Sample Admission Essay on Principles of Ethical Decision Making

Principles of Ethical Decision Making

The nursing practice is challenging because nurses encounter situations depicting autonomy or betrayal. In addition, nurses experience ethical dilemmas affecting their ability to make sound decisions. Therefore, the ability of a nurse to influence patient care outcomes relies on different factors, each of which a practicing nurse has the authority to influence in an ethically opposite manner. From the perspective of ethical practice, a nurse is required to demonstrate an appropriate understanding of ethical principles and models. Proper understanding of ethical principles influences the ability of nurses to influence the actions and behavior of others.

I have experienced numerous challenging situations in the course of my nursing practice. The situation I faced was an ethical dilemma.  In this ethical dilemma, I faced a challenge in making the decision of whether to inform a client that she had been positively diagnosed with cancer. Alternatively, I contemplated keeping quiet about the new diagnosis as was instructed by the patient’s family members. In other words, the second option was to deny the patient the right to know the truth. I am aware that nurses are faced with different situations creating ethical dilemmas that tend to take many forms. The ethical dilemmas have to do with instances in which nurses watch their patients suffer. Therefore, without adhering to ethical principles, nurses may increase the suffering of patients without necessarily enhancing care and patient outcomes. Perhaps, the ethical dilemma I faced provides a new dimension about the responsibility of nurses in upholding ethics by being honest and truthful.

Resources are available to nurses to assist them to make ethical decisions. I used a combination of internal and external sources to make an ethical decision. I decided to inform the client about her new medical condition. Foremost, I turned to the hospital policies and legal information to understand how previous ethical issues have been handled. Policies and legal frameworks are internal resources essential in ensuring that the decision I made would not affect the organization in either way. Moreover, I consulted an ethics consultation service, an external resource to provide insightful information about handling delicate ethical dilemmas. The external source supported my idea of being truthful to the client. In view of these resources, I made the right decision because, as a practicing nurse, I am obligated to address the best interests of my clients.

The ethical dilemma originated from the assertions of family members who requested that I withhold the information about the new cancer diagnosis from the patient. As such, the source took the form of nurse-family members. I disagreed with the family about the option of denying the patient the right to know the truth. I believe the ethical dilemma was straightforward forward and there was no need for conflict with the family members. My ethical conduct was also supported by ANA’s interpretive statement. The interpretive statements show that patients have the moral and legal right to determine what is done to them (Winland-Brown et al. 269). Therefore, in addressing the mentioned ethical dilemma, I relied on my conscience and resources to arrive at a logical, prompt, and principle-based action.

The ethical dilemma encounter and how I arrived at the decision provide a different lens of handling challenging issues. Apart from relying on ANA’s position statements, nurses can engage internal policies, consultants, and personal conscience to make ethical decisions.

Work Cited

Winland-Brown, Jill, Lachman, Vicki and Swanson, O’Connor. “The New ‘Code of Ethics for Nurses With Interpretive Statements’ (2015): Practical Clinical Application, Part I”. Ethics, Law and Policy. Vol. 24, No. 4, 2015, pp. 268-27