Ethical principles in nursing
Discuss two ethical principles in nursing that can pertain to assessment, policy development, and assurance. Why are these ethical principles important for the public health or community health nurse?
As a healthcare profession, nursing has a set of ethical principles that guide the behaviors and decision-making processes of nurses. The following are the main ethical principles in nursing:
- Respect for autonomy: This principle recognizes the patient’s right to self-determination and informed decision-making. Nurses must respect their patients’ choices and promote their independence.
- Beneficence: This principle requires nurses to act in the patient’s best interest and promote their well-being. Nurses must strive to do good and prevent harm to their patients.
- Non-maleficence: This principle emphasizes the nurse’s responsibility to avoid causing harm to their patients. Nurses must ensure that their actions do not cause physical, emotional, or psychological harm to their patients.
- Justice: This principle requires nurses to treat all patients fairly and equitably. Nurses must avoid discrimination, bias, and favoritism and ensure that their care is based on the patient’s needs, not their personal preferences.
- Fidelity: This principle emphasizes the nurse’s responsibility to be faithful and loyal to their patients. Nurses must maintain confidentiality, keep their promises, and act with integrity.
Overall, these ethical principles guide nurses in making complex decisions, ensuring patient safety, and providing compassionate care.
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