Safe and effective patient care
There are several components that a Nurse Practitioner (NP) must follow in order to provide safe and effective patient care. One component is that NPs must strive to provide ethical patient care. The ANA Code of Ethics establishes a formal set of ethical principles that an NP should follow when making clinical decisions (Dunphy et al., 2019).
In my future NP role, I intend to follow the American Nurses Association’s ethical guidelines (ANA). The ANA’s code of ethics ensures that nursing care is centered on the patient’s best interests in order to achieve the best possible outcomes. The ANA’s ethical principles are founded on fundamental moral principles like autonomy, freedom, beneficence, non-malfeasance, veracity, confidentiality, fidelity, and justice (Dunphy et al., 2019). These fundamental moral principles revolve around providing patient-centered care (Dunphy et al., 2019).
Moral distress may arise when discussing the ethical care of patients. I must have plans in place to alleviate or manage moral distress. The first step in dealing with moral distress is to identify the source of the distress (Saver, 2020). According to Saver (2020), it is critical to identify the source of the distress, such as conflicts among team members or disagreements among a patient’s family members over end-of-life decisions. Self-evaluation is another important step in dealing with moral distress. A self-evaluation is required to determine the severity of the distress and how quickly it must be resolved to minimize emotional damage (Saver, 2020). When developing strategies, evaluating resources is critical to reaching a conclusion. The ANA’s code of ethics, which includes interpretive statements, can be used to help develop strategies (Saver, 2020). Organizational ethics services and employment assistance programs are examples of additional resources (Saver, 2020).
Learning how to instill moral resilience is another effective strategy for reducing moral distress (Savor, 2020). Being self-aware, learning to self-regulate, and developing the courage to speak up when ethical issues arise are all examples of moral resilience building strategies (Savor, 2020).
Another concept that I believe is important to consider when discussing effectively providing ethically based care is emotional intelligence (EI). This is an important concept to understand and apply in a professional setting, in my opinion. EI is a self-development concept that allows people to be more self-aware of their own emotions, beliefs, strengths, and weaknesses in order to make better decisions (Butler, 2021). Butler (2021) defined EI as a necessary skill for nurse leaders in order to foster and stimulate behaviors in their team members.
J. Butler (2021). Nursing Leadership and Emotional Intelligence The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal, volume 27(5), pages 18-21.
L. M. Dunphy, J. E. Winland-Brown, B. O. Porter, and D. J. Thomas (2019). Primary care: An interprofessional approach to the art and science of advanced practice nursing. 5th edition, Philadelphia.
C. Saver (2020). Managing moral anguish. Obtainable at https://nacns.org/managing-moral-distress/.