Professional Moral Compass
William Douglas DeRosa
Grand Canyon University
NRS – 437V
February 15, 2014
When entering the field of healthcare, one must accept the fact that ethical situations and dilemmas often arise and have distinct impact on the care provided. As the frontline care givers, the nursing staff must face ethical situations in their practice on a daily basis. The American Nurses Association (ANA) developed a code of ethics for nurses as a framework to provide quality nursing care while upholding the ethical standards of the nursing profession (American Nurses Association, 2014). This paper will discuss the author’s professional moral compass with regards ...view middle of the document...
During the course of his career as an operating room nurse, the author has encountered a wide variety of patients and families with cultures, religions, and values that conflict with his own. Throughout his practice, this author has learned to embrace the diversity of his patient population, and he keeps his patient’s needs and care as his priority, despite any conflicts. For example, the author believes that, in the instance of a child with an end-stage disease process, palliative care should be given to provide a better quality of life instead of additional, painful surgeries. Many families and physicians may not share this same view, thus it creates an ethical dilemma in the perioperative setting.
One of the most important aspects of nursing practice is patient advocacy. It is defined as someone who is actively involved in supporting the patient’s need and wishes, to act on their behalf (Vaartio, Leino - Kilpi, Salantera & Suominen, 2006). As an operating room nurse, the author serves as his patients’ advocate during surgery, since the patient is under anesthesia. Any obligation to nursing practice is clear, in this situation— the operating room nurse must act in the best interest of the patient at all times. This may prove to be challenging at times when the author’s personal values and ethics conflict with the clinical situation. For example, in pediatric orthopedic surgery, a two-year old boy was scheduled for repair of a right radial spiral fracture. After reviewing the chart, the child was found to have a history of hospital admissions for similar injuries. The family was being investigated by the Department of Children and Family Services for possible child abuse. The author has a deeply-rooted belief in protecting family, keeping them from harm, and not hurting them. Therefore, because of his personal beliefs about child abuse, the author had a difficult time talking with--and even looking at--the family. It proved to be quite challenging to perform the most basic tasks of obtaining consent and updating...