Nurses, Ethics and the Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Document: "The American Nurses Association's 'Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements' (2015) is the nursing profession's nonnegotiable ethical practice standard. Provision 2 of the 'Code' states that 'the nurse's primary commitment is to the patient.' Provision 5 of the 'Code' states that the nurse owes the same duty to self as to others. These equal obligations can conflict during pandemics when nurses must continually care for critically ill infectious patients, often under extreme circumstances including insufficient or inadequate resources and uncontained contagion. During pandemics, nurses and their colleagues must decide how much care they can provide to others while also taking care of themselves. They must be supported in these heart-wrenching decisions by the systems in which they provide care and by society. Professional nurses historically bring compassionate competent care to disaster response but are challenged to provide care when the nature of their work puts them at increased risk. Nurses struggle with feeling physically unsafe in the response situation, such as in times of scarce resources where supplies of such items as personal protective equipment (PPE) may be inadequate. Nurses are concerned about professional, ethical, and legal protection when asked to provide care in such high-risk situations, such as the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease] pandemic."

American Nurses Association
Retrieved From:
American Nurses Association: https://www.nursingworld.org/
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