July 19, 2010
Professional values of nursing
Professional values guide the decisions and actions we make in our careers. As nurses we are responsible for caring for patients during birth, death, illness and healing. If we are not aware of the decisions and actions to take it would be impossible to provide our patients with exceptional care. The values that are the foundation of the nursing profession are altruism, autonomy, human dignity, and social justice. In this paper I will define each value and describe their impact on nurses and nursing students. Altruism refers to the concern for the welfare and well being of others without personal gains or rewards (Shaw & Degazon, 2008). An altruistic nurse is someone who is caring, compassionate, and generous. She makes decisions with her patient’s best interest at heart. A nurse demonstrates this value by being the patients advocate. Making sure the patient is well informed about their treatment plan; ensures patient safety and that the patient receives the best care. Nursing student can demonstrate altruism by being supportive and considerate of their fellow classmates, which in turn can build healthy relationship that can last throughout his or her collegiate years (Shaw & Degazon, 2008). Autonomy is an essential element of professional nursing. It is the freedom to make decision within one’s scope of practice without permission (Potter & Griffin-Perry, 2009). It is the ability to make independent choices when taking care of our patients. In addition, it includes skills like administering narcotics to a patient in pain; instructing the post-operative patient to do deep breathing exercise to facilitate lung expansion and providing patient teaching specific to the clients needs. An autonomous nurse takes full responsibility for the outcome of his or her actions. This nurse also respects the patient autonomy allowing them to make...