This assignment is going to discuss thenurse’s role and the advocating for others, whilst identifying the potentialethical, legal and professional issues associated within it. It is going to explorehow personal development relates to the role of the nurse, as well as howpersonal values and beliefs contribute to professional identity. It is going todiscuss values and beliefs underpinning the nature of healthcare practice aswell as expressing current personal knowledge and skills that contribute to a professionalidentity. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC, 2015) is structured aroundfour themes; prioritise people, this is about making sure the best interest ofthe patient is at heart.
You make their care and safety your priority and make sure that their dignityis always promoted. Preserve safety,this is concerned with making sure that the individual and the public isprotected. You only work within the confines of your competence, working onyour professional duty of candour and raising concerns instantly whenever asituation that puts patients or public at risk. Practice effectively,here you evaluate needs anddeliver or advise on treatment to the best of your abilities on the basis ofthe finest evidence existing and best practice.
This P is also about communicating effectively. The last Pis promoting professionalism andtrust where you maintain the reputation of your profession at all times.You should demonstrate a personal commitment to the standards of practice and conductset out in the Code ( NMC, 2015).The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC, 2015) is the nursing and midwiferyregulator for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It provides thestandards for beliefs and values. The Code (Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2015)is non-negotiable, however as everybody practices individually, even thougheverybody has the same standards, personal attitudes provide how the code is delivered.The Royal College of Nursing (RCN, 2014) define nursing as the use of clinicaljudgement in the provision of care to enable people to improve, maintain, orrecover health, to cope with health problems, and to achieve the best possiblequality of life, whatever their disease or disability, until death. (RCN, 2014).
In the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC, 2015)values is defined as something that describeswhat matters to us and how nurse’s go about their work. Values underpin allthat nurse’s do and provide a constant reference point in how strategies areimplemented. There are also the 6Cs that are defined by NHS HealthCareers (2014) as an established set of morals that reinforce compassion in practice, a vision and approach for nursing,midwifery and all healthcare staff. The 6Cs include, care, compassion,competence, communication, courage and commitment.
Personal beliefs from this andvalues both contribute to a professional identity and to the role of the nurse.The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC, 2015) presents the professionalstandards that nurse’s must uphold in order to be registered to practice in theUK. This Code (Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2015) reflects the world in whichwe live and work today and the changing roles and expectations of nurse’s.
TheCode (Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2015) can be used by nurses as a way of strengtheningtheir professionalism. In this the role of the registered nurse is defined asto provide health care to individuals, families, and communities. To provideservices designed to promote health, prevent illness and achieve optimalrecovery from or adaptation to health problems, as well as putting the patientsinterest at the heart of all they do. This then relates and links back to prioritisingpeople which is one of the 4P’s in nursing. Listening to patients andresponding to their concerns is a key skill to adhere to in nursing whichassociates back to this certain P.
However, the knowledge of this also linkswith communication and listening to people for preserving safety and promotingprofessionalism and trust which are also the 4P’s in nursing. It is clear fromthis example that everything nurses aspire to achieve relates back to theregulatory body of standards of beliefs and values, however with their own adaptationmaking their professional identity unique.Ethics is concerned with fundamentalprinciples of right and wrong and what people should do and inform judgementsand values and help individuals decide on how to act. Guidance on acting ethically is informed by acceptedethical theories, principles and frameworks. In everyday practice professionals are expected to make decisionsabout what is best for each individual. Ethical theories and principles provide the evidence baseto support decision making for the professional in advocating for others.The Nursing and Midwifery Council Code of Standards, Performance andEthics for Nurses and Midwives (NMC, 2015) is underpinned by ethicalprinciples.
It states to practice in anethically whole professional style it is vital to balance ethicalconsiderations with professional values and applicable legislation. The principalof ethical practice at all stages includes an individual or team recognisingwhat the legal, ethical and professional standards required are and how thesecan be caring and compassionately applied to the tests of medical practice. Nursesare held highly responsible to patients, the public and to the entireprofession. It is known that nurses need a compact understanding of a number ofethical, legal and professional issues that they will face during theirprofessions in order to accept different individual’s choices. Discussing thelegal and ethical issues that relate to the professional role of the nursecarries a huge amount of complexity and detail. As a nurse you must listen andalso respond to patient’s preferences, in order to follow the Nursing and MidwiferyCouncil (NMC, 2015).
Legal issues that arise from listening to people and respondingto their preferences is the application of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA, 2005)and the ethical issues of informed consent and the right to self-determination,for example the right for a patient to refuse treatment even if as a nurse youbelieve it is in their best interest. As a student nurse, I have felt that I havecome to the nursing course with truthful values and beliefs to be a nurse interms of supporting patients, listening to them when required, reassuring andcomforting them to voice their own preferences, putting their best interests atheart and appreciating that those are the values I embrace to promote theirdignity. As I have been on this course, I have then read and debated and inseminars and lectures, learnt about the Mental Capacity Act (MCA, 2005) and theNursing and Midwifery Council (NMC, 2015) so I know as a nurse I need to adhereto that and to accept each individual’s beliefs and values accordingly.
Seminarsand lectures have helped inform my own journey and since being on placement itis clear to see that each individual nurse is to some extent different in howthey practice and they bring their own knowledge and skills forward to createtheir own professional identity. In subsection 1 of theMental Capacity Act 2005 Best Interests (MCA, 2005) it states that for thepurposes of this Act what is in a person’s best interests, the individualmaking the determination must not make it simply on the root of the person’sage or appearance, or a condition of theirs, or a trait of their behaviour,which may lead others to create unwarranted assumptions about what might be intheir best interests. This supports myapproach of accepting each individual values and beliefs accordingly andsupporting patient’s rights. As a student nurse, as well as aprofessional, it is important that we are aware of and understand patient’srights to make choices, although we may not agree ourselves. Since starting thecourse, I am now aware of the legalisation to support patient’s rights and theprofessional and ethical ideas that inform personal practice.
Most importantlywe have to understand our personal growth and how that has informed ourprofessional identity.From all of this, drawing on a range ofevidence it is clear to see that nurses are guided by standards set by theNursing and Midwifery Council (NMC, 2015) as a regulatory body, legalisationand ethical principles among other factors. Individual development has beeninfluenced by knowledge, learning and being on placement, to see a truereflection of the profession and the day to day life of the role of the nurseand advocating for others. Inkeeping with recommendations of the Secretary’s Commission on Nursing Report(1998), hospitals are looking at distinguished nursing roles according tocompetence, experience and education.
To improve patient outcomes presently andin the future, it is important that an evidence-based approach to nursing care willbe incorporated into clinical practice settings. There is always the requirement in clinical practiceto repeatedly develop and advance competence through an individual’s own knowledge,skills and attitudes to endorse their professional identity in the best means possibleand adhere to the standards set by authorities to enable them to have the rolethey are in today and for the future, enabling advocating for others in theright way for that certain individual.