Ethical Decision Paper
Nursing is a noble profession. In fact, some sources argue that is one of the noblest professions on call today. Indeed, nurses are a group of professionals who do a lot to contribute in building nations but their effort more often than not goes unnoticed (Gottlieb 2013). In the nursing schools, nurses undergo thorough training. Unlike doctors, their training is not limited to the work aspect or the service delivery part of it. Instead, nurses are taught more than work; they are taught to incorporate a humane approach at work and to mind their association with their patients and how they treat the families of their patients. In summary, the role nurses play in their workplaces and beyond has expanded and is neither limited to nor restricted to taking care of bed-ridden patients only (Miller 2009). This has not come without a challenge, especially bearing in mind the multiple ethical issues that have dogged various professions and the healthcare profession in particular. The need for better healthcare has, therefore, jolted patients, nurses and other stakeholders to change or bend a few rules of the game to improve service delivery in the industry. As a practicing nurse, I would adopt a number of strategies to help in improving the experience of patients and their family members. The strategies are discussed below.
It is the nature of man to seek for the assistance of a supernatural being, especially when he is in a difficult situation. The script does not read any different for a patient staring at death in the face. In such circumstances, a nurse would accomplish a lot by taking time to share spiritual messages from the Bible with the patient and his or her family. Indeed, as a nurse, I would take the opportunity presented to let the patient know that despite his situation and condition, he could still walk out of it in one piece if he asked for God’s assistance. I would also encourage the patient’s family to be closer to God and to be supportive of their loved one even in the face of such trying moments. This does not apply to patients who are nearing demise only but also those who are generally sick and need hope in their battle to avoid an ailment.
Patients need to be given affection and attention without being made to feel any different (Miller 2009). As a nurse, I would embark on making the patient feel like a part of a bigger family by treating him or her not as a mere client but also as a friend, a neighbor and a brother or a sister. Through communication and sharing, I could strike a long-standing friendship with the patient and his or her family and, therefore, make the recovery process even easier. With a friendly atmosphere, the work environment becomes even more favorable for provision of health services. Maintaining a friendly relationship is not just beneficial to the patient and his or her family but to me as a nurse. With all the pressure that comes with working in a healthcare facility, I would likely benefit from light moments once or twice or even someone to share with.
In the health facilities, it is understood that most patients look up to their healthcare providers for guidance and for moral and mental support apart from healthcare provision only (Jeffreys 2010). Most of these patients fight their own inner battles that may or may not be related to the ailments they suffer from. These may include issues like smoking, drug addiction, or even alcohol abuse (Jeffreys 2010). Since they look up to their healthcare providers for guidance, when a patient witnesses his or her healthcare provider indulging in drug and substance abuse, he/she may see it as being all right. On that note, as a nurse, I would refrain from indulging in drug and substance abuse, or any other activity for that matter that may negatively influence the decision of the patient and his/her family. If I have to, then at least it would be away from the healthcare facility as engaging in activities that may potentially negatively influence the decision of the patient would serve as a poor example on my part.
In order to achieve most of the objectives set above, listening would come in handy. In fact, without it, a nurse may not know how to help a patient or even where to start from (Gottlieb 2013). For that reason, to improve my service delivery to the patients and to the family, I would develop good listening skills. That will go a long way in making it easier to forge an understanding between the patient and even his or her family and me. In addition, listening makes the patient feel worthy and appreciated factors, which may both contribute immensely to his or her recovery.
Listening to patients reveals a lot about the kind of treatment they expect from their medical practitioners. Patients often prefer to be involved in their treatment and medication regimes. Listening gives the nurse the opportunity to know what the patient would prefer and what he would detest. Armed with this knowledge, I would keep my patients and their families updated with the medication procedures that they need to undergo. In this way, the patient can give a piece of his or her mind and may end up providing very useful information which could go a long way in helping accord him/her better treatment (Miller 2009).