Nurses ought to learn about the patient populations they serve, which will, in turn, enable them to make the necessary choice and commitment to observe respect for all in their practice. The universality of the need for healthcare rises above any individual differences. This means that nurses must establish relationships that will deliver healthcare services that respect human values and needs without prejudice (Freysteinson, 2009). It should further be noted that this point does not necessarily mean the nurse must condone certain, or agree with all individual choices but rather, respect each patient’s uniqueness a person.
Nurses are obligated to be knowledgeable about the legal and moral rights of all their patients to autonomy, which they should then support, protect and preserve after evaluating the patients’ understanding of the presented information and implications of decisions. In this sense, nurses should make it their own initiative to be informed of situations whereby individual right to autonomy may be limited by the welfare, health and rights of others. The Code of Ethics’ principle of respecting persons goes beyond patients to all other individuals that interact with the nurses in their course of duty.
This encompasses all stakeholders in the healthcare fraternity (Dahnke, 2009). The nurses are committed to maintaining caring and compassionate relationships with others in a bid to resolve conflict, promote compromise that preserves integrity as well as fair treatment of each individual. Such non-prejudicial conduct contributes towards the healthcare fraternity’s shared goals. The second provision of the Code of Ethics states that the primary commitment of a nurse is to their patient be it a community, group, family or individual.
This provision is addressed by focusing on enhancing the patients’ interests’ primacy; the nurses’ conflict of interest; collaboration; and professional boundaries (Kuhse & Singer, 2009). Primarily, this tells nurses that their key commitment is the patient, who is also the ultimate recipient of the services of healthcare. To the nurse, this is regardless of whether the recipient is a community, group, family or individual. Nursing, as a profession, is fundamentally committed to an individual patient’s uniqueness and, therefore, each plan of care formulated must consider and mirror such uniqueness. The primacy of interest directly informs the nurse of the significance of involving their patients in the planning of their own healthcare programs and, hence, ensures that the patients are agreeable to the plan’s implementation.
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