Ethical issues in nursing

Ethical issues in nursing

As a nurse who takes care of several parents, you will have to deal with ethical problems. In today’s healthcare system, nursing ethics are getting harder to understand. These moral problems can show up in different ways, like with the patients themselves, with the care, or when it’s time to make a very important choice. Nurses must also follow the official code of ethics for nurses if they want to provide the best medical care.

What moral problems do nurses face?

It is important for nurses to have high moral standards. These moral problems are part of a larger group of medical and health ethics that has to do with the moral duty to provide all medical and health care services.

A typical way to think about health ethics is to look at the nature and challenges of a medical health care process through the lens of basic principles.

Autonomy: To keep the patient’s freedom and figure out what they want.

Justice: Set limits on how much money can be spent on health care and treat all patients fairly by following the right steps.
Beneficence says to look out for the patient’s best interests and figure out what the goals are.

Nonmaleficence: List the problems that should be avoided.

These rules can help doctors and nurses find ethical problems and solve them by talking to patients about what they want and need.

A quick look at ethical problems in nursing

Ethics are important to the honor of the nursing field because they help nurses give the best care to their patients. A nursing job is both rewarding and hard, and nurses all over the world face the same problems. Most of these problems come from making decisions, moral responsibilities, and having the right number of people on staff, among other things.

Most nurses don’t know about nursing ethics, even though more and more people are becoming nurses every day. So, nurse supervisors and CNOs with a lot of experience need to step up and help deal with ethical problems in nursing.

If these ethical problems aren’t handled well, the quality of care for patients could go down, there could be moral stress, and clinical relationships could be messed up. When it comes to ethical problems in nursing, the nurse supervisors will be under more pressure because new nurses will look to them for advice and help in the tough field of nursing. So, all nursing departments need to work together to make sure they make decisions that are both ethical and take into account the needs of everyone concerned.

Examples of legal and moral problems that nurses often face

Even though every day is different in nursing, many hospital managers say they face the same ethical problems. A recent study found that protecting the rights of patients, hiring, planning for advanced care, and making decisions were the most common and hard ethical situations.

The problem is made worse by the fact that there are a lot of new nurses who don’t have much experience and have never worked with ethical problems in their work. Because of problems like these, it’s more important than ever for hospitals to have skilled managers to meet the needs of everyday health care across the country.

Here are a few more examples of common ethical problems in nursing:

Science vs. Spirituality

Healthcare, which is based on science and results, may go against a person’s personal or religious beliefs. Some religions say that it is wrong to save lives or use medical treatments. Nurses focus on giving medical care to reduce pain, while patients who are no longer in need of care start to focus on self-care.

For people or their families who have strong religious or spiritual views, the focus may be on following strict rules. According to the ANA Code of Ethics, nurses should respect their patients’ differences, such as their value system, way of life, and religious views. But liking a concept “does not mean that the nurse agrees with or supports those ideas or actions.”

Autonomy vs. Being Good

Even though patients can choose not to take their medicines, nurses have to give them to them anyway. Even if a patient’s needs are clear, their autonomy can be at odds with what doctors suggest. Patients can reject all medical care. The ANA says that nurses and nurse managers need to know about a patient’s history and special situations so that they can explain the medical necessity to the patient.

ANA says that using ethical principles to find an answer should be done in a way that is kind, respectful, honest, and open. For this method to work, it must follow the highest standards of ethics and be based on the most recent, evidence-based practice standards.

Healthcare needs vs. how to spend money

As the cost of health care goes up, there are more problems between what patients want and what hospitals can afford. Patients might not get the help they need because some medical facilities don’t have enough resources. These tools include everything from medical equipment to people who work in the medical field. Research shows that nurse leaders should get their staff involved in planning so that they can fully understand what is needed and what is wanted.

Being honest vs not telling the truth.

Relatives may not want sick people to know about their health to protect their feelings. Still, people have the right to know what’s going on with their health. It can be hard to tell this information to others, especially if it goes against what the family believes. The ANA encourages nurses and patients to be honest with each other.

4 things that happen when nurses don’t deal with ethical problems

No matter what kind of nursing they do or where they work, nurses face ethical problems. Nurses need to be able to recognize when they are in an ethical dilemma and come up with ways to balance their values with their work.

Avoiding ethical problems can lead to bad results. Here are some things that could happen if nurses don’t take care of ethical problems in nursing.

Legal problems

When nurses try to avoid ethical issues, they might get in trouble with the law. Some moral issues could have serious legal repercussions. It is never a good idea to avoid ethical problems in nursing. Instead, the problem should be brought up to the right people, like managers, and dealt with in the right way to avoid legal problems.

Nursing burnout

Burnout is one of the most common issues that nurses have to deal with. When it comes to anxiety, ethical questions in nursing are a good place to start. So, nurses must look for signs of burnout and find ways to deal with it as soon as possible. Not doing this can make nurses more stressed, which can lead to bad service.

