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Professional Roles & Values in Nursing

Autor:   •  October 9, 2017  •  3,136 Words (13 Pages)  •  507 Views

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Provision 2 of the ANA Code of Ethics states “the nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient, whether an individual, family, group, or community” ("Code of Ethics With Interpretive Statements," 2011).

My example of how this provision of the ANA Code of Ethics influenced my practice involved an older gentleman whose hospital stay was quite longer than he had expected. This patient was deconditioning rapidly which was distressing for both himself and his family, as he was independent before his admittance to our hospital. He had developed cellulitis and was experiencing exacerbated congestive heart failure. Because of these diagnoses, the patient was extremely edematous and experiencing severe pain in the lower extremities. Not only could he no longer walk, this man could not even stand! The family was shocked about his condition. He asked “how could this happen to him”? I explained to the patient and his family about his diagnoses; his treatments (antibiotics, diuretics, heels elevated on pillows); his plan of care; and his discharge plan. Because he was not a candidate for in-patient rehab, the plan was to send this patient to a nursing home to recover. The patient and the family were adamantly against this plan. The family did not want their father to go to a skilled nursing facility. I felt ethically responsible to assist the family with this decision. I explained how this decision would be the best for their father to recover, recuperate and restore his health so he can hopefully be independent again. I provided individualized care for this patient and provided handouts to both the patient and his family on the diagnoses; handouts on the antibiotics and diuretics; and information on the facility the doctors were considering for their father. My primary commitment was to both the patient and his family during this hospital admission.

- Professional Traits

There are numerous professional traits a nurse can bring to an interdisciplinary team of

healthcare professionals. Listed below are four professional traits that are vital to the practice of nursing.

Privacy – The trait of privacy is one of the most important traits in nursing. Not only because of HIPPA, but for respect of the patient. Confidentiality and privacy are essential rights in today’s society. Protecting personal health information (“PHI”) of patients with staff (RN’s, CNA’s, providers, and housekeeping) is both a nurse’s legal and ethical obligation as healthcare providers. Unfortunately because of advanced technology and electronic medical records (“EMR’s”), keeping a patient’s PHI private is becoming more difficult. Nurses, along with other members of the interdisciplinary team, must work together so patient’s PHI continues to stay private ("Code of Ethics With Interpretive Statements," 2011).

Uniqueness – Every patient is a different individual. Some patients have health insurance, families, support and resources. Other patients do not have health insurance, families, support or resources. That is what makes every patient unique and different. As healthcare providers, nurses should not provide care any differently to someone that has the above-listed means or support. All patients need care – no matter what race they are; what religion they follow; their socioeconomic status; or even their sexual preference. As nurses, we need to encourage and inspire all of the members of the interdisciplinary team to believe that also ("Code of Ethics With Interpretive Statements," 2011).

Advocacy - As nurses and healthcare providers, we advocate for our patients. Advocacy is one of the fundamental traits of nursing. Nurses practice promoting and endorsing patient rights on a daily basis. Every nurse (and member of the interdisciplinary team) should be a patient advocate to help enhance patient care and ensure the needs of the patient are being met. Being a patient advocate guarantees the needs and the decisions of their patients are the chief concern of the physician and the interdisciplinary team. Nursing advocates frequently make certain that standard and customary procedures and medical ethics are being followed. A nursing advocate may also function as a liaison between the patient or the patient’s family and the physician ("Code of Ethics With Interpretive Statements," 2011).

Accountability – All nurses (and healthcare providers) need to be accountable and responsible for their actions. Accountability is a legal and lawful obligation. Not only is accountability a legal obligation, it is also a moral and ethical responsibility. Healthcare providers have the responsibility and accountability to practice within their scope of care. They also need to make medical decisions that are in the best interest of the patient based on their knowledge. Of course, the level of accountability depends on their professional rank or level. A Charge Nurse would have more responsibility and accountability than a floor or staff nurse. The registered nurse would be more accountable than the licensed practical nurse. Even though their levels of practice may be different, their professional accountability is not different. All members of the interdisciplinary team need to be held accountable for their actions ("Code of Ethics With Interpretive Statements," 2011).

- Recommended Resource

The “Environment Theory” by Florence Nightingale is my preferred theory to discuss. As most nurses may appreciate, Nightingale was the founder of “modern nursing” ("Environmental Theory - Nursing Theory," 2013).

D1. Theory in Professional Practice

In my opinion, Florence Nightingale’s “Environment Theory” changed the appearance of nursing practice. Ms. Nightingale worked as a nurse during the Crimean War. During that time, she observed a connection between the soldiers who died and their environmental surroundings and conditions ("Environmental Theory - Nursing Theory," 2013).

The focus of this theory is to modify the environment of the patient to affect change in the patient’s health. These modifications included: clean water, fresh air, adequate food supplies, direct sunlight and cleanliness of both the patient and their environment. Florence wanted her nurses to adjust the environment of the patients so their body could heal. Ms. Nightingale thought if the patient lacked any of these modifications, the patient’s health may diminish ("Environmental Theory - Nursing Theory," 2013).

This theory of nursing is a patient-care theory

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