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nursing ethical dilemma
September 23, 2022
8 min read

Identifying and Addressing Ethical Dilemma in Nursing

Don’t Know What Is an Ethical Dilemma in Nursing? Answered Below

Dealing with ethical issues is a daily practice for nurses. Very often, they should make a tough decision between adhering to the moral code and satisfying patients’ needs. There are moral and ethical values nurses cannot neglect to save professional face. Examples of ethical dilemma in nursing include refusal of treatment, nursing incompetence, life or death decisions, vaccination, relationships, and more.

In this article, you will find answers to what is an ethical dilemma in nursing, common nursing moral questions and why it’s so important to be aware of autonomy, beneficence, justice and nonmaleficence principles.

In order to clearly understand, we will try to find a clear ethical dilemma in nursing definition. So there are moral issues and dilemmas that seem similar, but you cannot choose one action over another for a clear reason facing a dilemma.

ethical dilemma in nursing

An ethical dilemma in nursing is a situation requiring you to make a tough choice between two equally unfavorable alternatives. It often plays on your emotion as both sides are logical and right. However, you should note that the moral dilemma definition of nursing presupposes not only acting as taking no action is also an action that can be ethical or unethical.

Patients have rights, but if they refuse treatment, it may be detrimental to their health and life. So how to act in these situations? Nurses should adhere to a generally accepted ethical considerations code or follow their medical institution’s guidelines. Dilemmas are also touched upon on the hospital committees.

But what to do if you do not have time to wait for someone’s advice? Move on and explore common cases of a nursing ethical dilemma to expand your horizons and see how it works in practice.

Nursing Ethical Dilemma Reasons

Nurses face different forms of moral dilemmas during their work that occur for several reasons. We identify six main reasons for the ethical dilemma nursing research involves:

  • Taking life or death decisions
  • Contradicting the cultural competence in nursing or religious beliefs
  • Refusal from treatment
  • Nursing incompetence
  • Parents’ right to decide for their child
  • Withholding risk information

However, medical specialists experience various situations of taking ethical and unethical actions, and these reasons may be many more.

Here’s an Example of Ethical Dilemma in Nursing Healthcare

All medical specialists experience difficult situations where they should choose between their patients’ preferences and moral norms. Let’s find common examples of moral dilemmas in nursing.

  • When exploring an ethical dilemma definition nursing, you’ve learned that it’s always about making decisions. A popular example is shared decision-making. It’s vital to consider a patient’s needs and preferences, discuss treatment options with them, and collaborate to achieve positive results.
  • Inadequate resources and staffing are a huge healthcare dilemma. A nurse may be left alone to solve issues without appropriate care means. Here it may be needed to decide who needs your care more, ask for support, and not get completely exhausted trying to help everybody.

These key ethical dilemma in nursing examples give you a clear picture of what to expect from nursing practice and how to improve performance.

Avoiding Ethical Dilemma in Nursing Examples

If you avoid solving an ethical dilemma in nursing, it will have unpleasant consequences. You should learn to recognize and address them properly. Here will look at what may happen if you ignore the nursing code of ethics:

#1 You know any nursing ethical dilemma is not easy to solve and can create much tension and stress. It’s a direct way to burnout and depression. So nurses should identify the problem and try to solve it as soon as possible to prevent greater stress.

#2 Nurses have to deal with moral dilemmas not to lose their jobs. If you fail to provide safe and efficient treatment adhering to ethical norms, it may happen you get a reprimand or even get fired.

#3 Very complex situations with severe consequences may happen if a nurse avoids managing moral dilemmas. In addition to dismissal, a nurse can lose their license, which closes all doors in this profession for you.

#4 The example of ethical dilemma in nursing when you neglect certain questions is legal ramifications. Handle serious problems with a supervisor to deliver proper medical care under all ethical principles.

How to Deal With an Ethical Dilemma in Nursing Essay Creation

If you decide to study nursing, you will get different assignments on ethical dilemmas. It’s the first step to learning to identify and solve them properly. In studying ethical issues in nursing: explanations & solutions, students will get the necessary skills and knowledge for dealing with ethical dilemmas.

When working on a nursing ethical dilemma paper, students find a lot of useful information and get an understanding of various issues, including care planning, informed consent, compassion, order questioning, and more.

Students covering an ethical dilemma in nursing essay can learn ethical principles and theories and apply this knowledge in practice effectively.
Doing an ethical dilemma in nursing research will help you achieve success in your future career. You can do it on your own by studying different sources and communicating with medical specialists or getting academic assistance if you face any difficulties. Besides, there’s a database with numerous ethical dilemma essay examples where you can get many decent ideas for your writing.

Reading nursing ethical dilemma articles, students and medical specialists keep pace with the latest news and treatment methods. Life-long learning is a must for excellent medical assistance, so do not rest on your laurels and self-improve.

Final Thoughts

Once you know what is ethical dilemma in nursing, you can become a professional medical specialist. It’s vital not only to know to treat patients properly but act in compliance with your moral values and ethical principles. We hope that this article will help you perform better at work and decide if you really want to become a nurse. We wish you good luck in providing safe and efficient care to your patients.

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