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Ethical Leadership and Nursing

Ethical Leadership and Nursing

Healthcare industry includes a dynamic and responsive system in place and only individuals, who have an ability to take the challenge, deal with frequent organizational changes, and achieve high results in this sphere. The medical facilities are looking for the way to improve the process of making decisions related to ethics, which would not harm any parties and would remain beneficial for healthcare industry workers and patients involved. It has always been a challenge for the management the ability of every worker to contribute in healthcare industry. Moreover, patients might also become the ‘prisoners’ of their own ‘limited’ vision of the situation and claim that hospitals have not done much to save the lives of their relatives or  did not look into preventing the sickness, while the real circumstances are not as mentioned. Thus, it means that leadership and ethics could be successfully combined together and bring beneficial results. However, making ethical decisions in nursing is not always an easy way to follow. Thereafter, the objective of the following paper is to discuss the importance of ethical leadership for nursing professionals as well as to demonstrate on specific case studies what cultural and social issues the healthcare professionals face on a regular basis in order to conduct a further research. In addition to that, the paper will explore some statistical data selection.

The following paper will determine one independent and one dependent variables in order to obtain the statistical data for conducting further research. The research question would be “What are the major ethical milestones that nursing professionals have to know in order to make the proper decisions?” Thereafter, the research will be based on the survey and literature review. The survey includes around 15 questions regarding ethical issues as well as two well-developed case studies that would be distributed among nursing professionals in order to get data. The dependent variable would be the occurrence of ethical dilemmas and the way nurses solve them. The independent variable would be the “actual ethical milestone.”

Ethics is the accepted, standard principles of guidance and values that have an impact on a person’s behavior or the way an individual is conducting any kind of activity. It also stipulates what is right and wrong. Many professional organizations and bodies within healthcare industry have developed the code of ethics. It implies guiding the transactions, conduct, and relationships inside and outside work environment ( Strahlendorf, 2008). Ethical behavior is a norm and a style of living for nursing professionals. N urses make many decisions on regular basis while many of the latter might have ethical ramifications (Ahmed & Ali, 2013). Nursing leaders have many possibilities during their careers to demonstrate proper ethical behavior; and during that process, it is important to learn through proper trainings and practices. This is where the framework of ethical leadership in nursing comes into place as leadership is all about leading people and taking the initiative to make the right choices, especially when it comes to setting right ethical standards.  Ethical leadership in nursing means not ignoring the issue that might lead to wrong situation, even if it is disadvantageous to certain extent for the parties involved as life and well-being of a patient might have a close correlation to that. Additionally, ethical leadership within nursing professionals is becoming more challenging task because it is not about the particular individuals but about everyone making right ethical choices. Unfortunately, sometimes the mentioned ethical decisions result into negative outcomes, e.g. the issues related to such cultural and religious beliefs of a patient as euthanasia or blood transportation.

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However, ethical decisions made in healthcare organization can create ethical dilemma. Nursing professionals should be aware of it and make sure that they have acted according to ethical conduct. Ethical dilemma usually takes place when someone has to make a decision on whether to adhere to certain courses of action that may seem as potentially unethical despite the possibility to get the offer to look into the potential of organizational and personal benefit or both. Most ethical dilemmas involve conflicts with customers, superiors, and subordinates, while issues with patients in healthcare are a subject of more serious matter (Strahlendorf, 2008).

This is important to mention about the ethical code that every nurse has to follow by law. Thereafter, the Hippocratic Oath and Nightingale Pledge have always affected the practices and decision-making strategies used by the nursing professionals . Physicians were the first to take the initial oath while its major provisions were later revised due to modern adjustments. Speaking about fulfillment of possibility to make the best of the judging ability through serving the benefits of the patients, nurses have committed to practice their duties and responsibilities faithfully and professionally. This fact has a direct impact on the decision-making processes. It means that wherever any type of issue or any ethical dilemma involving patients’ conflict interests is, the nurse is obliged to make fair decision made without any prejudice, bias, or intentional advantage for any of the parties involved. The example to that can be the case, when a nurse is sacrificing her own personal time because the patient has certain sickness ‘crisis’ and needs medication immediately.

The objective of this paper requires providing an overview of a certain article related to the subject of the research. The article “Code of Ethics for Nurses” written by Jo A. Lyon speaks about the Nightingale Pledge, which is the adaptation of the Hippocratic Oath. The article is about denial to conduct any procedures that might harm the patient’s well-being and following the standards of the profession. The nurses are following it on a regular basis as the ethical code is integrated within the mission and the vision of their whole profession, and are the fundamentals of the healthcare philosophy. Moreover, nurses always look into the future impact while making the decisions, as they know that they have to cooperate not only with patients but also with other co-workers, visitors, and relatives. Nursing professional must consider ethical provisions written in the Hippocratic Oath and Nightingale Pledge. He or she must also use these norms during their professional practice. Despite all the challenges that nursing professionals face today in a competing business environment, they still follow their ethical beliefs, norms, and values. Moreover, they try to do their best while working (Lyons, 2015).

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In certain cases, ethical behavior is seen as something improper and even illegal. This is a very serious challenge that nursing professionals face. A good example to that is the fact that informing others about HIV status the person has is illegal, as it is the patient’s privilege. Thus, hiding such information may ruin the life of others if the actions of such individual are irresponsible.

The other example of the ethical dilemma was demonstrated by Kuře in his article about euthanasia. There, he has mentioned the variations in organizational perceptions, cultural believes, religions, and states that have effect on ethical behavior. An example of it can be the fact that according to the law of the United States, abortion is legal; while according to the vision of Christianity, abortion is unethical. Another example is euthanasia. It is legal in some countries while the majority of states regard it is unethical ( Kuře , 2011). It means that nursing professionals face the same challenges, which have a strong connection with cultural and social backgrounds. These are administrating blood transfusion based on the doctor’s order, providing advices about contraception, and others.

The article “A Look Into the Amish Culture: What Should We Learn?”, written by Sharon M. Weyer et al, was published in 2003 in the Journal of Transcultural Nursing.  It is a specific case study that could help nursing professionals to look into the peculiarities of Amish culture, as some of them can also be patients. Hence, working with them can generate multiple ethical dilemmas. The article provides discussion of the believes, values, and behavior of the Amish people as well as their lifestyle that has a direct impact on the perception of healthcare industry.

The case study speaks about the elderly women suffering congestive heart failure and provides an overview of the Amish culture peculiarities with the exact examples that are related to educational system, dressing habits, electricity prohibition, historical and occupational background, and others. The information is useful for nursing professionals in terms of ethical leadership because it includes  specific facts about the way the Amish culture influences their healthcare decisions and what effects it might have on care access (Weyer et al., 2003).