Legal & Ethical Conduct

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Legal and Ethical Conduct
The Ethical Dilemma
Nurses must always demonstrate professional conduct when handling difficult situations. The discussion this week described a difficult situation in which a public health nurse learned that her sister’s boyfriend is positive for HIV. The nurse must decide what her next course of action will be. As a professional nurse, the proper course of action would be to maintain the patient’s confidentiality. The Florence Nightingale Pledge states “I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling” (American Nurses Association, 2012). My first step as the nurse in the above situation would be to seek HIV counseling for my sister’s boyfriend. During this counseling he would be encouraged to notify all sexual partners of his HIV status. I would not want him to feel uncomfortable discussing his status with me; therefore I would talk to my supervisor to determine if another staff member should provide the counseling. I would also want to address the situation with my sister while still maintaining her boyfriend’s confidentiality. I would begin our discussion by mentioning the statistics of HIV within our community. I may tell her that I am thinking about getting tested and ask her if she would like to get tested as well. My conversation may then lead to the importance of protected intercourse and reinforcing ways to prevent the spread of HIV. Rules & Regulations

The Federal government establishes laws that regulate the nursing profession. Each state has a Board of Nursing which imposes additional state rules and regulations. The Board monitors the nursing profession to ensure both state and federal regulations are followed. Modern nurses are faced with ethical dilemmas on a daily basis. It is essential that nurses are familiar with the laws...
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