[ANSWERED 2023] Write a reflection on the nature, sources, and implications of your values, beliefs, and ethical perspectives that guide your personal life and nursing practice

Written By: Dan Palmer, RN

Write a reflection on the nature, sources, and implications of your values, beliefs, and

Write a reflection on the nature, sources, and implications of your values, beliefs, and ethical perspectives that guide your personal life and nursing practice

The role of the health care professional includes being a moral agent or a person whose actions affect themselves and others at a moral level. It is important to have a personal ethic or moral framework in which you ground your practice and professional relationships. The purpose of this assignment is to explore and create a foundation for leadership and ethics in your professional practice.

Write a reflection on the nature, sources, and implications of your values, beliefs, and ethical perspectives that guide your personal life and nursing practice. Please note, grading is based on the clarity and depth of your writing and the apparent effort given the assignment, not on the rightness or wrongness of your position. You are encouraged to be honest in your self-assessments and conclusions.

Each of the following points must be addressed in your essay:

Expert Answer and Explanation

Professional Platform for Ethics and Leadership

Nurses are among the healthcare professionals who are responsible for providing care to patients and clients based on ethical elements. They need ethical knowledge to behave appropriately when providing patient care. knowledge about ethics helps nurses conduct their responsibilities in proper ethical and legal ways (McDermott-Levy, 2018).

Nurses often try to answer the question about what to do regarding practical care and what to be done for patients as far as ethical principles are concerned. Ethics provide nurses with the best way of providing patient care as well as conducting the best nursing function (Weiss & Tappen, 2015). Apart from being healthcare professionals, nurses are human beings and they have to abide by the moral rules guiding human existence.

Most of the ethical principles nurses are required to practice in their professional capacity are based on human morals. Human morals are mostly learned through life experiences (Weiss & Tappen, 2015). I have many experiences that have informed my behaviors, character, beliefs, and attitudes about people and life. In this assignment, I have reflected on the sources, nature, and implications of my values, ethical perspectives, and beliefs that guide my nursing practice and personal life.

Primary Influences (Childhood and Adult)

I learned a lot of ethical and moral principles when I was a child and throughout my adulthood. One of the things I learned growing up was being compassionate to other individuals with problems. My parents taught me that I should show compassion to individuals in suffering. My mother used to tell me that I should always help people who are in problems whenever I can.

I saw the virtue of compassion in my parents. For instance, there was a time we were walking in the streets and my mother saw a little boy begging for food. She took an initiative and bought food for the boy. She also gave him some money to buy food later. My mother was so compassionate that she started a non-profitable organization for the blind.

In this organization, we train guide dogs and give them to blind individuals for free. I also accompanied my parents to nursing shelters where they cared for older people for free.

I learned this good character and virtue after seeing what their parents used to do to the less fortunate. As an adult, I have continued with my parent’s work by donating part of my salary to her organization to help train more dogs for individuals with blindness. This character is informed by desire and decision to pursue the nursing profession. I used to feel happy and fulfilled when I am helping older adults in nursing homes with daily activities.

I wanted a profession which can provide me with the opportunity to help the vulnerable population. Another character I have learned throughout my life since I was a child is telling the truth. My parents never stood by lies. My father once told me that a good man is the one who tells the truth regardless of the consequences. Saying the truth is also a nursing character. Abiding by this principle has not been hard for me because I have been practicing it since I was a child.

Ethical Principles Influencing Me Professionally and Personally 

One of the ethical principles that influence me professionally and personally is integrity. Integrity is the practice of behaving honestly and having high moral standards (McDermott-Levy, 2018). I learned the ethics of integrity from my father. I pledged to be honest regardless of how people will feel. I never cheated in my exams although I was sometimes tempted. For instance, there was a time I faced a tough choice.

I had to choose whether to cheat and give another person my assignment to do for me or fail the test. I talked with my professor who agreed to give me additional time to work on the paper and thus I did not choose cheating or failing. I also remember a time I was on campus and found a fellow student’s wallet with $600 in it. At this time, I had no money. I battled with my conscience on whether to return the wallet or not. Eventually, after three days, I decided to return the wallet to the student with all the money intact.

I have practiced integrity over the years and thus I have no problem practicing the same in my profession. I have shown integrity in the nursing profession by following through on commitments, being dependable, and being accountable. Pesut et al. (2020) noted that nurses with integrity also own up to their mistakes.

