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Ethics In Nursing

INTRODUCTION

On the surface nursing ethics can appear very similar to medical ethics and earlier studies showed both had similar values and ethics. These studies were more concerned with what makes a good nurse. However today nursing ethics and medical ethics are not always the same thing.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEDICAL ETHICS AND NURSING ETHICS

The main aim of medical ethics is to concentrate on the idea of curing a patient. Often this can conflict with a patients wants concerning issues of a moral nature. Nursing ethics concentrate more on the caring nature as the nurses job is more to care than to heal. There are however some medical and nursing ethics that do remain a similar theme such as:

  • Consent to medical treatment
  • Confidentiality
  • Always telling patients the truth
  • Treating patients with equality no matter their race
  • Respecting patients religious views

Some of these ethics can prove to be trickier for medical staff because yes conflict can arise when the patient does not wish to be treated for some reason. However nursing ethics are based on the patient and such dilemmas do not normally occur.

THEMES THAT OCCUR IN MODERN NURSING ETHICS

The basis of nursing ethics is all about the care and the needs of the patient. These ethics often include:

  • Providing dignity for patients
  • Making patients as comfortable as is possible
  • Informing the patient of all possibilities (enabling patients to make choices)
  • Telling the truth
  • Confidentiality

When a nurse is able to follow these basic ethics in their job, then care that is given should be of the highest quality that is possible.

ISSUES WITH KEEPING TO NURSING ETHICS

There are occasions when ethical practice is not always possible. Outside factors can prevent a patient from getting the best quality care. These issues of conflict include:

  • Necessary resources
  • Policy (government and rules of establishment)
  • Environmental concerns
  • Mental health where patients true wishes are not always known

These outside factors often cause distress not only for the patient but also for family members and nursing staff. Wherever possible it is essential for continuous communication to help alleviate these issues and give the best care possible for the patient as an individual.

CONCLUSION

Nursing ethics are a set of guidelines for nurses to follow to give the best care for each individual patient. When these ethics are observed the nursing standards are high enough to give the patient the best care that enables them to recovery comfortably and with dignity. Communication can help to relieve situations where nursing ethics may conflict with a patients needs.