Professional/Personal Case Analysis Paper
Professional/Personal Case Analysis Paper
Description of Situation
One day while I was working in the long care unit, I had an opportunity to observe a new nurse handle a patient whose health deteriorated. Later in the day, the patient had asked us about the real state of his health. Since I was acting as the trainer for the new nurse, I gave her a chance to talk to the patient. As the nurse valued honesty more than her professional ethics and codes, she told the patient about the exact situation without hiding anything. I had forgotten to tell the nurse that in such a situation, one was supposed to be autonomous in making such a decision. As a matter of fact, the patient died later in the day. I felt I was the one to blame for having failed to tell the nurse what to say and what not to when the patients life was at risk. Concealing some information is important in the situation where the patients life is at risk.
There is an ethical dilemma that most of the nurses find it very hard to handle. When it comes to honesty versus the protection of the patient, we are always out to compromise our ethical standards. It is also common for the parents hide the true state of their childrens health when they are patients. The nurses and some families do this because they avoid any form of harm to the patient.
Honesty and ethics bind nurses, but information disclosure is valuable when it risks the life of a patient.
The ethical issues concerning the patients are as follows. Does it take keen attention for the nurses to accept their professionalism and do the work with their focus on ethics? Is it true that after a failure in the nursing field, significant negative implications will follow while the organization may lose it the public image? Does the nurses arrogance lead to the loss of patients in the process? Imagine a situation where a patient is supposed to take medication, but the nurse is complacent simply because the patients does not feel like taking it. Is it ethical?
Analysis of Possible Alternative Actions
The first thing I would do is to call the nurse aside and explain the situation and the consequences of her actions. To bring everything in order, I will have to inform the nurse about the American Nurses Association (ANA). Consequently, I will point out the need for the nurses to be bound by the promises. Therefore, I will explain to the nurse that when it comes to honesty in the field of medicine, nurses are known to be the most honest medical workers (Paulsen, 2011). When it comes to the fight for morality and ethics, the nurses are given professional guidance on how not to hurt any party. Considering this, the nurses have been trained very well on how to carry out the services to avoid misinterpretation of their statements. This is a critical moment since most of the patients may not be able to handle the truth in nurses statements. Imagine a situation where a patient has a heart attack, and then the nurse tells him or her that they might not live much longer. The patient might die immediately. Ethically, nurses are supposed to be cautious with their words.
Secondly, I will try to involve some studies compounded from the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements. This is what I will tell the nurse after what has happened earlier. Honesty in the nursing field is one of the areas, in which they must be able to be quite keen. Reflecting the numerous changes and evolutions in health care, one can say that nurses are exposed to very challenging situation of their profession. In building the culture of safety versus protecting their profession, nurses have to very critical in the decisions they make. Therefore, way, nurses are supposed to be very cautious. Any time a nurse is to engage in any professional conduct, they are expected to be aware of the patients beliefs. According to the American Nurses Association, nurses are supposed to be mindful of the importance of clarifying their beliefs, attitudes, and values before starting to engage in the situation of patients and the need for honesty.
To have the nurse remain motivated, I should refer to the similar issues that have happened and explain how they have been handled. I must use examples of other nurses who have had the same weaknesses in the line of service but have managed to overcome it (Paulsen, 2011). The reason for using this example is to make sure that the nurse is not demotivated and that she has her to work again. My focus is to have the nurse change her perspective and tactics in a way it could help save the life of the patient. Therefore, the main thing here is the need to act as a professional.
Ethical Principles Relevant to Situation
The principle of beneficence presupposes me to have the welfare of the patients at heart. In my nursing field and the unit of long care, for instance, some factors are supposed to be put into consideration before any important decision is made. There is the need for us to meet the patient with love and integrity, but at the same time, the nurses are supposed to consider the implications. Ethically, honesty is a virtue that has value in any profession. For instance when a patient is devastated and in the process of protecting their feeling, they are not told the truth, in the event their situation does not change, they will be stressed. In such a case, the nurses are supposed to know the situation very well.
No maleficence principle is the process of not harming the patient while finding a way to have the beneficial outcome. In this case, I must act ethically for the patients to benefit from their acts. Ethics demands that both parties are protected but then, the nurses are expected to know the reaction of the patients based on their experience (Ulrich, 2012). Considering the situation like the one above, the nurse was not cautious of the implication of her statement, which led to the death of her patient. Understanding the ethical and professional codes marked with experience is the key to changing the situation of the nursing career. Further, with this principle, it is expected that the nurses be honest with patients, but then there is an extent, to which factual information must be evealed. As nurses, we have professional codes even far beyond the codes that have their statements in the Hippocratic oaths. With the obligations that we have on institutional policies and contractual arrangements, we are supposed to maintain our honesty and respect for the patients positions. Nurses commitments expected on the duties bind them beyond their beliefs and attitudes.
Autonomy is a moral bioethical philosophy as (Paulsen, 2011) explains. This principle assumes that we, as nurses, need to make rational and an informed decision. When a moral challenge the one presented above is faced, it is the role of the nurse to consider the consequence before making a decision. The nurse should consider the ethical standards applied in the profession of nursing. In a nutshell, the nurses must respect their profession. Honesty in the nurses profession is limited to some extent so disclosure must be put into consideration. The disclosure in the situation where the truth puts the life of the patient at risk requires the nurses to make a wise and right decision. The decision will be based on whether to disclose the information to the patient or not. Before making this decision, there is the need to have the nurse consider many things. There is a need also to think about telling the truth versus respecting patients autonomy. Autonomists claim that there is need to speak the truth but the discretion remains with the nurses to determine what to say to the patients in the process of duty. When the nurses offer their services, there is the need to put in focus some principles such as beneficence, non-maleficence, and confidentiality. With this issue in place, nurses have an obligation to their profession and the need to offer quality service when needed.
Discussion of Chosen Alternative
The decision that stands out is that as much as we decide to pass judgement about nurses decision, there is the need to understand some things about ethics of honesty and disclosure of information. The best decision is for me to teach the nurse about the foundation of ethics. I will have to teach the nurse that when we are faced with the ethical situation like the one presented, we are supposed to have the open dialogue with our patients. Honesty and truth are two major valuables in the profession of nursing. The nurse must find the right balance between compassion and the need to speak the truth. Some situation in the nursing profession requires that we need to do a critical analysis of a situation before telling their patients their results.