Nursing is the task of looking after the sick or injured. Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare industry since they are involved physically at every level of a patient’s recovery; from simply receiving patients to administering drugs and also assisting in operations.
Accountability is the ability and willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions as well as the consequences of the said actions.
Professional accountability is the legal obligation placed upon individuals in the health care industry to act ethically and morally toward their patients. Issues that are pertinent to this will include integrity, privacy concerns, selflessness as well as social justice. Nurses owe professional accountability to a large number of players including their colleagues, the doctors, the patient, and their employment agency and family members of the patients (McMahon & Associates, 2011).
They are faced with the difficult position of being the ones who interact directly with the patient, the doctor and the family. They are required to handle these people with professional demeanor without appearing aloof. The moral, ethical and legal balance of responsibility borne by the nurses cannot be taken lightly.
The paramount accountability is to the profession. Every member of any profession is supposed to uphold the standards set by the governing body of that profession and surpass the basic requirements. These professional requirements include knowledge, skill, judgment, and attitude. They are outlined in the Code of Ethics for nurses.
The nurse must have received training pertaining to treatment, care, and management of patients. Trainee nurses have to practice under a professional. Medical training is usually carried out hand in hand with academic studies. Nurses are expected to keep up to date with the latest developments and research in the medical field.
Also, direct patient care is a difficult task that requires considerable skill. It involves; dressing, monitoring equipment, the patients are dependent upon, administering drugs and hygiene. A nurse works in a high-pressure environment where snap decisions are the norm as opposed to the exceptions. The nurse must make these decisions to the best of their knowledge and understanding of the situation before a doctor is available to solve the crisis. The decisions made under such circumstances may open up legal consequences, therefore; one must do it with maximum care and reliance on their training and past occurrences.
The nurse’s manner must always be positive and reassuring. They must be gentle but in an assertive manner while dealing with patients, their families, and their colleagues. A nurse is also accountable to the client. They owe the clients a duty of competence, privacy, respect, and altruism. A nurse must know how to handle each particular ailment and to know the particular steps to follow and drugs to administer.
Some ailments may be embarrassing to the patient to share and the nurse must listen in an understanding non-judgmental manner and address the issue in a manner that will not lead to any further discomfiture on the client’s part. Each patient has different backgrounds and attitude and the nurse must understand and respect these differences. Nursing is a calling. It requires one to be unselfish and show concern for the welfare of others.
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Professional accountability to colleagues is also important. Team work is a key factor in all professions but especially in the healthcare sector. Nurses must get along well with each other to ensure a warm working atmosphere where the communication line is clear and few misunderstandings arise. The relationship with the doctors must be one of ultimate respect and instructions must be followed to the letter to avoid any mishaps, fatal or otherwise. The nurse must also portray competence in all their undertakings. Al l in all there must be mutual respect among the nurses.
The duty of professionalism owed to the employment agency. Nurses are all members of a large community of workers. A nurse must conduct himself or herself in a manner that reflects positively on them as an individual and upon the rest of the members of the nursing community. The nurse has to display diligence and positive attitude. The nurse must also avoid medical malpractices or even scandals that may reflect badly on the employment agency.
The ultimate duty of care is with oneself. A person who is happy within is also happy without. The nurse must, therefore, make sure that their affairs are in order and that no faction of their life is ignored. The mind, body, and soul must be in sync.
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Constantly read up on developments in the medical sector as well as leisure reading during free time. This provides a good understanding of their job as well as keeping the brain alert. Physical health is the most important. One must feed properly making sure that they eat a balanced diet. Exercise is also important in maintaining one’s health. The higher calling for each human being to worship a deity must be satisfied. One must nourish their spiritual need while looking after their other needs.
The nurse owes a professional responsibility to several other people. The public must view nurses as helpers. They must also show a willingness to serve. This gives not only the individual a positive rapport but also the nursing profession. This will not only make the public more receptive to healthcare specialists but will also draw other people into the profession.