My Nursing Ethics Assignment
What personal, cultural, and spiritual values contribute to your worldview and philosophy of nursing? How do these values shape or influence your nursing practice?
Just as encountering illness and suffering often triggers hunger for spirituality, the latter is one part of my personal knowledge that I use to base my worldview as a nurse on. Spirituality helps to address the patients’ needs in a holistic manner, considering the purpose and meaning of human existence and the meaning of human suffering. It helps to address not only physical but also spiritual needs of a patient. While sharing the search for meaning in life in patients and understanding their inner changes as a result of quest for spirituality, the nurse helps to establish the sense of peace, life purpose, and communion (Andrist, Nichoals, & Wolf, 2006, p. 153). Here peace is understood as inner harmony, sense of purpose emerges from contemplating the meaning of life, and communion is related to a person’s relation to a larger whole. As a Christian, I base my spirituality knowledge on the foundations of the Christian religion in the Bible.
The cultural value that I will definitely apply to my practice as a RN is my respect, openness, and understanding of other cultures. Encountering new patients every day, the nurse should be able to positively react to different cultures and take into account their practices, diet, or childbirth, etc. My cultural belief is rooted in Christian belief that all people are equal before God, so I do not distinguish between races of ethnicities. This will help to closely collaborate with the patients no matter what their culture is. My Nursing Ethics Assignment
Define values, morals, and ethics in the context of your obligation to nursing practice. Explain how your personal values, philosophy, and worldview may conflict with your obligation to practice, creating an ethical dilemma.
The common definition of ethics as “the philosophical study of right action and wrong action” applies to nursing practice (Lachman, 2005, p.3). Within the system of my personal values and worldview, ethics performs the role of moral framework which guides my professional activity. Ethics is the highest standard of moral behavior. Moral values, which form the basis of the individual’s ethical conduct, are understood as evaluative judgments about “good” and worthy things or actions. Apart from personal values, nurses should also have professional values. A combination of these will help to apply moral reasoning – in other words, reasoning centered on ethical or moral issues (Butts & Rich, 2012). Moral reasoning will help to solve the upcoming dilemmas in nursing.
Being a nurse, I realize that I will need to solve ethical dilemmas often. The most problematic issues involve the issue of life and death, the question of patient’s rights, and confidentiality questions (Lachman, 2005, p.3).
It seems one of the biggest ethical dilemmas is related to the question of life and death. Any ethical dilemma suggests that the nurse practitioner has to choose between the two options each being equally unfavorable. In some situations, it is really hard to choose since personal values come in conflict with what the other party may demand in the situation. For example, in a situation, when a man or a woman has a “full code” cardiac arrest and the emergency team arrives to resuscitate him or her, the relevant action on the part of the spouse should have been to allow the team to do their job and save the patient’s life if possible. However, the spouse may resist the attempts of the team by asking them let her/his second half die in peace while protecting the dying partner from the medical specialists. In this case, a consultation is needed with the MD (Lachman, 2005, p.5). Despite the personal desire to make every effort to save the full code patient, a RN may need to follow the partner’s request. This is how my personal value of the sacredness of life can be challenged by an unpredictable situation like this.
Reflect and share your own personal thoughts regarding the morals and ethical dilemmas you may face in the health care field. How do your personal views affect your behavior and your decision making?
The biggest ethical dilemma is the one related to matters of religion and a patient’s health. I have heard many accounts when Christians of some denominations refuse from ordinary procedures to save their lives because they believes it will deprive them of afterlife reward. For example, in a case when a Jehovah Witness husband asked the medical staff to stop resuscitating his injured pregnant wife because certain procedures (e.g. blood transfusion) are not allowed in their religion, they stopped doing this. For me, the question undoubtedly will be whether to respect the patient’s deep religious beliefs and his or her right for autonomy and by this compromise my professional as well as moral duty as a nurse or to keep administering medical care with reference to set standards. This, however, will violate the patient’s religious belief. My Nursing Ethics Assignment
While it is apparent that these options are both mutually exclusive, the decision still should be made. In this case, the application of the virtue ethics will be a good choice. That would be ethics that centers on what is presumably morally right from the patient’s perspective. Applying the ethical decision, the nurse should agree, even despite his or her personal opposing view, to support the patient’s perspective because they are obliged to consider the informed decision (Volbrecht, 2002).
While it could certainly be morally unbearable to watch the young woman die because of her religious belief, the nurse should take into account that it was an informed decision and the choice was made consciously. Thus, my personal views will have to subdue to the professional and ethical norms of behavior and values.
My Nursing Ethics Assignment