Nursing is a profession with a code of ethics that requires medical professional to keep information related to their patient’s secret. It’s one of the greatest requirements of the nursing profession. Just like in counseling and guidance the only way a patient can trust a human being with very personal information related to their health is if they are guaranteed that the information won’t be leaked to the general public.
Confidentiality is an important part of the nursing profession and one that cannot not be done away with. A patient will only be willing to diverge his/her personal information if there is a guarantee that the information will only be between the two of them. Patients sometimes suffer from diseases they would not wish to be known by their families or other people (Dreyer, Førde, & Nortvedt, 2011). Such diseases include sexually transmitted diseases that are shameful and deeming and very few people would be willing to have everyone know the kind of disease they are suffering form. Terminal diseases also elicit bad feelings and few people wish to have this information known by everyone. Very people would be comfortable walking around in the society where everyone knows they are about to die. Others keep this information secret to avoid subjecting their loved ones to emotional agony due to the bond that exist between them.
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Breaching the Confidentiality Oath would Have Great Effects on the Patients
This is information can be used to victimize a patent and subject him/her to unnecessary psychological pain. Therefore the information that a patient gives to those attending to him/her are of great importance because even insurance agencies may use this information in the event they do not want to pay the patient any insurance policy that is of medical nature. My ethical principles dictate that I abide o my professional ethics and do that which is right at any given time. The Hippocratic Oath bides a medical practitioner to keep any information pertaining to the patient confidential. I believe in abiding by the set guidelines because the reason behind their existence is to safeguard the patient and create the best working environment in ethical terms that ensures that both the patient and the nurse are at each with each other. My objective is to give the best service I can to a patient and I do not in no way wish to negate that by causing the patient psychological torture after offering him/her great services at the hospital (Dreyer, Førde, & Nortvedt, 2011). This can only be achieved by ensuring that I do not disclose the information to anybody else not unless it is to a colleague who may be attending him/her. The ethical requirements imposed are all meant to ensure that a patient is well taken care of and in no way subjected to any suffering of which ever kind that can be avoided. This is achieved any time a nurse adheres to these ethical guidelines. The result is a huge trust and respect for the nursing profession and at the same time great feeling on the side of the patient due to the great services received at the hands of a trustworthy nurse. Nurses just like any other normal human being are tempted to share the secrets of their patients with their friends and families but a strong belief in abiding by the ethical values and oaths made ensures that the nurses do not succumb to this urge.
There are Cases that Leave a Nurse in a Tricky Situation
These cases are those involving patients where a nurse strongly feels that it could be in the best interest of the patient if the nurse was to disclose the information regarding the patient’s health condition either to the parents or the authorities. Such instances arise if for example there is outbreak of a killer communicable disease such as Ebola. This is for the greater good of the society if the nurse was to alert the patient’s family and authorities so that the patient is quarantined to prevent further spread of the disease in the society. A nurse is supposed to protect the society in which he/she lives and by alerting the authority he/she will be doing exactly that. This might anger the patient who might accuse the nurse of breaching the Hippocratic Oath. The committee selected to investigate such an incidence should focus on what could have happened had the nurse remained quite over the issue. In this case that would have meant exposing thousands of people to medical problem. The intention of the oath is to ensure nurses do their jobs in the best way but like all other rules there opportunities where the discretion of the patient should prevail. The committee will use the consequences of the action of the nurse and also think of what could have happened had the nurse decided to stick to the Hippocratic Oath (Aitamaa, et al, 2010). The deaths of so many people or hospitalization of so many patients does not in any way warrant for the adherence to the oath in the face of such an impending pandemic.
The oaths that bind a nurse to great service to God and humanity is meant to ensure that the society is in the best state of health that is practically possible. This requires those involved in the profession to use the knowledge they have acquired over the years and their skills to ensure that they achieve this objective. Use of discretion is very important due to the unique cases that present themselves to the nurses and that are not covered in the code of ethics which implies that the best way of dealing with the issue is the most acceptable. Nurse come across such cases a number of times in their profession and have to ensure that whatever they chose to do is for the greater good (Pavlish, et al, 2011).. Their feelings, preferences and bias should not cloud their judgment at any given time. They should allow logic and rationality to prevail at any given time to ensure that they do not ruin another individual’s life.