Ethical principles in nursing care custom essay help

Ethical principles are sets of statutes or standards in a particular profession. Nursing ethical principles lay the foundation for the scope of nursing practice. Nursing ethical principles are the basis of nursing considerations of outcomes and universal moral outcomes when determining clinical decisions. Six fundamental principles define nursing ethical principles of patient care.

Nursing ethical principles define the nurse-patient relationship, which was a focus in the previous article. For the sake of simplicity, the principles are divided into primary and secondary. The primary principles define the relationships between the nurse and patient whereas the secondary incorporate the relationship among patients, nurses, and other healthcare providers. The primary principles include autonomy, beneficence, justice, and non-maleficence. Secondary principles include confidentiality and integrity. The principles collectively ensure optimal nursing care without exploitation by either the patient or the provider. Respect from both ends thrives because of sheer professionalism. Nursing ethical principles do not only apply in the hospital setting but also in all life situations. Best Nursing Essays discusses nursing ethical principles using simpler language.

Primary ethical principles


Primary ethical principles

  1. Autonomy

Autonomy is the pinnacle of nursing ethical principle, which dictates that a patient remains in control of their lives without external interference or coercion. The principle of autonomy dictates that the nurse respects the wishes, choices, and considerations of a patient even if they are contrary to the scope of nursing and popular beliefs. The patient reserves the right to make informed and un-coerced choices. The nurses only must provide the patient with adequate and reliable information to help make such decisions. Therefore, going by the principle, failure to respect patient’s autonomy is unethical. However, we shall discuss circumstances under which it does not apply.

  1. Beneficence

The work of a nurse is to take care of the patient and aid in the recovery process. The nursing ethical principle of beneficences fosters the desire to do good to the patient. Beneficence ensures ultimate benefit to the patient. The principle provides for positive actions towards the prevention of harm and improvement of the quality of life of a patient. Beneficence can be obligatory, which means mandatory or ideal beneficence, which infers act of sheer compassion. The nurses must act to the best of their knowledge to assist the patient through critical of risk-benefit analysis. Therefore, the nursing ethical principle of beneficence upholds that the nurses should not do more harm than good to the patient.

  1. Non-maleficence

Nurse’s intervention aims to bring relief to the patient. The nursing ethical principle of nonmaleficence asserts an obligation never to cause harm to the patient willingly. Nonmaleficence mostly applies to terminally ill patients, mentally impaired, or severely ill patient. A nurse must refrain from delivering ineffective care or acts that are malicious to the patient. Nurses must weigh the risks vis-à-vis the benefit of any procedure or process before administering to the patient. Most people consider the nursing ethical principle of beneficence and nonmaleficence to work synchronously for the ultimate good of the patient.

  1. Justice

Treat all patients with equally and fairly. The nursing ethical principle of justice aims at minimizing bias or preferential treatment of patients. There should be an equitable distribution of the available resources to the patients in need. A nurse should also be in a position to determine appropriate order of care that does not undermine fairness.

Secondary ethical principles

  1. Integrity

The nursing ethical principle of integrity upholds the concept of consistency through actions and values in an honest and trustworthy way. Nurses must do the right thing based on professional judgment reliably and responsibly. Transparency ensures trust among colleagues and patients alike.

  1. Confidentiality

Patients entrust nurses with vital information regarding their private life with the hope that such information will help in the critical care that they deserve. The nursing ethical principle of confidentiality serves to protect personal information. Confidentiality, therefore, infers that the information remains between the nurse and the patient without leaking to a third party. Nurses must secure patient’s files, avoid unnecessary inquiries, and always seek consent for such information. While confidentiality is paramount in patient care, certain situations strip the patient of their right to privacy, as we shall discuss in a future article.

Note: Whereas some people would consider informed consent as an independent nursing ethical principle, autonomy comes with informed consent. Patient autonomy ensures that the nurse informs the patient adequately so that the patient can make an informed choice. For that reason, I decided to ignore it as a nursing ethical principle.

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