Nursing Ethics and Evidence-Based Practice
December 10, 2010
Throughout this course I have been able educate myself on many areas of nursing that involve more than just patient care. One area that I found particularly interesting was ethical principlism. Ethical principlism involves using a set of ethical principles to provide framework that will support moral behavior and decision making while caring for patients. (Masters, 2009, p.92) There are four principles that define this idea. These include autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice.
Both beneficence and nonmaleficence go hand in hand to show how nurses truly work for the good of the patient. Beneficence involves nurses taking action to promote well being for their patients. While nonmaleficence teaches nurses to refrain from certain actions that could cause harm. (Masters, 2009 p. 93) I believe that these concepts are very important in nursing. One must be able to understand that caring for a patient is more than acquiring skills. You need to have compassion and love in the care you provide. Nursing must be more than just a job. If the desire to help the patient is not present, the ability for the nurse to make the proper judgments can be skewed.
Patient advocacy is a key requirement for a nurse. It is important that nurses are able to be taught ethical principles that will guide their thinking toward the good of the patient. Masters describes an example of beneficence as encouraging a patient to ambulate after surgery. They may not want to because they are in pain, and fatigued, but the outcomes are more positive than negative, so it is important to encourage the patient to complete this. By implementing the concept of beneficence, the well-being of the patient has to supersede all other concepts.
Another part of ethical...