Ethical Conflicts in nursing

Document Type:Thesis

Subject Area:Nursing

Document 1

Professional misconduct can be due to a health practitioner’s lack of knowledge or incompetence or intentional actions (Maurits, de Veer, Groenewegen & Francke, 2016). When a nurse sees misconduct, they ought to tell the supervisors or managers but coming to this decision can be hard as they face the dilemma of being their patient's advocates and ensuring the safety of the patient and being loyal to their colleagues (Mansbach, Kushnir, Ziedenberg & Bachner, 2014). A nurse who reports a case of professional misconduct may face harassment and mistreatment from fellow employees since they are seen as betrayers though there are a few cases where those who report such cases are rewarded for their ethics and bravery (Mansbach, Kushnir, Ziedenberg & Bachner, 2014). Professional misconducts take various forms but include failure to maintain proper standards of practice while at work.

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Nurses are expected to adhere to the nursing code of conducts as they carry out their professional practice (Schmidt, 2014). A nurse who reports a case of misconduct may seem loyal to hospital policies and patients but will be seen as not being loyal to fellow employees. Refusing to report an incident of misconduct goes against the values of nursing as the nurse will have put a patient’s life at risk for the sake of a colleague. It is important that a patient’s health is put first irrespective of a relationship with fellow health practitioners. The parties involved in the process of reporting employee misconduct are the management, the nurse who observed the misconduct and the health practitioner who exhibited professional misconduct.

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The management is responsible for the cause of action taken against the unprofessional employee and the nurse that observes the misconduct is responsible for stating the form of misconduct they observed. The management can offer a slot where nurses can specify that their identity should remain hidden when they report cases of misconduct (Corcoran, Walker * & Wals, 2017). Nurses can be encouraged to explore various options before they result in whistleblowing; they can be advised to talk to their colleague about what they observed and advised them to rectify their behavior. Nurses ought to know about the laws that protect them when they whistle blow. Proper education about these laws ought to be given to nurses. The laws which protect people who raise genuine concern should be taught to nurses.

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There are better communication and less misinterpretation of the message being passed across from one colleague to another about professional misconduct. If management offers support to its nurses, there are more chances of nurses reporting incidents of professional misconduct because they will feel encouraged to do what is right without facing the consequences. According to research 75% of the staff report that there is a good working environment if employee’s identities are kept secret, and this encourages cases of reports of employee misconduct (Mansbach, Kushnir, Ziedenberg & Bachner, 2014). Good communication and a peaceful environment are vital for the proper treatment of patients as a hostile environment may lead to mishandling of patients. If staff correct each other before taking a matter to the management there is an improvement, and fewer cases of misconduct are seen (Mansbach, Kushnir, Ziedenberg & Bachner, 2014).

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