Nursing

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Largely understood, ethics consist of principles, which guide the behavior of entities, groups or professions (Wilkins 2007). Nurses as professionals make autonomous decisions on how they will care for patients. But they are still held accountable to their profession as a whole as regards these autonomous decisions. A nurse’s deportment has been vastly scrutinized from the start. The famous Florence Nightingale pledge in 1893 included the vow to “abstain from anything deleterious and mischievous… or harmful drug.” The profession evolved into a very complex arena in the last century. Nurses now must confront life-and-death decisions and in short periods, even on an hourly basis. Medical advancements in new technology have the equal potential of benefit and harm. Today’s nurse makes her own decisions, that is, without the influence of her employer. But how she does is under the control of a Code of Ethics to which she swears (Wilkins). In general, nurses are employed by a hospital, clinic or some private entity (Wilkins 2007). Yet seemingly “independent” decisions made on patient care not really totally independent. Each decision, especially a critical or end-of-life decision, creates a ripple effect, which extends to At first glance of reading the ANA code of ethics it seemed way beyond my “scope” of practice. I took a lot of time to read since it was kind of repetitive in a sense. I’m a new graduate to nursing field and without experience I don’t have ample nursing philosophy yet. I have worked as a hospice nurse now for 3 weeks, and have a nursing perspective of 3 weeks. It’s hard to imagine the code of ethics being realistic, 100% of the time. As nurses we are humans and not robots. The ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses serves as a prototype for me just entering the field. It’s what I will attempt to stand by. It serves as the framework to what I will strive for. The first three provisions describe the most fundamental values and commitments of the...
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