The Nursing Code of Ethics
Codes of conduct contain a set of rules and guidelines to make sure staff adhere to certain forms of ethical principles and values in turn this promotes a good practice that’s in line with those professional standards and expectations (Gilman, 2005:4). This study will present ethical values of the following two code of conducts, the ethical principles, and theories which define the teachings of the codes of conduct within the Nursing and midwifery council (NMC) and the British Association of Social Workers (BASW).
It is also underlying the importance of these two codes for the professional standards that are expected of the workforce that represent them. Will explore the similarities, and differences between these two codes. Ethical values and principles are indeed necessary for any progressive profession either of the healthcare profession or the social work profession. Ethical values and principles are somewhat an aspiration document of the said company that indicates the behavior of a service provider to service-users; it specifies between right and wrong.
Code of Conduct for Nursing and Midwifery According to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) the code ‘Y Cod – Cymraeg’ shows professional standards for nurses. It defines a set of rules and guidelines for the nurses and midwives in the United Kingdom. It provides the teachings of performing what’s in line with best practice in these organizations with the most effective outcome for patients and other individuals involved (Council, 2015). The teachings and guidelines of this code are proved to be the most effective way in serving high-quality care with the most effective professional practice in the UK that all healthcare professionals are compelled to adhere to.
Under the light of Y Cod – Cymraeg, Nursing and Midwifery promote these principles in the public interest. The Equality Act 2010 also requires nurses and midwives to protect children, young people and adults from discrimination; they are required to perform equal care practices for all individuals from a wide range of diversities and cultures (GOV.UK, 2019). On the other hand, Equality Act 2010 also stipulates for organizations to care for the needs and wants of employees; for example, this act requires the NMC to give training sessions to nurses that implement guidelines about tackling possible mental illness in patients (Chin and Kim, 2016).
The code of ethics also requires that as a nursing associate in England, it is a criminal offense to cause or permit anyone to make a false representation about being on the NMC register.
The code of conduct requires all to adapt to all aspects of maintaining and promoting person-centered care, treating people as individuals and upholding their dignity. It means dealing with people with kindness, respecting them, and making sure that care is delivered effectively to their needs (Chin and Kim, 2016). Also, avoiding assumptions, promoting diversity and the treatment or care being delivered is exceptional and implemented with the best interest of the individual that’s receiving it.
It is vital to listen to individuals with active listening and respond effectively to their concerns. To achieve this, it is vital to recognise, respect, and contribute to the individual’s health and wellbeing in a positive manner (Council, 2015).
The code of conduct for Nurses and Midwives stipulates to pay special attention to fulfill the physical, social and psychological needs of individuals. The nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) make nurses and midwives accountable to engage in open communication with patients and understand their problems, feelings, sorrows. They are accountable to perform these by adopting a person-centered approach (Council, 2015). They could increase the morale and confidence of patients by promoting the equality-following Equality Act 2010, thereby could reduce discrimination. The nursing profession is not easy because it requires extra efforts to fulfill the needs and wants of a diverse group of patients at any giving time, the above code of ethics, nurses and midwives can perform professionally, while having a positive impact on the well-being of their patients.
A Code of conduct for social work in the United Kingdom was established by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). According to the BASW, social work is the practice that is based upon promoting social changes for development, social cohesion, as well as the liberation of people and their empowerment. The Code of ethics provided by this organization promotes ethical awareness which is fundamental in this profession. It improves the practices of social workers that are essential and helps some of the most vulnerable people within society (British Association of Social Workers, 2019). According to the code of conduct of BASW, social work includes challenges to enhance well-being and quality of life. Therefore, it is crucial to perform a high-quality service; it could be performed by respecting human rights and a commitment to promote social justice. Commitment and promoting social justice are at the core of social work practice in the UK (BASW, 2019).
In addition to this, all the above-defined practices of social workers have also dined in the Equality Act 2010, this act implies that every social worker who provides services to the public whether a charge was incurred or not for the service is liable to be treated with dignity and respect (Webb, 2016). This act also comprehends that social workers should prohibit discrimination on all grounds. Every individual social worker is accountable for considering the aspects of disability, race, religion, sexual orientation etc. Social work practices are to develop potential in human beings, and the Equality Act 2010 promotes human rights and social justice to reduce poverty (Collins, 2018).
There are some ethical values of the code of conduct for social work which are provided by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). These values are described below.
The code of conduct that represents ethical values for social workers requires all to promote self-determination and respect for the rights that they are entitled to (Clapham, 2017). They are accountable to perform and promote the Equality Act 2010 which stipulates giving equal rights to all service users.
The right to It indicates involvement in the participation of people by implementing more efforts in services and empowerment in all aspects and situations (British Association of Social Workers, 2019). Treating every individual and family with dignity and respect and reporting any concerns, respecting their social and natural environment, and identifying all the aspects of personal life through discussing it with the individual and helping them to manage his or her lifestyle.
Social workers are responsible to determine their strengths and weaknesses to improve professional practices and increasing their motivation level (British Association of Social Workers, 2019). Social work Promotes ethical principles and theories The theory relates to the code of conduct and guidelines provided by the BASW for social workers. Virtue Theory stipulates that a person not be selfish and should be free from pain and displeasure (Clapham, 2017). All social workers should perform his or her duty to bring positive reinforcements to the wellbeing of others. The Care theory also relates to the code of conduct of social workers, it requires them to maintain an interpersonal relationship with care and good quality (Collins, 2018). According to the care theory of ethics, it is vital to focus on relationships to maintain positive well-being which is also defined as natural caring.
