Code of ethics implies given principles formulated by an organization to guide professionals to conduct their business by established fundamental values and expected standards. In nursing, the code helps in shaping professional behavior by assisting nurses to distinguish between right and wrong when making their decisions (Park, 2012). This paper focuses on why nurses need to be knowledgeable about the use of the code of ethics in their practice.
Code of ethics enables nurses to uphold compassionate and respectful professional relationships by appreciating the worth, dignity, and uniqueness of every individual. Ethics makes nurses demonstrate their full commitment to the patients. The aspect of the nursing practice ethics should be supported regardless of the patient being an individual, family, or community.
Besides, the code of ethics allows nurses to uphold the right of patients and protect their health and safety. Nurses avoid unauthorized intrusion into the patients’ life. They ensure confidentiality by non-disclosure of the clients’ information unless through the consent of the patient. Only information about the patients’ welfare should be shared, thus ensuring their safety (Finkelman, 2011).
Additionally, ethics aids nurses to become responsible and accountable for their personal practices. They exercise judgment by accepting responsibilities, consultation, and assigning tasks to others. For example, a nurse can delegate prescription and treatment orders to other nurses during advanced health practices. Nurses also offer full accountability for their decisions and actions during their medical practice.
Moreover, ethics enables nurses to practice integrity and competence by upholding the duty to self and others (Park, 2012). Integrity among nurses makes them uphold respect for human worth, and competence empowers them to provide the highest standards of healthcare services thereby encouraging professional and personal growth. Additionally, the code of ethics permits nurses to collaborate with other health practitioners thereby promoting efforts aimed at accomplishing health needs at the community, national, and international levels.
The following is a list of situational examples that apply to the code for nurses
- Handling patients
- Relating to other nurses
- Handling the workplace equipment
- Dealing with the authorities
Finkelman, A. (2011). Leadership and Management for Nurses: Core Competencies for Quality Care (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Park, E.J. (2012). An integrated ethical decision-making model for nurses. Nursing Ethics, 19(1), 139-59. Web.