“The nurse has authority, accountability, and responsibility for nursing practice; makes decisions; and takes action consistent with the obligation to promote health and to provide optimal care,” (American Nurses Association, 2015). Ethical principles involving nurses include the key component of accountability. According to the Oregon Secretary of State (2018) regarding registered nurses, nurses shall: “Demonstrate honesty, integrity and professionalism in the practice of registered nursing.” Along with the foundations of nursing which include the honesty and integrity nurses are known for, nurses shall: “Be accountable for individual RN actions,” (Oregon Secretary of State, 2018). Nurses need to be accountable for their actions for the nursing practice to promote optimal care for their patients.
Professional accountability in clinical expertise involves being an advocate for yourself and your patients, and taking responsibility for your actions as the nurse. Nurses are leaders, and their job is to ensure safety for all patients. An example of how nurses demonstrate accountability in clinical expertise would involve reporting an incident report or medication error if that action occurred. The biggest mistake a nurse could make would be attempting to hide an error due to the potential consequences. That would conclude that the nurse did not take accountability for their actions. Nurses must report an errors and be accountable.
An example of how nurses demonstrate accountability in the nursing process would be by performing their duties. “The nursing process has five main components: Assessment, Diagnosis, Planning or Outcomes, Implementation, Evaluation,” (Dean, 2018). For nursing accountability, implementation is one of the key components of the nursing process. “The implementation phase includes the plan of care, education, treatments (pharmacological and nursing care), and consultations that may be needed,” (Dean, 2018). If the nurse is not performing treatments for the patient, or giving the proper education then that may hinder their recovery process. Nurses need to perform their duties in the duration of their shift to ensure proper treatments are being completed in a timely manner.
An example of professional accountability in evidence-based practice could relate to hand washing. Due to scientific research and data, it is known that hand washing reduces the risk of infection. Nurses need to be accountable and perform hand hygiene at the appropriate times and ensure they are maintaining standard precautions for their patients and staff. To decrease the risk of infection is one of the primary defenses in protecting the patients.
Being accountable is one of the key concepts nurses need to ensure they are performing in their everyday duties. Patient safety is key and nurses need to be advocates for their patients by promoting honesty and integrity in their care.
American Nurses Association. (2015). Code of ethics with interpretive statements. Silver Springs, MD: Author. Retrieved from http://nursingworld.org/DocumentVault/Ethics-1/Cod…
Dean, J. K. (2018). Practice and Competency Development. Dynamics in Nursing: Art & Science of Professional Practice. Retrieved from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs430v/dynamics-in-nursin…
Oregon Secretary of State. (2018). Retrieved from https://secure.sos.state.or.us/oard/viewSingleRule…
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