Nursing Standard Principl

1326 Words Dec 5th, 2014 6 Pages
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Accountability and responsibility:
Principle of Nursing Practice B
Scrivener R et al (2011) Accountability and responsibility: Principle of Nursing Practice B.
Nursing Standard. 25, 29, 35-36. Date of acceptance: January 20 2011.

Summary
This is the third article in a nine-part series describing the Principles of
Nursing Practice developed by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in collaboration with patient and service organisations, the Department of Health, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, nurses and
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However, practitioners have reported that they associate accountability with retrospective justification of actions, particularly ‘as a way of apportioning or accepting blame’ (Savage and Moore 2004). This association with a blame mentality is damaging and leads to a negative interpretation of accountability and its application in protecting patients and supporting staff.
One definition of accountability is offered by Caulfield (2005): ‘A wider view of accountability is that it is an inherent confidence as a professional that allows a nurse to take pride in being transparent about the way he or she has carried out their practice.’ This definition captures the positive dimension of accountability and places the emphasis on the development and demonstration of competence in practice. It applies equally to any member of the nursing team.

Measuring accountability
It is vital that each member of the nursing team can demonstrate accountability. This may be achieved in a variety of ways. For example, it is important that staff can show evidence of competence. Job descriptions should state the range of duties related to the role. This ensures that there is clarity about roles in a nursing team. Ongoing professional development is key to all staff development. Registered and non-registered staff benefit from the availability of
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