The purpose and ideas on which this paper was composed were to expand on theories and principles that the profession of nursing is founded upon. Although the world is growing exponentially, and furthering its advancements in technology for the greater good of humankind, the advancements inevitably lead to the increase of expectations of healthcare providers, more specifically nurses. The principles and theories are specified in a way that can further add clarity to the ever-growing demand nurses face with each passing year. The principle of nonmaleficence and the theory of egoism as ethics deepen the nurses’ ability to further analyze the rules they should abide by. The theory of egoism states that a person should become involved in action if and only if it proves to be of their own interest. The reason, this aid in nursing practices is that it is essentially the exact opposite of how a nurse should respond, and so it gives them a clear set of boundaries by offering them a viewpoint that should never be accepted (Kalin, 1975). Furthermore, the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice aligns to form the base that all practice is founded upon. Egoism Ethics TheoryEgoism as ethics theory formulates on the basic foundation, that one’s self, thoughts, and actions are being executed with only that said person in mind. Due to this self-conceited view a person may have of themselves, the decisions they make are consequently an exact reflection of that egoistic view. According to the “Internet Encyclopedia of philosophy,” egoism is stated to be “the theory that one’s self is, or should be, the motivation and the goal of one’s own action” (Moseley, n.d). Essentially this theory highlights the complete opposite of what being a nurse is supposed to entail. It applies to nurses in a sense that, if the theory in any way is thought to be descriptive of my actions, then there is no doubt that the nurses’ actions would be in the wrong and need to see that their succeeding actions veer far from the egotistical mindset that this theory suggests. An example that further illustrates this theory is in the case of a drowning boy. The sacrifice being made of the savior is a wet sleeve, seemingly insignificant when comparing it to the value of life, but nevertheless, the person who is saved in this instance is unquestionably receiving more of a gain than the savior (Shaver, 2019). Egoism. Similarly to a broken law, the egoism as ethics theory is of the same nature, and in no way should that law be broken. By doing so a person has failed as a nurse because the patient is no longer their highest priority and utmost concern.How Egoism Aids In Principle Behavior For Registered NursesThis theory will further develop principles behavior as a registered nurse, especially in regards to the ideas that surround nonmaleficence. This principle, in a simplistic version, states that minimal harm is sought after in order to maximize the benefits of the outcome(Powerpoint). Again, the theory that is being analyzed in this paper applies to the principle inversely. More specifically, by adopting the theory of egoism in everyday practice a nurse would be violating the principle of nonmaleficence, which again is founded on the idea that suggestions are given to solve problems in the least harmful way. This is a direct violation due to the fact that having an egotistical view is insinuating a mindset where the patient, a known priority, is put below the importance of one’s self. This leads to the obvious conclusion that no longer are the least problematic solutions being considered, but rather the least problematic solutions for the nurse. The idea that this action was in complete violation was reiterated by the statement “the duty and obligations of physicians to their patients remain unequivocally that of beneficence and nonmaleficence.”(Omonzejele, 2005). By allowing egoism to infect and consume nurses thoughts, they are subconsciously putting the patient in harm’s way because they are now the second concern, which negatively affects the patients. Application of Egoism TheoryThe theory of egoism can be applied to current nursing practices in general due to the fact that it’s something all nurses could fall victim to. This is seen in the countless lawsuits that have debunked the reliability of numerous hospitals. One such example was studied previously, in the case of Lewis Blackman. Whether it was acknowledged or not, the various nurses involved had spoken to the mother without the accurate knowledge that was needed to treat and cure the boy accordingly (Monk, 2002). Unbeknownst to them, they were acting in their own best interest and unfortunately the boy had to pay the ultimate price. Due to this, it is important to know what the theory is suggestive of so that nurses can collectively work to eradicate that mindset. After all, isn’t it the golden rule of nursing that the patient always comes first? If not, it should be. With the theory suggesting the exact opposite of that rule, it is essential that it be acknowledged so as to dismantle any thought that even resembles a connection to the egoism as ethics theory. The Principle Of NonmaleficenceThe ethical principle of nonmaleficence is predicated on the idea that the least amount of harm is being evoked while simultaneously producing the most beneficial outcome for the issue at hand. Critiquing on the definition of “harm,” in the most basic sense it refers to any kind of action that