The essay will define confidentiality its importance to nurses as a profession and the Nursing and Midwifery Code of Professional Conduct. It will further look at possible dilemmas that could arise in course of practice between the nurse colleagues and the clients. Examples will be based on my clinical placement 1 at Blackfriars Work Centre.
Confidentiality is keeping secret, the shared information depending on the situation arising. Dimond (2002) define confidentiality as one of the values of good practise that is concerned with protecting the private information obtained about the patient and client during the period of professional practice.
Importantly all nurses including midwives ...view middle of the document...
This will give them willingness to disclose sensitive and relevant information more freely. Although, the information might have nothing to do with their present health, but it might be found later on to be a contributory factor to the client’s condition. Incorporating this information into the care plan might help contribute towards the best holistic care within the multidisciplinary team
It is worth remembering that disclosure of client information to wrong party might be detrimental to the client. For example divulging information about mentally ill client to another person not directly involved in his care might expose them to discrimination and labelling. In this case, the client might not open up and refuse to give full details about himself, unless the client-nurse trust has been built and it has been stressed that the disclosure is in the interest of the client
In the course of duty such as during hand over, record keeping and relative discussion during visiting hours. Nurses will come across and hear many things about the client. The nurse has a duty of care and responsibility to keep the information secret in situation where the clients have right to privacy and his action do not cause anybody harm or break the law Fletcher et al (1995).
Duty of care is an obligation of nurses to the client, the employer and the society in general. Patient generally expects that nurses will respect their rights and interests despite the nurse’s privileged access to information about their health status. Similarly it is only the patient who has power to access and control how their information should be shared with nominated person. But there may be occasions when other agencies will require client information to be revealed. It is important to let the client be aware at first contact about how information will be shared. For example, disclosure of client information can in some cases be made within care team to make decisions about the client and their care. But the nurse must gain the client’s explicit consent. It must be stressed that the consent policy must be follow to avoid legal actions be taken for breach of confidentiality.
However exceptions to such permission from the client as described by Dimond (1992): a court order might request for a report, when there is statutory duty to disclose such as in suspicion of child abuse of any kind. This type of disclosure is necessary to protect the children at risk The Children Act (1989). Furthermore information from client about their intention to harm others or endanger themselves require disclosure. Clause 5.3 NMC (2002) supports the practising and registered nurses and argues that confidentiality can be overridden if it is in the public interest.
Despite the fact that confidentiality is not absolute, but it can be seen as a key ethical issue and good guideline to practice. All nursing codes of ethics have a clause regarding confidentiality Rumbold (1999).
Ethical issues often arise...