According to a recent Gallup poll, the nursing profession came in at number one as the most ethical U.S. profession for the fifteenth straight year. In the survey, 84% of respondents rated nurses as high or very high when it comes to ethics and honesty. Nurse ethics continue to set the bar high for other professions and show just how important it is to have honest and competent nurses taking care of us.
“For the 15th consecutive year nursing again has received the amazing honor of being ranked the most trusted profession in the country by the American public,” said Eileen Williamson, MSN, RN, senior vice president and chief nurse executive at Nurse.com. “Few designations could be more of a professional badge of honor than being named first among the 22 professions surveyed in the Gallup poll for honesty and ethical standards. As a nurse, I could not be more proud of what the public thinks of my colleagues and the nursing profession.”
While there is already an entire guide put together by the American Nurses Association, here are just a few reasons that nurse ethics continue to set the bar for other professions.
Nurse Ethics for 2017
Advocate for the Patients
Although you might not always agree with your patient, it’s important that you always remain on their side. Patient advocacy is a staple in nurse ethics, so it’s important to always look out for your patients, even when you don’t think they’re making the best decision.
Make sure to always be aware of how ethics issues are dealt with at your specific practice. Some practices will have a specific ethics committee while others will need to review the employee handbook to resolve any ethical dilemma.
Speak Up and Speak Out
In some cases, you may question your patient’s ability to make sound decisions for themselves. Make sure that your patient is receiving all the information necessary for making a decision. Also, if you feel like the patient is unable to make a decision for him or herself, make sure that you speak up for them in case they’re in need of a power of attorney or living will.
It’s up to you to make sure that patients retain their rights and are able to make all the proper decisions about their health. If you feel like their rights have been violated, it might be time to contact a supervisor.
Respect End-of-Life Decisions
This might be one of the toughest examples of nurse ethics that you’ll come across during your nursing career. While you might not always agree with your patients’ end-of-life decision, it’s important to remember that your job is to provide the best proper care despite your patient’s health decisions.
The best thing you can do is to inform the patient and their family of all the treatment options and let them make the decision they feel is in their best interest. While some might choose treatment, others might opt to live out their last few moments with as little pain as possible. Either way, it’s important to remain honest and ethical so you can provide the best possible care for your patients.
It’s no shocker that nurse ethics have continued to set the bar for other professions. In such a strenuous career, it’s important to handle situations with respect, dignity, and honesty. Nurses are modern superheroes and don’t forget that.