keeps you from performing your moral duties. This inevitably leads a person to deny the practice of high character, which of course is morally shameful. The reason this principle was chosen was due to the fact that it doesn’t always necessarily have to be physical harm that is tangible. Putting patients in harm’s way sometimes goes unnoticed because it impacts them emotionally, so as to go undetected by the nurse. An example is brought to light in the same scenario mentioned prior, but with a different view. In the case of the boy’s death, the status of the mother was not cared for in the most efficient way, and as a result, she was emotionally affected by the events that unfortunately unfolded on her son’s behalf. With this being said, this principle applies to all people, in all professions, and in humankind as a whole. The concept that this principle is trying to portray is one that is not only essential to the duties of a nurse, but to the human race as well. Immediately, if someone is clearly injured, it is human instinct to help to alleviate the pain and discomfort the person is in. The instinct to act in such a way resembles the principle of nonmaleficence because it emphasizes the fact that it is done by minimizing harm, while simultaneously maximizing the benefits that follow. I believe this principle will serve as a guide in nursing practice and in life in general by giving the nurse the ability to empathize with the person who is suffering and act in a way similar to how they would want someone to help or aid them if they were in that person’s situation.Standard 7Standard 7 of the Nurses Association scope and standards of practice explicitly states that the nurse will act in a way that eradicates any form of discrimination of any kind whether it be of background, race, or ethnicity, a nurse simply sees a person in need as just that, a person who needs to be helped. The nurse will in no way act with hatred or disrespect, but with compassion and kindness as they inform the patient of their given rights and support them to make an informed decision. The nurse’s commitment is always to the patient, regardless of the situation the patient may find themselves in. The nurse will act in a way that proves competent, accountable, and responsible (ANA, 2015). Although there are a plethora of varying competencies that determine the validity of standard 7 being met, it can be summarized that the nurse will act in the patients best interest, never their own. Essentially, they are expanding on the principle of nonmaleficence further affirming the importance that the patient is always to be held at the highest priority in this particular profession.Foundation of Moral ReasoningThe nursing scope and standards of practice, also referred to as The American Nurses Association (ANA), has provided a guideline for nurses to abide by. This guideline implements a specific set of standards all nurses are expected to adhere to (American Nurses Association, 2015). Standard 7 states that the registered nurse must only be associated with integrity and competence which would thus be reflected in their adherence to their capability of ethical practices. Unified within that standard is the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements, which again offers further clarification of what practicing ethically encompasses. (ANA, 2015). Provision 1 and 2 of the Nursing Code of Ethics emphasizes that the nurse must practice with compassion and respect for their patients and that they are to be committed to their patient, reiterating the fact that the patient should be seen as the first priority. In order to implement Provisions 1 and 2, Standard 7, and the principle and theories surrounding ethical care, the nurse must respect each patient’s individuality and treat them in a way that is suggestive of that respect. Essentially, these standards highlight the fundamental way in which a nurse should interact with patients, meaning that they should be compassionate, respectful, and professional. More specifically, the focus of provision 1 states one of the many crucial attributes a nurse must have is acting with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth, and unique aspects of every person (Gurney, Gillespie, McMahon, and Kolbuk, 2017). Furthermore, a nurse is expected to recognize and honor the right the patient has to make their own decisions in regards to their care. This was affirmed by Florence Nightingale who went on to describe this quality as a foundational tenet of practice and is an ethical duty of the nurse (Gurney et al., 2017). ConclusionA nurse’s primary responsibility is to care for the patient with compassion, respect, and dignity. It is without hesitation that a nurse should follow the principle of nonmaleficence when caring for patients. When a nurse follows the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, the nurse practices at a higher ethical and moral level. A nurse should not have a level of egoism when caring for patients. By having a solid ethical and moral background, a nurse is able to provide a high level of patient-centered care. A nurse is able to be a better advocate for a patient when provided the right tools, education, and resources. A successful nurse will not only follow the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice but, will live by those principles and beliefs and integrate them into their way of life.
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