American Nursing Association Code of Ethics and Professionalism
Sustaining Health through Relationships of Dignity and Respect As nurses carry out their daily routine, it is essential for them to adhere to the basic concepts of respecting human dignity. The initial inclusion of human dignity was in the 1960 version of the Code of Professional Nurses and continued to appear in every revision that followed (Lachman, Swanson, & Winland-Brown, 2015). The addition of the section on human dignity illustrates how critical its preservation is on an international level. The year 1985 saw the emphasis on the conservation and affirmation of human dignity in the care of patients. In the 2001 revision to the code of ethics regarding human dignity, it highlights that nurses are expected to affirm and preserve human dignity towards any individual that they come in contact with in their practice of the nursing responsibilities and roles.
The importance of such considerations is that they promote wellness and health as well as addressing issues concerning the decisions of the client or patient. Respect for the choices of the patient is not determined by agreeing to every wish of the patient; the nurse has the liberty to decline a patient’s request or demand. The basis for rejecting a patient’s desires are potentially self-destructive or risky. It is the responsibility to address this kind of behavior and make sure that such tendencies do not reoccur and ensure that the risk does not reoccur (Epstein & Turner, 2015). Nurses also follow specific guidelines concerning the kind of treatment they must adhere to within the workplace environment especially to their colleagues and superiors.
Sometimes nurses end up in situations where there are faced with a conflict of interest. A clear illustration of a conflict that arises is an instance when a nurse is placed in a position where the nurse must choose between the interest of the patient and their self-interest. According to the ANA code of ethics, in such a nurse-patient case it is morally right to choose to align with the interests of the patient. This form of alignment is the principle of ethics when it comes to the relationship between the nurse and the patient. About the conflict of interest, several essential elements are considered to establish a professional relationship between the nurse and the patient. It was established in 1926 that efficiently achieving the aims of health care would require the combined efforts of multiple disciplines.
The code of ethics highlights that the there exists a mutual objective between medicine and nursing. The objectives that are identified include promoting positive health, preventing and curing diseases. As much as technics used to achieve these goals are different, neither of the professions can achieve optimum results without the assistance of the next profession (Winland-BrowN, Lachman, & Swanson, 2015). As of the code of ethics between 1950 and 1960, such a collaboration was known as a healthcare team. In addressing the health of the public and the patients effectively, the code of ethics points out that collaborating with nurses is crucial (Parandeh, Khaghanizade, Mohammadi, & Nouri, 2015). The importance of working together with other professionals is highlighted within the ANA code of ethics. With every revision to the code of ethics, an essential point to note is the change of language from the use of physician to indicate that the nurse is merely helping the doctor, to use of wording such as other healthcare professionals.
The use of other healthcare professionals suggests that the nurse and the physicians work alongside each other. With the current trends within the healthcare environment, a lack of collaboration between the doctors and nurses can potentially result in the fragmentation of patient care. In most situations where nurses are rewarded with gifts from patients, it is in a home environment. The rewarding of gifts by patients towards nurses in a hospital context is argued relatively differently (Lachman, Swanson, & Winland-Brown, 2015). The recommendations are that the rewarding of gifts by patients should be directed towards the staff unit instead of towards an individual nurse. With the advancement of the code of ethics, the issuing of gifts is becoming a concern insensitivity, awareness, and cultural context (Parandeh, Khaghanizade, Mohammadi, & Nouri, 2015).
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