Confidentiality in Nursing Practice

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The Importance of Confidentiality in Nursing Practice

This essay will discuss why confidentiality is important within nursing practice and the reasons why a registered nurse and student nurse are accountable and to whom they are accountable to in relation to patient care. It will further discuss patient’s rights in relation to law.

Definition of Confidentiality, Bailliere’s Dictionary (2005)

“Spoken, written or given in confidence”

With this in mind the Nursing & Midwifery Council states:

“As a registered Nurse, Midwife or Health Visitor, you are personally accountable for your practice. In caring for patients and clients, you must protect confidential information” Therefore it is every patients and clients right to expect that any information that a nurse acquires during the course of them providing care will be held in confidence, (NMC, 2008).

The Oxford English Dictionary (1995), defines ‘Confidence’ as: “Firm trust”

If this is related to a nurse with patient or client relationships, then any information given confidentiality is central to trust. The patient or client will make the decision whether they trust the nurse involved in their care, therefore a nurse should behave in a professional manner to gain their trust, with this in mind a nurse has a legal, ethical and professional responsibility to maintain confidentiality in accordance with clause 1.2 of the Code of Professional Conduct, (NMC, 2008).

Additionally, this links nurses and student nurses to the right to...
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