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Ethical Issue - Essay Example

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Nurses have a moral and ethical duty to treat patients but the nursing profession is faced with multiple complex issues which affect nurses’ efforts to be competent (Moody & Pesut, 2006). Most nurses are able to transcend above the organizational problems and serve the…
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Ethical Issue
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Download file to see previous pages While specialization is increasing in every area, hospitals are shuffling nurses from one unit to another with increased patient loads. Such cost effective measures compromise with the safety and quality and questions are raised on how ethical it is to do so. To make nurse staffing safe and appropriate, it was decided not to use nurse-to-patient ratios as a baseline standard for minimum safe staffing (Gallagher, Kany, Rowell, & Peterson, 1999). Nursing shortage in the United States is largely responsible for shifting nurses from one department to another. It is estimated that by 2010 there will be a shortage of about 800,000 nurses and this shortage already shows dire results (Bodley & Davis, 2003). The shortage is leading to delegation of patient care activities to nurses’ aides and unlicensed assistive personnel. Nurses do not have the managerial support or the control over their environments. Shifting nurses from unit to unit, imposing mandatory overtime, attrition in the profession is unlikely to abate.
Psychiatric nursing is a specialized area where the availability of appropriate personnel remains a perennial problem. Patients in the mental health department need kindness and compassion during the acute phase of their illness but Nolan and Bourke (2001) point out that they were forced to live in poor social environment while they were being treated for severe mental illness. The nurses lacked the skills in interpersonal relationships. Nurses in the mental health department reported that the type of intervention had changed and there was a decreased emphasis on dynamic therapy (Nolan & Bourke). Treatment is now based on pharmacology and there was an increased use of cognitive therapies. Independent practice opportunities were lost while advanced certification and prescription authority had increased the scope ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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