The nursing profession deals with human beings in a helpless and sick condition. Human dignity is to be respected at all times, caring for patient is essence of Nursing Ethics signifies morals. In all fields of human activities, the society has come to expect a certain standard of conduct and behaviours. Ethics involve not merely performing one’s duty in mechanical manner limited only to the extent of duties prescribed, it also has with it an instilled duty of providing efficient service coupled with instilling a sense of confidence and moral support to patient by various acts, deeds and gesture.
Nursing ethics is a set code of conduct and moral values which a nurse has to follow throughout her professional life.
The Nightingale Pledge
“I solemnly pledge my self before God and in the presence of this assembly to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully.
I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take of knowingly administer any harmful drug.
I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping, and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my profession.
With Loyalty will I endevours to and the physician in his work and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care"
As professionals, nurses are required to follow certain standards in their lives and work situation. They are under moral obligation to society to uphold certain values of their profession.
Code of Ethics for Professional Nurses
- The fundamental responsibility of the Nurse is three fold: To conserve life, To alleviate suffering and to promote health.
- The nurse must maintain at all times the highest standards of nursing care and of professional conduct.
- The nurse must not only be well prepared to practice but must maintain her knowledge and skill at a consistently high level.
- The religious beliefs of patient must be respected, the nurse provides services with respect for dignity of man unrestricted by consideration of nationality, race, creed, colour or status.
- Nurse must hold in confidence all personal information entrusted to them.
- A nurse recognizes not only the responsibilities but the limitations of her or his professional functions; recommends or give medical treatment without medical orders in emergency and reports such action to a physician at the earliest possible moment.
- The nurse is under an obligation to carry out the physician’s orders intelligently and loyally and to refuse to participate in unethical procedures.
- The nurse sustains confidence in the physician and other members of the health team, incompetence or unethical conduct of associates should be exposed but only to proper authority.
- A nurse is entitled to just remuneration and accepts only such compensation as the contract actual or implied, provides.
- Nurses do not permit their names to be used in connection with advertisement of product or with any other forms of self advertisement.
- The nurse Co-operates with and maintains harmonious relationship with members of other profession and with her nursing colleagues.
- The nurse in private life adheres to standards of personal ethics which reflect credit upon the profession.
- In personal conduct nurses should not knowingly disregard the accepted pattern of behaviour of community in which they live and work.
- A nurse should participate and share responsibility with other citizens and other health professional in promoting efforts to meet the health needs of public local State National and international.