Nursing Process : Ethical Decision Making

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Nursing Process Approach to Ethical Decision Making
A career in nursing is a challenging one. There is a high demand for physical strength when working a long, twelve-hour shift, and an even higher demand for emotional strength when communicating with clients and family members alike. In both cases, the best asset a nurse has available is the ability to think critically. The nurse is constantly applying themselves in therapeutic ways in order to help deliver the best possible evidence-based outcomes for clients. Behind all these processes lies the basis to choose between right and wrong; ethics. The chosen case study presents a common ethical dilemma. The night before a client’s surgery, the nurse explains the procedure to the client. When asking the client to recall the procedure he describes a different procedure altogether, indicating that the client is not informed of the surgical outcomes. According to the College of Nurses of Ontario, under the Consent Practice Guideline, this becomes a breach of consent, as the client is incapable of making an informed decision. Therefore the surgeon must explain the procedure to the client and the client must be reassessed. If they are still found incapable of decision-making, a hierarchy of substitute decision makers must be followed. The client’s surgeon must be contacted as soon as possible in this situation (CNO, 2013). The dilemma herein is when to call the surgeon after obtaining the information from the client. The two most
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