"Nursing Ethics and Morals" is an excellent example of a paper on care. Nurses take care of people when they are at a fragile point in their life. Their services determine the survival of a person. They are involved in the entire process of treatment and care. Therefore, their input is significant in ensuring that a patient recovers fully. The critical role they play in the life of a person should be conducted in the backdrop of a nurse’ s ethics and morals (Armstrong, 2009). These two principles act as a compass in one’ s nursing profession.
There are various challenges that come with handling patients. Schools train nurses on the psychology of the sick in order to equip them with the necessary techniques. However, it will require more than class knowledge to provide dedicated services to the sick. A nurse’ s values, culture, and spirituality are needed in helping them to efficiently deliver their services. Communication and tolerance are the critical values that a nurse needs to offer the best assistance to patients. Sound communication is the most central tool that a nurse can have.
Patients need to feel safe around their caregivers for them to respond positively to treatment. Therefore, the most vital step that a nurse should take before commencing a cure is developing a trusting relationship with the patient. When a patient is free to share with the nurse, it is easier to establish what the latter’ s problem needs more attention. Communication is a two-way process. The nurse should respond to what the patient reveals. It takes time before a nurse can figure out what is going on with their patient, especially in the current times where societies are characterized by cultural diversities.
The nurse may not always agree with what the patients want. However, it is important for the nurse to understand patient needs. It is a process of expressing tolerance. It helps when a nurse does not impose on the culture of patients because such actions lead to barriers in communication. Values are the beliefs for the well-being of patients. They define the actions nurses should take when attending to patients. Morals are regulations stipulating the rights and wrongs in nursing practice.
Ethics is a system that guides nurses in making moral decisions. Values, morals, and ethics are not standard across cultures. This is also true in the nursing profession. The presence of varied cultures brings about moral and ethical conflicts. What is acceptable in one culture is not necessarily acceptable in another (Willis, Grace, & Roy, 2008). Nurses should gather knowledge on different cultures because these are encounters they will face in the nursing practice. It is best that they are informed about the challenges of cultural diversities so that they can be effective in their profession. The two most contrasting cultures are individualism and collectivism.
Individualism is widely prevalent in the US. Americans believe in autonomy and independence. Independence encourages self-reliance. People solve their problems with little or minimal help from outsiders. The principle of autonomy allows one to make decisions for themselves on matters that concern them. Holistically put, the culture puts individual decisions above those of society. Collectivism holds the opposite beliefs. A group’ s decision supersedes that of an individual. They account for seventy percent of the world’ s culture.
These contrasting beliefs create a challenge in the nursing field since culture regulates people’ s decisions. Therefore, despite the moral values that a nurse holds or the culture that they uphold, they have to make decisions based on the worldwide view (Jarrí n, 2010). One of the most controversial subjects in nursing is that of terminal conditions. In individualistic societies, people are more likely to end their lives when they cannot depend on themselves anymore. They can choose to refuse treatment because they do not want to be a ‘ burden’ to society.
The principle of autonomy is exercised better in such situations because it is completely up to the patient to decide what is best for them. Medical professionals take an oath to preserve life. It is only in special circumstances that medical practitioners can withhold treatment from patients. For example, when the treatment causes more harm than good to the patients. Nurses and medical institutions are supposed to reveal all information regarding a patient’ s treatment. Treatment does not always promise complete recovery. A patient has the right to reject treatment, especially if they doubt its viability.
The patients’ refusal to take treatment leads to quicker demise, at least in 99.9% of the cases in terminal illnesses. Nurses are supposed to aid in saving lives, but culture may hinder them in such instances. They can be tempted to withhold information from patients to increase their chances of continued existence (Jarrí n, 2010). In individualistic societies, people who have more are given priorities over those who are less fortunate. Additionally, if one is unable to afford services, they have no option but to accept their fate.
The rich continue to grow richer because they have the resources to take advantage of opportunities. The poor remain in a cycle of poverty that is difficult to break. There is an unequal distribution of wealth brought about by the principles of capitalism. Cultures that emphasize the needs of the community allow fairness to reign. Government-funded health care like Obamacare is an illustration of such efforts. People who cannot afford to pay for their medical services can still enjoy health services owing to such initiatives. A nurse is likely to face the question of justice in different cultures.
A wealthy individual can afford to pay for a personal life-saving machine for a loved one which is often limited in hospitals. It would be just, in an individualistic society to give the service to those who can afford it. However, health systems should consider all patients in need of medical help. A nurse will always face such dilemmas that put their ethical standards to the test. It will require serious considerations on a comparison of values, culture, and ethics to decide on what is best for everyone involved (Armstrong, 2009).
Armstrong, A. (2009). Nursing ethics: A virtue-based approach. Macmillan: Palgrave Macmillan.
Jarrín, O. F. (2010). Core elements of U.S. nurse practice acts and incorporation of nursing diagnosis language. Int J Nurs Terminal Classif, 21 (4), 166–176.
Willis, D. G., Grace, P., & Roy, C. (2008). A central unifying focus for the discipline: facilitating humanization, meaning, choice, quality of life, and healing in living and dying. Adv Nurs Sci, 31 (3), 28–40.