As a nurse, I comprehend the significance of ethics in healthcare. Our job mandates us to make tough decisions on a daily basis. We must be able to think critically and act with integrity when we encounter ethical predicaments. In this blog post, I will delve into some of the typical ethical dilemmas that nurses encounter and how we can respond in an ethical and efficient manner.
A frequent ethical dilemma that nurses confront is the issue of inadequate staffing. This predicament frequently results in nurses being burdened with excessive workloads, which in turn compromises the quality of care they can provide for patients. Furthermore, it can lead to burnout and moral distress among nurses who may feel incapable of meeting the demands placed upon them despite their best efforts.
It is crucial for healthcare workers, especially nurses, to assert themselves and advocate for improved staffing levels in the face of staffing challenges. While insufficient staffing should not hinder nurses from delivering exceptional care to their patients, they must also prioritize their own well-being to achieve this goal.
Patient Refusing Treatment
Nurses often encounter ethical dilemmas when patients refuse prescribed treatment or medication from healthcare providers. This can be a difficult situation as nurses strive to provide the highest quality care for their patients, even when their wishes differ.
In situations like these, nurses have the responsibility to balance respect for the patient’s wishes with advocating for what they believe is in the patient’s best interest. This may require discussing the advantages of particular treatments or medications with the patient and recommending alternative options if necessary. However, it is important to note that the patient ultimately has the final say in deciding the course of action.
At times, it may be necessary to consider legal actions. Nurses have an important role in providing assistance during this process. I have encountered situations like this with psychiatric patients before, and it is essential to seek the involvement of other experts like social workers or lawyers if required.
Nursing Assignment Contradict Religious or Cultural Beliefs
There are instances when nurses may encounter conflicts between their nursing tasks and their personal religious or cultural convictions, or those of their patients. It can be a difficult situation because, as healthcare providers, it is our duty to offer excellent care regardless of personal beliefs or those of the patient.
In my experience, maintaining an open and respectful attitude towards patients with varying beliefs while providing high-quality care is a constructive approach for nurses. Seeking guidance from spiritual advisors or cultural experts can also be highly beneficial in this regard. Additionally, turning to an EAP for further assistance is a smart move for nurses.
Through my extensive 20+ years of experience as a nurse, I have gained invaluable insight into the ethical dilemmas that nurses navigate on a daily basis. However, with the right mindset and resources, nurses can confidently make moral decisions that prioritize their patients’ well-being and uphold the values of the nursing profession.
If you are searching for nursing shifts that align with your schedule and values, get in touch with Actriv Healthcare today. Actriv Healthcare will assist you in locating the perfect nursing assignment that meets all your needs.