Loss of license

If you try to avoid some common ethical problems in nursing, you could lose your nursing license. If this happens, the nurse might not be able to work anymore. Nurses should often tell their bosses when they’re in trouble and ask for help before it’s too late to keep their job or license.

Jobs being lost

Nurses who avoid events that make them question their morals risk getting fired. If a nurse doesn’t deal with an ethics problem at work, they could be fired or face other punishments.

Ethics problems in healthcare today

When compared to doing something wrong, doing the right thing usually has less serious consequences. There is no law that says a healthcare administration has to promise patients that wait times in a busy emergency room will go down. But it may be the right thing to do for them to tell the group of managers about the problem. Here is a list of some current ethical problems in healthcare.

Keeping medical records private

For example, it might not be acceptable to hide information about a patient’s illness if it could hurt the patient or someone else. The opposite could also be dangerous. If a doctor or nurse posted information about a patient on social media, they could be suspended or even fired.

HIPPA laws make it illegal to share health information on social media, even if it was done by accident. This is because a patient loses all privacy rights as soon as the information is shared.

Do-not-resuscitate orders

Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) orders tell medical staff not to do CPR if a patient stops breathing or their heart stops beating. The DNR doesn’t include any directions for more treatment, and it can only be approved after a doctor talks to the patient about it.

When it’s not clear if a patient has the mental ability to make a DNR choice or not, ethical questions may come up.

Access to Care

Due to the high number of people with health insurance, it is hard for Americans without insurance to get medical care. With the demand for healthcare resources going up, it costs a lot of money to pay for them, and hospitals try to keep prices down. The WHO also wants to protect people from health risks that could hurt their finances. When it comes to this advice and the debate over cost and access, institutions and healthcare workers have to answer hard questions.

Mistreatment and not doing enough

A study in the magazine BMJ found that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Patients who have been hurt by the drop in malpractice cases may never be able to get better. For some people, this could take years.

The high risk of the healthcare area can make it more likely for mistakes to be made. Administrators, like doctors and nurses, need to make sure that patients get the most basic care possible to avoid being sued. Hospitals can be sued for negligence in medical malpractice if they use tech that isn’t up to par, make a wrong diagnosis, or take too long to make a diagnosis.

Aid in dying from a doctor

“Physician-assisted suicide” is the act of killing yourself with the help of a doctor or other medical worker. In the most basic way, only doctors are legally allowed to take part. The American College of Physicians (ACP) says that there are more attempts to legalize PAS, even though the profession is morally opposed to the practice.

Common problems with ethics in nursing

Nursing ethics are very important to the respect of the nursing field and to better results for patients. The ANA’s nursing code of ethics binds nurses in all situations and roles. It covers many aspects of caring for patients and helps solve the biggest ethical problems in nursing today, like the five listed below. Here are some social problems that nurses face.

Interventions that go all out

Another ethical question in nursing is whether or not to give care that isn’t needed or to act quickly when a patient is getting worse.

Hydration and food from outside sources

The most difficult thing for patients, their families, and the staff to talk about is getting food and water through machines.

The drug problem

There have also been ethics problems in nursing because of the opioid crisis. Nursing staff must follow the ethical rules when trying to decide if a certain move is best for the health of their patient.

Anti-Vaccine problems

When talking about children vaccines, moral questions about autonomy vs. beneficence can lead to a heated debate. Parents can choose not to vaccinate their kids, but that could hurt public health and bring back diseases that were thought to be gone for good.

When removing barriers to vaccination, a nurse must try to figure out why a parent doesn’t want their child vaccinated, give them real information about the importance of immunization, and deal with their reluctance.

Taking care of people who don’t follow the rules

When working with people who clearly need medical help right away but refuse to get it, emergency room nurses can run into moral problems. A patient has the right to be on their own, but it is a nurse’s moral job to fight for the care they need.

A patient has the right to refuse any medical treatment, even if it means they might not live. The nurse must still try to care for the patient and give them the drugs they need. Even though it is against the rules of nursing ethics to force a patient to get medical care, a nurse must tell them that they need it.

Most of the time, nurses get signatures on permission forms, especially before operations. When the nurse isn’t sure if the patient understands what is being said to him or if he can read, it can be hard to decide whether to talk to the patient and hold up a busy schedule or have the doctor come back, explain as best she can, and get the patient’s signature.

In conclusion

Whether you are an executive, a nurse, or a doctor, working in the healthcare field can be very rewarding and hard work at the same time. In the healthcare business, there is uncertainty. Every choice, from how to treat a patient to how much money a health center needs, can lead to a fight.

No matter how hard it is, healthcare workers will have to ask themselves what the right thing to do is from an ethical point of view. Most of the ethical issues in nursing are on the list of ethical problems above. The field of nursing is always changing, and as it does, more ethical problems come up.

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