Nurses in the contemporary world are faced with ethical dilemmas on adaily basis. Ethics is the practice of moral conduct while at theworkplace. Different nurses can react differently to the samesituation depending on their moral values hence the need for a codeof ethics. Some of the ethical issues faced by the nursing fraternityinclude simple aspects such as communication with the patient. Nurseshave the moral obligation to communicate all necessary information totheir patients. Some nurses choose to ignore this and offer thepatient partial information while others have ineffectivecommunication skills. This study is aimed at exploring ethicalissues nurses face while at the workplace and is important because itoffers possible solutions to enhance ethics in nursing.
A major ethical issue in the nursing profession is making the choicebetween freedom and control of the patient`s treatment. Some patientsmight make decisions that are bad for their health claiming thefreedom to decide their treatment plans. Nurses on the other handmight prefer more control over the patient’s treatment so as tomanage them better. Nurses have to make ethical decision on which ismore important freedom or control. A nurse can find him or herself ina situation where a patient does not want to receive a certain kindof medication for whatever reason. The nurse understands that withoutthe medication the patient could potentially lose their life. Thenurse is faced by a situation of control verses freedom it is thepatient’s right to make decisions concerning their health. It isthe nurse’s responsibility to ensure the patient receives the besttreatment possible. The nurse has to make a decision between ethicsand saving lives which is never an easy decision. Nurse Managers areespecially faced with challenging ethical dilemmas as they areexpected to set the standard on ethics by other nurses. When a nurseis faced with an ethical challenge they consult with nursing managersto offer direction on the best way forward (Huston,2013).
One of solutions implemented to solve these ethical dilemmas is thenurses’ code of ethics. In the United States of America the ANAcode of ethics is the standard that regulates a nurse’s ethics inthe country. All nurses are expected to know what the documentcontains and follow the recommendations in all situations. Researchhas also shown that ethics requires to be taught to nurses beforethey are released the work environment. Education on ethics needs tobe taught and continuously revisited in order to ensure nurses followethics in the practice. Another important factor in ensuring nursesare moral and always make the most ethical decision is the creationof a forum where the nurses can discuss their daily experiences andconsult with each other in decision making and the importance ofethics.
Nurses can also learn a great deal from other medical professionalssuch as physicians who also face similar ethical issues. Theinteraction between these professionals and sharing of experiencesgoes a long ways in ensuring the ethical standard is followed.Professionals that deal with ethics specifically are also importantin the ensuring of ethics in the nursing profession.
The ethic professionals will only deal with ethical issues andconsult with nurses on issues concerning professional ethics. Theacademic world should also play its role in the promotion andinstillation of ethical standards in the nursing profession. Journalsand books on ethics should be promoted and distributed to nurses andall other professions. Research on ethical practice should also beincreased in order to find the best ways of implementingethics(Huston,2013). Ethics is important in nursing and in any otherprofession and as a result should be given a priority.
Huston, C. J. (2013). Professional issues in nursing: Challengesand opportunities. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.