As nurses we are present during some of the most vulnerable stages of a person’s life. Our patients and their family members put their trust in us that we will provide the most ethical and honest care possible. The American Nurses Association (ANA) created the Code of Ethics for nurses which “establishes the ethical standard for the professions and provides a guide for nurses to use in ethical analysis and decision making”. The code is divided into nine provisions that address nursing values and commitments, boundaries of duty and loyalty, and duties beyond individual patient encounters.
These provisions are updated periodically to reflect current practice while still being the guiding force of nursing practice. The ANA Code of Ethics explains that the nurse must adhere to the code in all relationships in the work place. This includes nurse to nurse, nurse to patient, nurse to physician and so on. “Being a nurse reflects the consistency of character in all circumstances”.
The ability to communicate effectively with a team and make ethical decisions on patient care is an example of how the Code of Ethics is used in current practice.
There are several different theories that can be related to nursing practice. The one that most closely relates to current practice is the Gestalt Theory. On day-to-day bases, nurses may care for all types of people from different countries, cultures, socioeconomic status and so on. This is where the Gestalt Theory can be related to current practice. Gestalt theory explains the importance of flexibility in thinking and problem solving based on how a situation is perceived by different people.
For example, two people may present to the emergency room with the same illness and one person may feel they need to be rushed to see a doctor immediately while the other person feels they are able to wait patiently and their care can be handled by a Nurse Practitioner. The differences of perception can be influenced by age, race, religion, and culture. According to Ewing and Jordan (2016), the gestalt theory is relevant now more than ever because of the continuing shifting identities and social divides in today’s society. It is important that nurses be flexible and provides care and education to a patient based off of the best possible way that patient will receive it.
The theory that will mostly impact my career, as a masters prepared nurse is deontology. Deontology is the study of duty. As a masters prepared nurse, it is understood that the duty is to provide the best and most effective care to every patient. For example, obtaining informed consent will be a duty to be upheld. The patient will need to be assessed on their ability to understand the procedure and risk that are related. The masters prepared nurse will have to use ethical decision making to decide if the procedure should be performed based on the patients ability to give informed consent. This is a duty, along with many others, that will be performed multiple times during ones career.