Reflective essay on confidentiality

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The subject I intend to reflect upon is confidentiality within a professional healthcare setting. Confidentiality formed a part of our professional issues lectures and it piqued my interest due to how differently it is interpreted within healthcare as opposed to education, which is my background. In an educational setting I was taught repeatedly that I could never ensure confidentiality between myself and a child. Comparing that to what I have now learnt in healthcare, this seemed to me almost the opposite way of working as I was used to and so I wish to reflect upon this. I intend to look at why confidentiality is so important within healthcare and how it relates to the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) Code. I will look at the…show more content…
In this case, it is vital that healthcare professionals use information that is given to them wisely and with the utmost care. Seeing information about a healthcare user in such terms makes me realise that some information is not necessarily in the public domain and therefore I have a privilege and responsibility to not only care for the patient but also for the knowledge about them that I am privy to. I realise that, although I have a duty to retain confidentiality, I may be placed in a position where the confidence has to also include other healthcare professionals and I need to involve the patient in such a situation (ibid). It is also just as important to keep a confidentiality because of data protection legislation which enforces the rights of the individual to have their personal information protected (Legislation.gov.uk, 1998). So legally, healthcare professionals have a duty to protect the healthcare user’s personal information, at least to the legal minimum, or face proceedings. On top of this though, there is a further responsibility placed on the healthcare professional to respect the right of the user to their private life and beliefs. This is outlined by the NMC’s Code (2012) which reiterates the Data Protection Act, 1998 and further clarifies the lengths that healthcare professionals should go to ensure the healthcare user’s confidentiality and privacy is protected.
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