Personal Ethics In day to day living we all face challenges and have to make decisions that affect our lives and the lives of those around us. These decisions are made based upon a person’s ethics, morals and values in which help to define a person’s character. In this paper this author will define her own personal morals, ethics and values and explain how they relate to her nursing practice. Loyalty, passion, motivation and inspiration will also be discussed in this paper Merriam Webster describes ethics as “the principles of conduct that governs an individual or group. Ethics are personal and are actions one takes on himself. Morals on the other hand are usually set up and passed on by society. Morals are not necessarily one’s own. Morals can be explained as write or wrong behaviors or actions. Values according to Merriam Webster dictionary help to promote sound functioning and strengthen society. We learn values or the things that are important to us from our families or other people that may be influential to us.
As this author reflects upon her own personal ethics, morals and values it is important to know what brought me to the place that I am now. This author has many passions and one of the greatest is a passion for life. That is what brought me to the nursing career that I have grown to know and love. A personal decision was made many years ago in my own life to help others and to always try to prevent harm to myself and others.
As my grandfather lay dying I watched nurses treat him and my family with so much dignity and compassion that I knew from that moment 15 years ago that I would spend the rest of my life as a nurse and would treat others with the same compassion and respect that we were given, I knew that was who I wanted to be. I found motivation to achieve this goal through my children. It was important for this author to be a good role model and teach my children that they could achieve any goal they desire if they work hard and stay motivated.
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This same motivation is used daily in my nursing career as well. I consciously think about how and why I became a nurse and never want to lose that drive, or compassion that got me to where I am today. Inspiration is often found from my family to continue to care for others and their families, however; one of the biggest inspirations I can think of is when I have cared for someone’s loved one and after doing so am told how grateful they are that I am a nurse and that I took care of them. Having a positive effect on my patients’ lives is very motivating.
There are times in nursing where patients die no matter what you attempt to do and this can damper a nurses inspiration so it is important to find what does inspire you so that you can look back on that inspiration when needed. Loyalty is also important in many aspects. Loyalty for this nurse is important at work not only to the facility that employs me but also to the team that I work with. Having loyalty produces trust in our team which in turns makes for a safer environment for our patients. At the same time loyalty is found for my family and God.
If a nurse is aware of his/her own individual moral compass this may allow them to understand the needs of patients better. A nurse may be faced with a patient that has different religious believes than the nurse but this should not in any way affect the care the patient receives. The nurse should assist the patient in practicing what is comfortable for the patient to ensure the patients’ needs are fully met. The same thing applies for cultures that differ from our own. Some cultures prefer that the man of the house make all medical decisions.
The nurse should be aware of this and address the situation with respect so as not to offend the patient or the family. Doing so may help the family to trust the nurse and her clinical judgment more. Our own personal values, morals, or ethics should never hinder the care that is given to a patient but at times it does get in the way. I have heard nurses and doctors voice that a patient was nothing but a drug addict because he had tattoos all over his body. Therefore pain remained unaddressed with the patient because the patient looked different than the staff caring for him.
This patients morals may have been different from the staffs, but in no way should have hindered his care. The same thing has been said about patients who come in the ER that have rotted teeth. The staff always assumes that the patient is a meth addict and treats them differently, sometimes hatefully. It may very well be that the patient is just poor, had bad oral hygiene, or maybe was just born with bad teeth. These patients all too often are made to suffer with pain as well because the doctor refuses to medicate because he/she feels the patient is a drug addict.
We all come from diverse ethical backgrounds that were taught to us by family, friends, teachers and others that are deemed important in our lives. Every individual should have their own ethical standards but they work best when we strive to do well and not harm others or ourselves with our ethical believes. We can always strive to raise the bar for own ethical believes, standards, and morals while at the same time respecting others. Reference Weber, S. (2009). The Moral Compass of Nursing. Advance for Nurses. Retrieved from http://advanceweb. com/Article/The-Moral-Compass-Of-Nursing. aspx
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