Nursing has long been considered the most trusted profession. This trust is largely due to nurses’ solid work ethic.
This line of work is not for the faint of heart due to countless challenges, such as dealing with death and dying. Nurses also face many instances of tough decision-making. Nursing work ethic helps guide these difficult decisions and facilitates other challenging aspects of the job, such as nurse and physician collaboration. Here, you can learn about some of the most crucial ethics in nursing.
In broad terms, autonomy refers to a person’s capacity to efficiently self-govern their beliefs and actions. Thus, autonomy plays a critical role in all areas of healthcare since nurses must be able to confidently complete tasks using their own knowledge and judgment. Although work often involves following others' ideas and rules, the ability to use your judgment is a fundamental quality in healthcare.
Compassion is the first stepping stone into harnessing all the qualities and ethics you should have in healthcare. Compassion, at its core, is not only the desire to work for yourself and others; it is an intense human emotion evoked by viewing the pain and struggles of others. Healthcare itself is based on this core ethical principle, as its purpose goes beyond nonmaleficence to better the lives of those struggling or in pain.
Responsibility could refer to many things, such as keeping track of your belongings. However, in healthcare, responsibility is the ability to consider many other principles and values, make choices while evaluating possible outcomes, and hold yourself accountable for your actions and decisions.
Nurses and other healthcare workers work toward justice for themselves and their patients. Upholding this ethical principle means acting fairly in all situations and treating everyone equally, regardless of personal differences. Treating all patients with the same kindness and care leads to better patient outcomes.
Tying hand in hand with the principle of responsibility, to be accountable is to be responsible for your own decisions and actions. Even if a situation is challenging or you have made a mistake, taking responsibility for your actions is essential.
Respect is essential for those working in healthcare as, in many facilities, clinicians operate as a team, everyone playing a critical role where effective communication is vital for a facility to run efficiently. This value refers not only to learning to respect yourself and who you are as a person but also to respect others and their differences.
Best defined by showing charitable traits and kindness to others, beneficence is a core principle everyone in healthcare should hold dear. This value means that no matter what, as a healthcare worker, your core reasoning should be to act to benefit others, such as putting aside strong emotions to allow yourself to administer the best care you can.
Integrity encompasses everything a person stands for. This ethical value stands for the right of all other qualities a person may consider necessary. To have integrity means to act according to all of your moral principles in your daily life. Many specific traits come with integrity, such as respecting not only yourself and your own decisions but those of others and demonstrating other positive characteristics, such as being trustworthy or reliable, which are crucial qualities for anyone working as a nurse.
In simple terms, the ethical value of fidelity is to be trustworthy. As a nurse, you must provide patients with the best care possible. When working in healthcare, you also should be honest and loyal, core components of the principle of fidelity.