NURSING ETHICS AND DIMENSIONS FROM THE ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE
Secondly, nursing ethics also requires the nurse to be loyal to the physician. It is very important to make a distinction between the role of nurses and that of the physician. The nurse’s primary role is that of the caregiver while a physician is the one involved in the provision of curative services to the patient. The nursing ethics, therefore, is concerned with the approach and the manner in which a nurse should carry their affairs while providing care to the patient. El-Wogoud Helal and Mamdouh Esheaba (2016) assert that the quality of care that the nurse extends to the patient is also very critical when it comes to the curative process since the patient is more likely to recover if they are subjected to the highest level of care while in a medical institution.
According to Sheikh and Gatrad (2008), caring is a deliberate process that is informed by the love for humanity and human life. Nursing is a profession and just like any other profession, nurses are expected to carry on with their duties and responsibilities as a way of advancing their profession. However, unlike any other profession, love is a central aspect when it comes to caregiving since it is the love for the patient that should act as the primary motivator for any nurse who is seeking to excel in their career. Furthermore, within the context of the profession, the love for the patient naturally translates to love for the job. Empathy plays a key role when as far as caring for the patient is concerned.
According to Ali Al-Bar and Pasha (2015), the size of Muslim communities in many countries is on an upward trajectory. This can be attributed to international migration and an increase in the number of people converting to Islam. Some of the nursing theoretical underpinnings of nursing discussed so far to address some of the concerns that Muslim patients might have but a lot still needs to be done in order to ensure that the nursing profession is alive to the caregiving needs of this segment of the population. Caring in Islam Nursing or caregiving for that matter is a universal practice however, nurses should be able in a position to align their practice within the context of their patients’ social-cultural settings. The Islamic community is unique in terms of its religious and socio-cultural practices and it is important for nurses to ensure that the unique needs of Muslim and non-Muslim patients are addressed.
The key challenge when it comes to nursing is that the practice is mainly formulated around western beliefs and culture (Barolia, Registered Midwifery & Karmaliani, 2008). These culture conflict with Islam in many areas and as such, caring for patients in Islamic countries might call for a more comprehensive approach on the part of the nurse in order to ensure that all the needs of the patients are addressed. Anderson (2008) argues that the best approach is to have a uniform practice for both Muslim and non-Muslim patients. However, Diane and Fowler (2011) note that this might be counter-productive as far as the very objective of nursing is concerned. This is because, if the nature and quality of care fail to meet the expectations of the patient, their emotional and spiritual health will be undermined and this can affect the physical recovery process (Diane & Fowler, 2011).
Barolia, Registered Midwifery and Karmaliani (2008) assert that pain is indeed one of the most common symptoms in many illnesses and thus, one of the best approaches to caregiving is to ensure that such pain is adequately dealt with. When it comes to pain, it is important for nurses to also take into account the need to ensure that any circumstances that might worsen the condition of the patient are addressed. Pain management is, therefore, a very essential component of the caregiving process. Proper pain management will involve administration of pain killer medication such as paracetamol or in cases of severe pain, morphine can also be used. At times, it is important to ensure that the physical manipulation of the body muscles is undertaken as a way of reducing pain associated with extended durations of immobility (Al-Bar and Pasha, 2015).
The Islamic perspective will, therefore, call for the nurse to invariably base their decision on the interest of the patient and not their own individual interest. The nurse must, therefore, appreciate the fact that the patient is a vulnerable entity who must be assisted to recover their health. Furthermore, the nurse should take into consideration the need to advance the greater good for humanity and this will call for them to always ensure that the decisions they make abide by the ethical needs of their patients. Ideological dimension Ideological dimension in nursing is informed by three tenets that underpin the overriding ideology behind Islamic religion and culture. These are a duty to God, duty to mankind and duty to self. Similarly, nursing is a profession that enables one to earn a living and take care of their own physical well being requirements.
Spiritual dimension Personal fulfillment is one of the key reasons why people engage in different activities. Lower level personal fulfillment comes from attaining material and physical things but a higher level of fulfillment is more profound and it can only be achieved by having an understanding of the meaning of life. Higher level personal fulfillment comes about when a person is in a position to understand their role in life. The spiritual dimension in nursing relates to the need for caregivers to understand the profound role that they play in society. Anderson (2008) asserts that the overall objective of looking for new knowledge is to improve both the spiritual and intellectual capacity of the person. In fact, the Quran instructs believers to be adventurous in their quest for knowledge and actively look for opportunities that will enable them to attain new knowledge.
The intellectual dimension in nursing is related to the Islamic teaching of intellectual enhancement. First and foremost, it is important to appreciate the nursing is indeed one of the most demanding professions in terms of the career path that nurses are expected to take. Nurses or caregivers are expected to learn by reading many scientific books and attending lecturers as they update their knowledge relating to the care of patients (Anderson, 2008). There are five dimensions that seek to relate the religion and culture of Islam with the practice of caregiving and these are Physical Dimension, Ethical dimension, Ideological dimension, Spiritual Dimension, and Intellectual Dimension. Ultimately, caregiving within the Islamic perspective must ensure that the nature of care accorded to the patient does not contravene the religious beliefs of the patient since such an approach might hinder the overall capacity of the patient to fully recover.
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