When working in the nursing industry, there will always be times that you will have to make ethical decisions and choices. It can be stressful and tiring. However, it’s essential to be aware of the ethical issues that arrive, so you can be prepared for how to handle them. In this article, we are going to be talking about some of the ethical issues in the nursing environment, and how we can maintain nurse safety.

The disclosing of medical conditions:

When faced with the reality of hard and shocking medical conditions, it can be challenging to decide what to do. As humans, we may feel the need to lie or not be completely truthful with a patient because we don’t want to hurt their feelings. Sometimes, families of the patient might not want you to tell them the truth, and you are faced with the issues of deciding if they have the right to know. This is an ethical issue that will occur very frequently throughout your employment in a nursing environment.

Consent from patients:

Sometimes, it can be difficult to respect the decisions of a patient when you become attached and have certain expectations regarding their wellbeing. Other times, a family member may ask you to do one thing, while the patient disagrees. This can be conflicting and cause ethical issues within a hospital or medical setting. It’s essential to follow the nursing code of conduct, and remember the rights of the patient and their patient consent, when dealing with circumstances such as this.

Disagreements about medical decisions:

When you are working with a large team filled with nurses and other doctors, it can be not very easy to communicate on the same page. Even though you can all be trained and educated in the same way, there can be debates on how you should treat a patient, and what medical tests should be run. This can be a huge ethical issue that affects not only the patient but also your relationship with your colleagues.

Patient Confidentiality:

Sometimes when working with patients, they may not want you to disclose any information to their families. This can be difficult for you because, as humans, we might feel the need to share the news, especially if it is that of a life-changing medical condition. It is, however, important to remember to always respect the patient’s wishes.

Overview:

So there you have it. If you are considering taking up a nursing career or thinking about working in the nursing industry, remember to be aware of the different ethical issues that you may be faced with. Prepare yourself mentally so that you can handle these decisions with ease.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Ethical Issues in Healthcare: Nursing," in Medicalopedia, February 28, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/8421/ethical-issues-in-healthcare-nursing/].