The ethical principles according to the code of conduct for social work are based on the value of the service that is provided. The Ethical principle’s primary goal is to help people in need and addressing their social problems. Social workers are responsible to use their knowledge and skills to maintain good well-being. The other value is social justice where the ethical principle is to ensure social change, they are focused primarily on issues like poverty, abuse, neglect, discrimination, unemployment, and various other types of social injustice (Webb, 2016).
They are liable, therefore, to promote diversity and equality through applying meaningful decision-making for everyone. The next value would be dignity and worth where the ethical principle is to ensure Social workers are responsible for caring and respectfulness for individuals from various cultures and ethnic diversities (Clapham, 2017). They are accountable to increase the capacity of people to resolve conflicts in society and implementing the guidelines of the above code of conduct by BASW.
The nursing and midwifery profession also has a broad category of ethical theories which include deontology, utilitarianism, rights, and virtues which highlight the importance of ethics in the field of medical and nursing practices. These theories are defined by the moral laws of deontology and utilitarianism. The deontological theory indicates that nurses should engage in effective decision-making for individuals. They must provide the best health care to individuals through fulfilling their promises. Deontology is an ethics system that stipulates if an action is right or wrong based on the moral code of the institution it represents. The potential consequences of those actions are not taking into consideration. Ethical actions follow the moral laws of don’t lie, cheat, or steal (Tanner, Medin, & Iliev, 2008). Deontology is a principle that forces us to obey the ethical code of the institution we follow regardless of the consequences. For example I had a Client who had Parkinson’s disease took him a long time to trust me as he had witnessed poor care and abuse before. One day the client stood up without support and fell under my work policies and procedures which is based on my companies’ ethical values I am supposed to let him fall, under my own ethical values I went against my work policies I judged it on a more consequentialist theory and caught him. This resulted in me taking time off work but on the contrary, the client still trusted and felt safe with me.
I exemplified an ethical act to my client where my consequentialist intentions determined the morality of my actions and our future working relationship. The Consequentialist theory falls more in line with the utilitarianism theory. This theory provides an ability to predict the reasons of actions for example if anyone is behaving with a negative attitude or is seen to be responsible for an accident; it impacts the feelings of others as well. There are two types of Utilitarianism, one is act utilitarianism and the other one is rule utilitarianism (Barrett et al., 2016). A person when performing acts which impact the personal feelings of individuals is regarded to be as under the act utilitarianism. On the other hand, a person when follow the rules of ethics such as treating fairly and equally, it indicates the type- rule act utilitarianism. The codes of conducts and ethics are a great force for a basic structure but situational problems can arise due to multiple ethical considerations that contradict one another (Kitchener,1984) for example, the code of ethics for health and social work fails to specify what standards, values or principles are more important. What one has more worth when they conflict with one another (NASW, 1999:3)
The ethical theory based on the rights indicates the rights of individuals who are protected by the official bodies to a larger population. Nurses are liable to follow this theory as; they are responsible in maintaining and promoting people’s rights.
The ethical principles must include providing confidence, promoting autonomy, and sense of well-being among individuals. Justice and fairness are the two most important principles which should be performed by the nurses and midwives among the different group of patients. In addition to this, a nurse must remain faithful with all the patients to perform practical and safe care in a competitive manner (World Health Organization, 2018).
Both of the following code of conducts has great importance, the code of conduct of Nursing and Midwifery Council the code ‘Y Cod – Cymraeg’ shows professional standards for nurses and midwives. This code implies the safety, security, and well-being of individuals. Likewise, the code of conduct of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) implies the social work practices to promote social change (Council, 2015).
It is necessary to follow these aspects for effective and appropriate care of individuals, social workers should respect, defend every individual’s psychological, emotional, and spiritual integrity. According to the ethical code of conduct by BASW, social workers are accountable for the best interest of people in society by avoiding harm and risks (British Association of Social Workers, 2019).
The similarities between these two codes include maintaining the trust and impartial relationships with all individuals, for example, the codes of conduct guidelines of both professions including nurses and midwives as well as a social worker are compelled to adopt these aspects, treating people as individuals and upholding their dignity (Clapham, 2017). The guidelines and teachings of both codes are required to maintain people’s independence and to make sure they are treating with kindness, respecting them as well as making sure that care is delivered effectively with the most appropriate outcome for each individual. The differences between these two codes are; to some extent, fluctuating in responsibilities. Nurses and midwives are accountable to provide care and treatment and performing with a person-centered approach whereas, the responsibilities of the social care worker do not include giving treatments to the individuals. Likewise, nurses cannot perform the work of social care workers as highlighted also from the two codes of conduct (Barrett et al., 2016).
From the discussions of this assignment, it concludes that nurses, midwives and social workers both play an important role in maintaining the well-being of individuals but of both, they are liable to follow the code of conduct to improve their practices. For example, this paper has provided the teachings of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) the code ‘Y Cod – Cymraeg’ shows professional standards for nurses and the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) for social workers. Both codes promote best care practices while providing high-quality care practices for individuals all over the United Kingdom.
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