I always accept and own up to my shortcomings always. Other principles that influence me professionally and personally respecting others and treating people equally. I always believe that we should respect all people regardless of their backgrounds and culture. Respect is also needed in nursing. (Üzar‐Özçetin & Ercan‐Şahin, 2020) reported respecting patients is one of the ways of providing patient-based care. I also believe in justice.

I believe that everybody needs to be treated equally and given equal chances in all life opportunities. I have practiced justice in my personal life by supporting blind people by ensuring that they get guide dogs for free. I also show justice in my nursing practice by providing fair and equal care to all patients in the emergency department.

Ethical Practice of Professional Nursing

As a nursing professional, there are various ethical practices I must conduct by when providing care to patients and their families. One of the ethical practices is sympathy. Newham and Hewison (2021) noted that sympathy is a nursing ethical value that allows them to understand patients and their families’ needs and provide them with the best care based on fair communication. I often show sympathy to patients by sharing their sufferings and mental and physical pains.

However, some patients do not like to be shown sympathy. I often understand them and avoid showing them that I sympathize with them. The second practice is beneficence. Beneficence is showing kindness, charity, and mercy to patients (Aitamaa et al., 2019). In other words, it is doing good for patients and other families. I always show this beneficence in my nursing practice in various ways. For instance, I often hold patients’ hands when they are about to die and ensure that they have the best care during their end-of-life.

I also hug family members when they have lost their loved ones and show them kindness by comforting them. Another ethical practice is responsibility and commitment. I am always responsible for my actions and nursing decisions and committed to providing the best care to my patients. Lastly, I always allow patients to choose how they want to be treated by following the principle of autonomy.

Ethical Leadership and Professional Development Plan 

Leaders are required to behave ethically and remain true to their commitments. An example of ethical leadership is integrity. A leader with integrity should always support their followers even under pressure, help others without expecting anything in return, abide by their principles even when in power, take responsibility, and treat junior staff with respect (Nangoli et al., 2020). A leader with integrity should not use their position to exploit others and dictate to them.

As a leader, I have always treated junior workers with respect and given them a chance to speak their minds. I also always take responsibility for my actions. I have also supported my workers in hardships and when they are under pressure. However, I have had my share of weaknesses as a leader. For instance, I have always found myself showing favors when employing people. I am not always partial when employing people. My character of speaking the truth has also landed me in trouble many times as a leader.

Leaders are sometimes needed to keep information from executive meetings secret. However, I sometimes find myself sharing the information with workers especially when they are about to be hurt by the executive decisions. I plan to develop myself professionally by taking leadership courses. I also plan to grow professionally by attending leadership conferences and seminars.

Conclusion

My childhood and adulthood experiences highly shaped how I behave ethically. I developed sympathy and honesty based on my parents’ lessons and experiences. Ethical principles that influence me professionally and personally include integrity, justice, and respect for all. Ethical practices that influence my professional practice include sympathy, beneficence, responsibility and commitment.

Since I became a nursing leader, I believed that integrity is the primary ethical practice that should guide me. However, I often show favors during the hiring and fail to honor non-disclosure agreements. I plan to develop myself professionally by taking leadership courses. I also plan to grow professionally by attending leadership conferences and seminars.

References

Aitamaa, E., Suhonen, R., Puukka, P., & Leino-Kilpi, H. (2019). Ethical problems in nursing management–a cross-sectional survey about solving problems. BMC Health Services Research, 19(1), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-019-4245-4

McDermott-Levy, R., Leffers, J., & Mayaka, J. (2018). Ethical principles and guidelines of global health nursing practice. Nursing Outlook, 66(5), 473-481. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2018.06.013

Nangoli, S., Muhumuza, B., Tweyongyere, M., Nkurunziza, G., Namono, R., Ngoma, M., & Nalweyiso, G. (2020). Perceived leadership integrity and organisational commitment. Journal of Management Development, 39(6), 823-834. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMD-02-2019-0047

Newham, R., & Hewison, A. (2021). Covid-19, ethical nursing management and codes of conduct: An analysis. Nursing ethics, 28(1), 82-90. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0969733020988316

Pesut, B., Greig, M., Thorne, S., Storch, J., Burgess, M., Tishelman, C., & Janke, R. (2020). Nursing and euthanasia: A narrative review of the nursing ethics literature. Nursing Ethics, 27(1), 152-167. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0969733019845127

Üzar‐Özçetin, Y. S., & Ercan‐Şahin, N. (2020). Descriptive phenomenological study on ego‐integrity among older people in nursing homes. Nursing & Health Sciences, 22(2), 472-479. https://doi.org/10.1111/nhs.12715

Weiss, S. A. & Tappen, R. M. (2015). Essentials of nursing leadership and management (6th ed.). F.A. Davis Company.

