Ethics and Principles in Nursing
Deontology is a classical ethical based theory that focuses on the morals that govern one’s duties and responsibilities. The theory indicates that the rightness or wrongness of human behavior is significantly determined by the principles and motivations upon which the actions are grounded on (Theories of Ethics, 2014). In this case, the result of an action is not significant but rather the process and the driving force behind the action. Therefore, the theory emphasizes on the nature of the action that an individual takes rather than the consequences of the act (Theories of Ethics, 2014). As a nurse, one has to abide by the duty of taking care of the patients and always ensuring that they have the best services that meet their health demands. The theory of deontology applies to nursing as a nurse is expected to meet the nursing duties effectively that is one have to be loyal and abide by the nursing roles and responsibilities despite the consequences that might result from the actions. For example, it is the duty of the nurse always to ensure that the patients are safe and receive the best medical intervention, without necessary focusing on the result of their actions to themselves as well as to the patients.
Deontology defines right actions as those that abide by the morals of an individual’s duties and obligations (Theories of Ethics, 2014). In this case, the theory encourages nurses to carry out activities that define their roles as registered nurses irrespective of the process and the result of their actions. In some instances, the nurse’s actions are compromised by numerous factors such as social-economic factors, religious, cultural as well as the political status of the patients (American Nurses Association, 2009). In a case, where such factors compromise the nurse’s duties, the theory of deontology emphasizes that the nurse should carry out their obligations as registered nurse. Additionally, the deontology theory will also help a registered nurse to stick to their roles and responsibilities as duties as in the functions of a registered nurse which include keeping clear patients records, monitoring patients, effective administration of medications. Also, the nurses work hand in hand with other health providers so as to provide quality services to the patients.
The duties and responsibilities of nursing are wide at the scope and vary from one patient to the other, and therefore, the general nursing practices are those that ensures that the nurses and other health providers provide quality, safe, and patient-centered health services to the patients (Prema & Graicy, 2006). In this case, the theory encourages the health practitioners to carry out their duties as required in by the nursing practices, irrespective of the outcome that might arise from the nurse actions. Additionally, the registered nurses must meet the Nursing Practice Act which dictates the requires that one must attain to provide health services as a nurse such as a license and standard education, among other factors (American Nurses Association, 2009). In such a case, the theory of deontology ensures that every registered nurse carry out tasks that they are qualified and skilled in, so as to provide morally upright services to the patients, hence abiding by the registered nurses’ code of conduct.
Ethical principles are the rules and regulations that govern the actions of people working in a specific working environment. In this case, the two ethical principles to discuss include the beneficence and nonmaleficence. The ethical principle of beneficence requires the nurses and other health providers to do good for the sake of the patient as it is required of them by the legal laws and as well as nursing professional duties. The principle of beneficence is one of the most important ethical principles as it justifies the roles of nurses in society (Benjamin & Curtis, 2010). Additionally, the principle also reflects the deontology theory as the principle encourages nurses to always to what is good, prevent as well as protect the patients from any form of harm, therefore, putting the patient’s needs at the center of medical services. Secondly, is the ethical principle of nonmaleficence which requires the nurses and other health providers to avoid causing harm to a patient (Benjamin & Curtis, 2010).The nonmaleficence principle is an important principle as it enables the health practitioners to weigh between one’s actions against the benefits, and therefore, enable the nurse to make an informed decision based on a strategy that will result in a positive benefit (Theories of Ethics, 2014). Therefore, a nurse’s actions will be based on procedures that yield more benefits as opposed to negative effects.
The American Nursing Association (ANP) and scope and standards of nursing is a nursing professional body that provides a clear guideline on how registered nurses should conduct and carry out themselves as well as their daily nursing activities (American Nurses Association, 2015). The standards of professionalism advocates for the nurses to remain competent and ethical in their daily activities in numerous ways such as integrating the code of conducts for nurses in their daily nursing roles, advocates for inquiries whenever a health situation is not clear. Additionally, the nurses provide patient-centered health care services; maintain a professional relationship between patients and the health providers, upholding the health and safety of the right of patients, safeguarding patient’s privacy, among other standards (American Nurses Association, 2009).
The nurses’ code of ethics, standard 7 and principles as well as the deontology theory plays a significant role in nurses as they enable them to make an informed decision that is morally acceptable in the society. The code of conducts provides one with a clear rule that guides one behavior (American Nurses Association, 2009), therefore, making an appropriate decision based on the rules. Additionally, the scope and standards of nursing ensure that every nurse meets the required procedures so as to serve the patients, which in turn enables the individuals to act professionally. Lastly, the theory of deontology encourages on doing what is morally upright according to one’s obligations (Theories of Ethics, 2014), hence, following the theory, one makes decisions that are acceptable to the society and those that match one’s professionalism.