Free Ethical Dilemmas In Nursing Essay Example
Nursing is a profession that demands the application of ethics for nurses across the world (Davis, 2010). Nurses should be ethical while dealing with patients and their fellow medical practitioners. An absence of clear ethical guidelines in the nursing profession would lead to loss of lives among patients, health damage to patients and poor relations among nurses and other practitioners in the healthcare systems. However, in the process of executing their noble duties, nurses may encounter several dilemmas as they try to work by the set ethical guidelines (Butts, 2013). The dilemmas may arise due to personal, spiritual or cultural beliefs among others. It is always up to the healthcare worker to make the right decisions during practices. Once mistakes have been made they cannot be reversed. Ethical practices are a pillar to successful nursing.
My philosophy of nursing is to serve humanity selflessly with equality, respect, and commitment in this noble practice of life preservation and to relate with my colleagues with patience and understanding at all times. There are several spiritual, cultural and personal values that have significantly contributed to my worldview and philosophy of nursing. One spiritual value that has contributed to my philosophy and worldview is the belief that life is a precious gift from God and it should be preserved as a sign of respect to God. Due to this religious value, I have always committed myself to making sure that patients receive the best that I can deliver to them as a nurse. I am always ready to make personal sacrifices like getting up late in the night to attend to a person in need of medical attention. My personal value of secrecy has also contributed to my worldview and philosophy in nursing. I always treat personal information obtained from clients with confidentiality. This shows great respect to patients as stated in my philosophy. In my culture, patience and respect to all people is compulsory and essential for a successful career and social life. This cultural value has greatly influenced how I relate with my colleagues at the workplace. I always respect my seniors and relate with all medical practitioners with patience and humility. This ensures that we relate well at the workplace to ensure achievement of our positive career and organizational goals and objectives.
As a nurse I am obliged to ethically conduct all activities that relate to my profession in nursing. The obligations have greatly contributed to my nursing ethics. As a nurse I am obliged to:
My morals, values and ethics in nursing have been greatly shaped by my obligations as a nurse. The obligations have become an essential part of my moral guidelines in the practice. In regard to values I am caring and compassionate, fair and just, respecting and self respecting, courageous, honest and of great integrity and competent professionally. These values together with my philosophy may at times conflict with the commitment to work within the obligations of nursing. For example, I am obliged to work and advocate for the patient’s best interests. At times the best interests of the patient may be against my personal values and ethical guidelines. Mercy killing is the act of killing a patient who has a terminal illness and is experiencing a lot of pain. The killing is assumed to have reduced the pain that the patient would further experience when alive. Some people may therefore consider this act as an allowable act since the patient would have died eventually. However, my philosophy and religious belief in the preciousness of life do not allow me to practice mercy killing. Life should be preserved at all times with total disregard to any argument, approach or philosophical thought that may suggest otherwise. Therefore, if a patient’s best interests are to be killed to reduce the pain that he may be going through as a result of terminal illness, I will not honor his request/ interest. Such a situation clearly shows that although I am obliged to work in the best interests of the patient, my personal, religious and cultural beliefs may at times conflict seriously with the obligations.
In the health care field, moral and ethical dilemmas will always arise (Butts, 2013). It is always right to use rational and sober judgment when faced with such a dilemma. At all times the decisions and actions taken should be focused in ensuring patient safety and health. Patients are the key reason why the healthcare system exists. They should therefore be treated in a way that ensures preservation of their lives and wellness. My personal views that are positive have always guided me in making the right decisions while dealing with patients.
My moral compass as a nurse is one that is guided by ethical practices, my obligations as a nurse, religious beliefs and positive personal and cultural values. Everything that I do as a professional in health care should be positive and in good will. Nursing is a very important profession not only to the practitioner but also to the people whom the nurse treats (Davis, 2010). It is a profession that deals with the preservation of life. A small error may cost a patient’s life. The life cannot be recovered once lost. Ethical practices prevent the occurrence of these mistakes. Therefore nurses should be ethical in everything that they do and although dilemmas may arise, we should always seek to deal with them in a method that ensures patient’s safety and well being.
PCBE: Being Human: Readings from the President’s Council on Bieothics (Chapter 3: To Heal Sometimes, To Comfort Always. (n.d.). Retrieved December 6, 2014, from https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcbe/bookshelf/reader/chapter3.html
Davis, A. J., Fowler, M. D. M., & Aroskar, M. A. (2010). Ethical dilemmas & nursing practice. Boston: Pearson.
Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. (2013). Nursing ethics: Across the curriculum and into practice. Burlington, Mass: Jones & Bartlett Learning.