The main aim of healthcare is to provide the best level of care that is possible for the patient and patient is always at the centre of the decisions that are related to the patient which is called as person-centred care or patient-centric care (Groves, 2016). It is the ethical duty of the nurses to work in such a manner that the delivery of care is patient-centric (Ashkenazy, 2019). The aim of the present essay is to discuss the international code of ethics in healthcare with relation to nursing and its role in person-centred care with an example of one element.
In healthcare, the school of thought was initially in a paternalistic approach in which the decisions made by the doctor or the healthcare team were accepted, without consideration of the patients (Delaney, 2018). In the recent times, due considerations are being given to the needs and acceptance of the treatment and more involvement of the patients in their medical decisions and the practice to include the patient consideration is called person-centred care. In general, there are four fundamental principles in person-centred care and they are: treating patients with dignity, compassion and respect; the care should be coordinated; the care is personalized; to help the people in recognizing their strengths and abilities (Marchand et al., 2019). The basis of person-centred care is that the patient is the best judge of his/her health and illness and can navigate through to get the best health outcome (Taylor et al., 018).
All the healthcare professionals including nurses should work in such a way that the needs of the patient are given most priority (Cashin et al., 2017). Various regulations have been made to help in the guidance of the nurses to obtain professional competency and so that the nurses can provide person-centred care. Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia has given professional standards which are related to code of conduct, standards of practice and code of ethics and a registered nurse is expected to abide by them so that best possible care can be given to the patients (Nurses and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2017). There are four fundamental duties that a nurse is expected to follow and they are: promotion of health, prevention of illness, restoration of health and alleviation of suffering (International Council of Nurses, 2012). The element that is discussed is nurses and people such that the patient can be alleviated of his/her suffering, for example, pain.
International Council of Nurses Code of ethics denotes that it is the duty of the nurses to respect rights of a person which includes cultural rights, right to life and choice so that the patient can be treated with dignity and respect (Rejnö et al., 2020). According to the element, the primary responsibility of the nurses is towards the people who require care. The care environment is such that the rights, values, customs and spiritual beliefs of the patient, family and community are considered (Newton, 2018). In case of reducing the suffering of the patient, it is necessary that all the aspects as per the patient's health are considered. This includes cultural, social, spiritual, and psychological needs of the person and in some cultures, spiritual needs are given the high level of importance and not having that fulfilled might have an impact on the health outcome of the patient. It becomes the duty of the registered nurse to make sure that the needs of the patient are fulfilled thus keeping the patient at the centre of the caregiving process.
In the field of healthcare, the principles of ethics that are the registered nurse and other healthcare professionals are supposed to work abiding them and they are justice, beneficence, nonmaleficence, accountability, fidelity, autonomy and veracity (Dewitt, 2016). In the present example of reducing the suffering of the patient, the nurse should abide by them especially autonomy that is the patient should be given the right to their opinion, perspectives, values and beliefs so that the patient is given the understanding that his care is being as per his preference. The care plan should be customized as per the needs of the patient and it has done so that no harm is incurred to the patient intentionally and unintentionally and the treatment will be done for the betterment of the patient (Walsh, 2019).
While providing care to the patient if the patient requests that a particular medicine is to be given or not be given or administered in a particular manner such that his cultural practices are intact. It becomes the duty of the nurse to make sure that it is included in his care plan so that it is culturally safe and sensitive. One of the important duties of the nurses is that they work with interprofessional coordination so that the patient remains the importance and the work done is customized for a specific patient and not a generic one for all the patients (Nugus et al., 2019).
It is also the duty of the nurses to make sure that the ethical guidelines, policies and procedures are followed by them and others in the healthcare and in case that does not happened, the nurse are expected to advocate for the patient. So as to make sure that the person is the centre of the caregiving practice the nurses are expected to uphold their competencies in terms of communication and assessment, counselling and behaviour change, self-management strategies for the management of illness with respect to time and interprofessional coordination (Taylor et al., 2018).
In conclusion, the care process encompassing the prevention of disease, its treatment, care and support services which are based on the needs and voices of people and not merely on the needs of the healthcare system and healthcare professionals is called person-centred approach. International council of nurses has given elements for the code of ethics for the practice of the nurses. It is the professional duty of the nurses to make sure that the patient is at the centre of the care process and his needs, rights, and values are to be taken into consideration in the care planning process.
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