Across the Spectrum of Nursing
Professional accountability is a phrase frequently used across the continuum of nursing practice. Accountability is often associated with specific expectations which include aspects that range from clinical care to legislative issues. Nursing accountability defines the nurse's responsibility to practice ethically and competently. Although nurses practice under universal standards of care, it is essential that each nurse define his or her own ethics and responsibilities within the scope of his or her chosen field. In reviewing the University of Phoenix Professional Responsibilities of BSN Students, number three discusses awareness and sensitivity to values and feelings of others (2005). This can be incorporated into nursing practice as well as a student environment. "Taylor, Lilis and LeMone (1993,p.61) define values as personal beliefs about worth that acts as a standard to guide one's behavior"(Wilkinson,G.M.1997). Values are part of the make up of all individuals. They form in childhood and change through experiences in our lives (Potter and Perry 1997,p.308)(Wilkinson,G.M.1997). "According to Potter and Perry (1997,p.310), Because values give identity, influence actions, and sustain what is meaningful, professions are as strong as the values on which they are based"(Wilkinson,G.M.1997). Values are considered an integral part of the nursing profession for they influence the way people react and behave. It is important for nurses to be aware of their own values as well as those they care for. Clinical nursing care often leads to an invasion of personal space both for the patient as well as the nurse. This invasion can interfere with the values and personal feelings of those involved. Oftentimes when dilemmas occur, it is due to a conflict of values between nurses and patients. In my experience as an emergency room nurse, it is often family members who define the values and feelings possessed by...
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