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FAQs

How do your personal values and beliefs influence or affect your nursing practice?

  • Patient-Centered Care: Personal values and beliefs can strongly influence a nurse’s commitment to patient-centered care. A nurse who values empathy and compassion is likely to provide care that is more attentive to patients’ emotional needs, not just their physical ones.
  • Ethical Decision-Making: Personal values and ethical beliefs play a crucial role in how nurses make decisions in challenging situations. Their values may guide them in determining what actions are morally right or wrong.
  • Cultural Competence: Nurses with diverse personal backgrounds and beliefs may be more culturally competent in caring for patients from various cultural and religious backgrounds. This can lead to improved patient-provider relationships and better health outcomes.
  • Advocacy: Nurses who have strong beliefs in social justice and advocacy may be more inclined to advocate for vulnerable or underserved patient populations, working to address healthcare disparities.
  • Autonomy and Informed Consent: Nurses who value individual autonomy and informed consent may place a strong emphasis on ensuring that patients fully understand their treatment options and can make informed choices about their care.
  • Holistic Care: Some nurses prioritize holistic care, taking into account not only the physical but also the emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects of a patient’s well-being. Personal beliefs can influence the extent to which they incorporate these elements into their practice.
  • Self-Care and Wellness: Personal beliefs about health and wellness can affect a nurse’s approach to self-care. Nurses who prioritize their own well-being may be more effective in providing care to others.
  • Work-Life Balance: Personal values related to work-life balance can influence a nurse’s scheduling preferences and how they manage their personal and professional lives.
  • Compassion and Empathy: Nurses with strong personal values of compassion and empathy often create a more nurturing and supportive care environment, which can positively affect patient outcomes.
  • Honesty and Transparency: Nurses who value honesty and transparency are more likely to communicate openly with patients about their conditions, treatment options, and potential outcomes.

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Post a brief introduction of yourself to your colleagues. Include an explanation as to how Walden’s vision, mission, goals, and social change initiative

What is the implication of ethics & morality in the practice of nursing?

Ethics and morality play a foundational and vital role in the practice of nursing. They guide nurses in making ethical decisions and provide a moral compass for their actions. Here are some of the key implications of ethics and morality in nursing practice:

  1. Patient-Centered Care: Ethical principles, such as beneficence (doing good) and non-maleficence (do no harm), guide nurses in providing patient-centered care. They must prioritize the best interests of the patient, respect their autonomy, and ensure their well-being.
  2. Informed Consent: Nurses uphold ethical standards by ensuring that patients understand their treatment options, potential risks, and benefits. Patients have the right to make informed decisions about their care, and nurses play a crucial role in facilitating this process.
  3. Confidentiality: Maintaining patient confidentiality is a fundamental ethical duty. Nurses must protect the privacy and dignity of patients by not disclosing their medical information without proper consent.
  4. Advocacy: Nurses often serve as advocates for their patients, especially in situations where patients are vulnerable or unable to express their preferences. Advocacy is rooted in ethical principles of justice and fairness.
  5. End-of-Life Care: Ethical considerations are essential in end-of-life care. Nurses must respect patients’ wishes regarding advanced directives, do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders, and the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatments, all while providing compassionate care.
  6. Cultural Competence: Ethical practice involves respecting the diverse cultural, religious, and moral beliefs of patients. Nurses should provide care that aligns with the patient’s values and preferences.
  7. Truthfulness: Nurses must maintain honesty and integrity in their interactions with patients, colleagues, and healthcare providers. This includes providing accurate information, even when it involves difficult discussions.
  8. Patient Safety: Ethical considerations underscore the importance of patient safety. Nurses must report errors, follow safety protocols, and take steps to prevent harm to patients.
  9. Resource Allocation: In situations of limited resources, such as during a healthcare crisis, nurses may face ethical dilemmas related to resource allocation. They must make fair and just decisions based on principles of distributive justice.
  10. Professional Integrity: Nurses must uphold the ethical standards of their profession, which include maintaining competence, adhering to a code of ethics, and engaging in lifelong learning.
  11. Moral Distress: Ethical conflicts can cause moral distress for nurses. It’s important for nurses to have support systems and resources to address moral distress and find ethically sound solutions.
  12. Accountability: Ethical practice requires nurses to be accountable for their actions. This includes recognizing mistakes, taking corrective action, and learning from ethical dilemmas.

