Professional Standards and Codes of Ethics in Nursing

As the nursing profession progresses throughout the years, its nature becomes more complex in meeting the professional standards and codes of ethics that are required by all nurses. The American Nurses Association has a specific code of ethics that each nurse should follow and adopt as their own beliefs. The public and the patients should be the priority when providing care in the healthcare setting. The knowledge and education that nurses’ gain is valuable and allows them to encourage health, avoid illness, restore health, and aid in coping for those who are all ill. LeMone, pp. 192) Given that the code of ethics is put into place, there are many registered nurses who violate these codes in various situations. The following will discuss various codes that were violated during the care of a client with a nutritional risk. The client, a 54 year old Caucasian male, was admitted to the hospital for a motor vehicle accident. Upon admission, Nurse A told family members that the client had a poor prognosis and asked if they would like to contact a member of the clergy for support.

Nurse A also asked if the client was an organ donor and if not, then the family should think about it since his condition is critical. The two statements made by Nurse A violated 1. 1 under provision 1 of the ANA code of ethics, which states the nurse must have respect for human dignity. (Nursing World, 2012) When the patient’s family asked about the prognosis, the nurse immediately responded with a statement that she was not qualified to say.

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The nurse also should not have recommended that the family contact a member of the clergy for support because this implied that the patient will soon be deceased. These statements did not respect the patient for what their worth nor the family. It is important that nurses respond to all situations in a respectful manner and not ever assume what will or needs to happen. The patient has been in the hospital for 6 days and has lost 20 lbs. He is receiving a tube feeding that is used for diabetics.

While the patient was undergoing the tube feeding, the patient’s brother inquired about the glucerna that was being used. The nurse gave her opinion on how the glucerna was not any better than any other type, and that his brother needed to take in more calories than what he was getting. However this was a feeding that the doctor liked. With the information that the nurse knew it was clear that the patient was losing weight and that there may have been a possibility that the patient did need more calories. This information should have been communicated with the octor so that the doctor could make a better decision on what to give the patients. Under the ANA Code of Ethics, the nurse violated 2. 3 under provision 2, health collaboration. (Nursing World, 2012) It is important that all healthcare staff communicate effectively to each other about the needs of patients. All nurses should ensure that the proper staff be involved and given updated information regarding any patient that they care for. It is critical that all information should be passed along so that others can make an informed decision.

At any rate, it is the nurse’s responsibility to intervene when a setting or situation is inadequate, unsafe, or unethical in nature. (Kayser-Jones, 2008) While the patient was held in ICU, the patient’s family was told that they could not see their family member because there was too much going on in the unit for visitors. The family had not seen their family member since 10am the previous day. It was learned the following day that the night shift will restrict visitors at times and that the day shift nurses are more lenient with visiting hours.

It is clear that the nurses in the evening shift violated 1. 5 under provision 1 of the ANA Code of Ethics, Relationships with colleagues and others. (Nursing World, 2012) All nurses should commit to the fair treatment of individuals with other colleagues as well as patients and their0020family members. It was clear that the patients were getting unfair treatment from the nurses in the evening versus the nurses during the day. All nurses should work together so that miscommunication does not affect the well being of the patient.

On that same day, the patient’s wife stated that her neighbor phoned the hospital to get information on her husband and information was given out. It is clear that the nurse who gave out information regarding the patient was in violation of 3. 1, privacy and 3. 2, confidentiality of provision 3 of the ANA Code of Ethics. It is the nurse’s duty to maintain all confidentiality and privacy of all patient information. (Nursing World, 2012) Information regarding a patient should only be given out to those who are dealing with the direct care of the patient.

It is important for nurses to be aware of those who are not involved with the care of the patient. Above all nurses play an important role in the recovery of their patients. The actions and decisions of a nurse are manifestations of the true character that a nurse holds. (Lachman, 2008) Those who become nurses are not only expected to adhere to the norms of the profession but rather to embrace them as to what it means to be a nurse. Nursing ethics is focused on nursing behavior as professionals and the performance in responsibilities and procedures.

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Professional Standards and Codes of Ethics in Nursing. (2016, Nov 25). Retrieved from