise patient care and relations with patients.
Most importantly, the loyalty of nurses is expected to be foremost to the patient regardless of the institutional politics that may occur in a nursing environment. Often, nursing profession has ignored the responsibility that the non-clinical staff held to the patients. Collective bargaining approach is used by nurses to enhance the morality levels and improve the working conditions for nurses. Usually, self –respect is considered as a personal regard. Obviously, this is important because nurses who do not have a sense of self-worthy cannot provide efficient care for patients.
Similarly, the wholeness of character is an important virtue of the nursing profession that is connected to integrity. Often, the healthcare sector is burdened with many constraints that threaten the integrity of nurses. Professional code on integrity allows the nurses to consistently act with personal interests and the values acceptable in the profession. Regardless of how compromising a situation is, nurses must ensure that the professional and personal values are intact. Certainly, the beliefs of nurses are based on moral reasoning and can withstand the challenge from other people.
Additionally, ethical and legal standards in the nursing profession require nurses to embrace information confidentiality except as provided for in the codes of conduct (Guido, 2010). In addition, confidentiality enables nurses to build trusted relationships with families, patients and other professionals. The morality and adherence of nurses to stipulated ethical standards characterize the beauty of the profession (Guido, 2010). However, there are different situations that threaten the confidentiality virtue of nurses. Nonetheless, nurses are not required to expose confidential information unless the provisions in the codes of conduct have been met.
The nursing profession is characterized by legal principles. Nurses are obliged to adherence of the code of ethics throughout their nursing endeavors. Notably, the medical practitioners have an obligation to maintain the confidentiality of patient information through careful use of the internet. Thus, nurses who violate the trust because of telehealth and internet unethical practices are answerable before a court of law. Obviously, the penalty is huge and consequences are dire.
In conclusion, the nursing profession requires a high degree of morality, personal respect, integrity and mutual trust among the professionals. The daily activities of nurses must be carried out in a manner that best accommodates the interests of patients without compromising the personal values of the nurses. Under different circumstances, self-respect and mutual trust must be maintained. Certainly, the ethical codes are significant in order to bring sanity. Therefore, nurses should behave morally and according to the guidelines of their profession in order provide efficient care to patients.
Black, B. P., & Chitty, K. K. (2014). Professional nursing: Concepts & challenges.
Griffith, R., & Tengnah, C. (2008). Law and professional issues in nursing. Exeter: Learning Matters.
Guido, G. W. (2010). Legal & ethical issues in nursing. Boston: Pearson.