Conduct a cultural self-assessment. In order to understand culture and cultural diversity, it is important that you understand your own culture and heritage

Ethics of Nursing Definition:

The ethics of nursing refers to the moral principles and standards that guide the behavior and decision-making of nurses in their professional practice. It involves the application of ethical principles to the various situations and dilemmas that nurses may encounter in the course of their work. Ethical considerations in nursing are essential for ensuring the well-being and safety of patients, maintaining trust in the healthcare system, and upholding the integrity of the nursing profession.

Why Are Values Important in Nursing:

Values play a crucial role in nursing as they provide a foundation for ethical decision-making and guide the nurse’s actions in various situations. In the nursing profession, values serve as a compass for ethical conduct, influencing how nurses interact with patients, families, colleagues, and the broader healthcare community. Values help nurses prioritize and make decisions that align with the principles of beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice. They contribute to the development of a professional identity and shape the culture of nursing practice.

The 5 Core Values of Nursing:

While different sources may present variations, a commonly recognized set of core values in nursing includes:

  1. Altruism: The unselfish concern for the welfare of others. Nurses prioritize the well-being and needs of their patients and advocate for their best interests.
  2. Autonomy: Respecting and supporting the right of individuals to make their own decisions about their healthcare. Nurses collaborate with patients, providing information and respecting their choices.
  3. Human Dignity: Recognizing and valuing the inherent worth and uniqueness of each individual. Nurses strive to treat every person with respect and promote a sense of worthiness.
  4. Integrity: Acting honestly and ethically, maintaining professional standards and practices. Nurses demonstrate integrity by being truthful, accountable, and upholding the trust placed in them by patients and the public.
  5. Social Justice: Advocating for fairness and equality in healthcare. Nurses work to eliminate healthcare disparities, address social determinants of health, and ensure equitable access to quality care for all individuals.

What are the ethical guidelines for nurse practitioners?

Nurse practitioners, like all healthcare professionals, are guided by ethical principles and guidelines that inform their practice. The following are some key ethical considerations and guidelines for nurse practitioners:

  1. Patient Autonomy: Nurse practitioners respect the autonomy of their patients, recognizing the individuals’ rights to make decisions about their own healthcare. This involves providing information, ensuring informed consent, and involving patients in the decision-making process.
  2. Beneficence and Non-Maleficence: Nurse practitioners strive to promote the well-being of their patients (beneficence) while avoiding harm (non-maleficence). This includes providing competent and compassionate care, advocating for patient safety, and minimizing risks.
  3. Justice: Nurse practitioners are committed to the fair and equitable distribution of healthcare resources. This involves advocating for equal access to healthcare services and addressing disparities to ensure that all individuals receive quality care.
  4. Integrity: Upholding integrity is crucial for nurse practitioners. This involves being honest and truthful in communication, maintaining professional boundaries, and acting ethically in all aspects of practice.
  5. Confidentiality: Protecting patient confidentiality is a fundamental ethical principle. Nurse practitioners must ensure the privacy and confidentiality of patient information, sharing it only with those authorized to receive it.
  6. Cultural Competence: Nurse practitioners recognize and respect the diversity of patients, including their cultural backgrounds, beliefs, and values. Culturally competent care involves tailoring healthcare approaches to meet the unique needs of each individual.
  7. Continuing Education: Ethical practice for nurse practitioners includes a commitment to ongoing professional development and continuing education. Staying current with advances in healthcare helps ensure the delivery of high-quality and evidence-based care.
  8. Collaboration and Communication: Effective collaboration with other healthcare professionals and clear communication with patients and their families are essential ethical considerations. Nurse practitioners work as part of a healthcare team, fostering collaborative relationships to enhance patient outcomes.
  9. Advocacy: Nurse practitioners advocate for the rights and well-being of their patients. This involves speaking up on behalf of patients, promoting healthcare policies that benefit the community, and addressing social determinants of health.
  10. Legal Compliance: Ethical practice for nurse practitioners includes adherence to all relevant laws and regulations governing healthcare. This involves staying informed about legal requirements and ensuring compliance in daily practice.

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