The American Nursing Association code of ethics is a manuscript that changes to reflect the changes in morals and values of society. In fact, it is a precise and succinct document that contains statements of nurses’ ethical responsibilities and obligations. The revised 2015 ANA Code of Ethics contains nine provisions convened in three categories. The three distinct areas of the ANA Code of Ethics are concerned with the essential values and obligations of every person who joins the nursing profession, their confines of practice and loyalty, and responsibilities beyond their discrete patient encounters (American Nurses Association, 2015).
The aspect of bias based on weight is one of the unethical issues reported by health professions and patients seeking healthcare services. In fact, in my opinion, weight stigmatization is becoming more acceptable among health practitioners and is being expressed openly without the fear that one might be labeled as ethically wrong. During my nursing practice, I worked with a doctor who was biased against people. He constantly referred to his patients according to their physical appearance at the nurses’ station, which was almost about weight. Although the patients did not realize the disrespectful remarks, it was usually difficult for me to comprehend the unprofessional criticism that threatened to jeopardize patient care quality. Many are the times, I referred to the ‘fat’ patients as an obscure relative or a well-liked neighbor to end the criticism.
My second experience was with a surgeon during my rotational day in the operating room, who berated a patient who was under anesthesia. He kept complaining that the patient was fat and called her a “Yellow Submarine,” which was based on the fact that the woman was obese and suffered from cirrhosis. To my surprise, I seemed to be the only person who was shocked, which I thought was because I was new in the profession.
As a nursing leader concerned with not only the welfare of the patients but also my intra and interpersonal relationships with my colleagues, I would talk to the surgeon about the unethical behavior and how judgmental attitudes can impede the provision of quality of care to patients. In essence, this would be guided by 1.3 and 1.5 provisions of the ANA Code of Ethics.
I agree with you, Ferriza, that nurses should maintain integrity and vigilance, especially when posting images, videos, and other forms on social media. Although they may have good intentions of sensitizing the members of society, they sometimes get into trouble because the posting might be viewed as a violating the provision of protecting the rights of privacy and confidentiality as specified in the ANA Code of Ethics. In fact, this particular nurse in question should be thanking her employer since the disciplinary action did not affect her license.
Puspa, I am also of a similar opinion that the involved medical staff should properly label and dispose of medical waste. The appropriate disposal of waste generated from healthcare settings not only helps in controlling infectious diseases but also keeps our environment clean. It is astonishing that healthcare workers can mismanage biomedical wastes while they are among the people with the highest infection risk. I agree with you that medical practitioners should also be at the forefront when it comes to observing proper hygiene.
American Nurses Association. 2015. Nurses Code of Ethics. Retrieved from http://www.rn.org/courses/coursematerial-177.pdf