Nursing Ethics and Evidence-Based Practice Relection Paper

921 Words Jan 29th, 2012 4 Pages
Reflection Essay
Nursing Ethics and Evidence-Based Practice

Rachel Lutz
Professional Nursing December 10, 2010

Throughout this course I have been able educate myself on many areas of nursing that involve more than just patient care. One area that I found particularly interesting was ethical principlism. Ethical principlism involves using a set of ethical principles to provide framework that will support moral behavior and decision making while caring for patients. (Masters, 2009, p.92) There are four principles that define this idea. These include autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice. Both beneficence and nonmaleficence go hand in hand to show how nurses truly work for the good of the patient. Beneficence
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(Masters, 2009 p. 92) I believe that this idea is very important towards nursing. Patients should be able to have a say in how they are being cared for. They also deserve the right to deny treatment. If you have a patient with strong religious beliefs who is refusing care, then as the nurse, you need to abide by the patient’s wishes and still be able to support them. This can be a challenge for some people because the patient outcomes may not be what are expected, but it is still important for us to understand that patients have the right to advocate for themselves.
Ethical principlism works congruently with evidence-based practice (EBP). Evidence-based practice “incorporates the use of the current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients.”(Beyea & Slattery, 2006) Much of the nursing principles that we are taught during nursing school reflect the most up to date practices regarding patient care. This is important because by implementing EBP we will result in better patient outcomes, and keep up with current research (Masters, 2009 p. 206). If EBP shows that using an incentive spirometer 10 times per hour rather than once a day will provide better outcomes for patients, this is what the nurse should enforce. Ethical principlism provides the framework of principles for how we should provide care that is ethically and morally correct, while EBP gives us the specific methods on how to do

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