We must practice in a safe manner according to the standards and laws of the nursing profession and health systems. As a nurse we should always respect the range of cultures, ethnicity, values and beliefs of the vast variety of everyone who we encounter and care for throughout our careers. We are to treat each and every one of them with dignity at all times. We must always treat any personal information as private and confidential to ensure we obtain the upmost confidence and respect of our patients during their treatment time.
Critical thinking is a skill that is learnt, it is the rational process of applying practiced reasoning into everyday decision making with each and every patient and all recipients of care in the health system. We as nurses will learn to have the ability to think in a logically and systematic manner at all times. If there was a situation where for any reason, a competently trained nurse fails to practically apply their critical thinking skills at all times, there could be serious consequences to their patients.
Although nurses are trained to be able to notice the warning signs, there have been reported situations where issues, incidences or forms of misconduct have occurred that are not always acted upon in a suitable and well timed manner, allowing serious consequences to unfortunately occur. Nurses are bound by a number of codes, those being the codes of ethics and professional conduct. The Code of Ethics for Nurses in Australia “ outlines the nursing profession’s commitment to respect, promote, protect and uphold the fundamental rights of people who are both the recipients and providers of nursing and health care”.
Australian Nursing & Midwifery Council 2008) Nurses should always treat other nursing staff and recipients of care in the health care system with a number of values and are entitled to be able to expect them in return. In the incidence that a nurse should witness or become aware of any professional or unprofessional misconduct to the codes they are expected to report any circumstance to a higher professional staff member.
We as nurses are expected to “ practice within the limitations of their knowledge and skills” (Australian Nursing & Midwifery Council 2008) As a nurse we are expected to continuously grow our ever expanding knowledge of the nursing profession and all that is involved. We are expected to recognise our knowledge limits and avoid any situation where our knowledge may affect the ability to provide appropriate and efficient care. It is not just a career, being a trained and competent nurse, it is a way of life and a new way of thinking, once the skills are gained they are unable to be left idle.