My Moral Compass The personal values that help contribute to my worldview and philosophy of nursing that is most important, is my religion. I am a Christian and this means that I am to be Christ like in my every day life and work. I am taught to treat others as I would want to be treated and care for them as I would do for myself. I am to help the sick, wounded, poor and widowed. Nursing in its roots are very much the same thing. Helping the ones who are unable to help themself. The underlying rule for nurses is to do no harm. My spiritual vales shape who I am, what I am and what I do.
If I do all things as if I were doing them to the glory of God, then I know all things would turn out right. When obeying God and his commands, my spiritual values teach me that all things work to the good of God and according to his purpose. Values are defined as the criteria to which actions, people and states of affairs are judged ( Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychology 2006). Merriam-Webster defines morals as, of, or relating to principles of right and wrong behavior (Merriam-Webster). Ethics are the science of morality and also known as moral philosophy.
It is defined as it seeks to discover a consistent principle by which human actions and character can be judged ( The Macmillan Encyclopedia, 2003a). The values, moral, and ethics that may effect my obligation to nursing practice are ones that are from the American Nurses Association’s code of conduct. It is my duty to follow a specific set of nursing code of ethics, which states the nurse shall in all professional relationships, practice with respect and dignity, worth and uniqueness of every individual, unrestricted by factors of socioeconomic class, personal attributes or the nature of the health problem.
The primary commitment is to the patient, family, group and or community; protecting the health, safety, and the rights of the patient (American Nurses Association, Inc, 2001). My personal views, values, philosophy and world-view has been at times difficult in my nursing career. A couple of times we had to terminally wean patients from the ventilator support they were on, being a Christian and nurse you are to do no harm and this really plagued my values early on in my career.
I was after a while to rationalize that because these patients had no quality of life and were clinically brain dead, we were not causing any harm. Then we had a patient with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). This patient was on ventilator support, unable to move his extremities, he was able to talk and make his needs known, and was able to eat. Then one day the doctors advised the patient related to the fact he was silently aspirating he was no longer going to be able to eat, and would require a feeding tube.
The patient refused a feeding tube and then terminally weaned himself off the vent. It was my duty to take care of this patient on the day of the terminal wean, which was difficult for me, because I felt as though he was committing suicide and we were assisting his efforts. For me this was no different than the hospital being a Dr. Kevorkian. I do not believe in suicide and it was very difficult to maintain and preserve his wishes even though they were totally against my beliefs and values.
I had to take care of him no matter what his decision was, whether right or wrong his values led him to remove his life support. During my years as working as a floor nurse I have now developed my own sense of what I feel is ethical and humane. I believe that if a patient has already been placed on ventilator support, instead of withdrawing life support, you place them on a do not resuscitate, do not treat, palliative measures only. Person’s whom are on long-term ventilator support, in most cases will develop some sort of infection, such as pneumonia or urinary tract infection.
If you do not treat the infection and just let nature takes it’s course whether it is to have the body heal itself or if the body is overtaken in death, they can then die peacefully by letting nature take its course. Some personal thoughts on how my values, morals and ethics effect my nursing are that no matter what my beliefs and values are, when entrusted with the care of a patient, I may disagree with their values, beliefs, or ethics, however I am to treat them no different than I would someone with whom I do share the same values, beliefs or ethics with.
My job is to treat everyone with the same type of respect, kindness and attention I would anyone else. I used to get a little unnerved at times when the hospital would have very important person (VIP) in the hospital and that particular patient would get preferential treatment, such as a 1:1 nurse. My education and beliefs are that no one in particular is a VIP, that all patients should be treated as if they were the president of the United States or the Queen of England. References values. (2006). In Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Psychology. Retrieved from http://library. gcu. du:2048/login? qurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww. credoreference. com/entry/hodderdpsyc/values Merriam-Webster. (n. d. ). Merriam-webster dictionary. Retrieved from http://www. merriam-webster. com/dictionary/moral ethics. (2003). In The Macmillan Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://library. gcu. edu:2048/login? qurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww. credoreference. com/entry/move/ethics American Nurses Association, Ince. (2001). Code of ethics with interpretive statements. Retrieved from http://www. nursingworld. org/MainMenuCategories/EthicsStandards/CodeofEthicsforNurses/Code-of-Ethics. pdf
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