My Moral Compass

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Running head: NURSING ETHICS

Moral Compass
Andrea Mills
Grand Canyon University
NRS-437V Introduction to the Study of Ethics
September 23, 2012

Moral Compass
A moral compass is anything that is used to guide a person’s decisions based on morals or virtues. (Dictionary, 2012) I use my moral compass to guide my nursing to help me make ethical decisions when caring for my patients. My moral compass is the part of me that has values of integrity, responsibility, compassion, purpose, and trust. I have learned these from my parents. I grew up in a large family, where all these values were instilled in us on a daily basis. My mother was a strict catholic and you can bet we went to mass every Sunday. I also went to catholic schools and having a strong since of right and wrong was drilled into me daily. My family has strong religious beliefs. I always knew what my parents expected of me and that gave me a strong sense of security. My parents expected me to have a good work ethic, be responsible, have integrity, and have an obligation to do what is right. I think my family life and upbringing has had a strong influence over me and my nursing ethical decisions.

I value my nursing job. I am grateful I have been fortunate to be in the field of nursing. I think it takes a special person to take care of people when they are in a vulnerable state and they need my nursing skills. When I take care of my patients, I treat them as if they were from my own family. I show them respect, care, and understanding. I have an obligation to uphold my nursing code ethics. The American Nurses Association has ethical principles and theories that nurses follow as guidelines for their nursing code of ethics; they include autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, fidelity, justice, paternalism. (ANA, 2012) Each one of these ethical principles gives the patient the ability to make a decision about their own health. That is what nurses do, we guide and educate our...
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