The importance of medical ethics to FNP practice

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FNPs are healthcare providers that deliver excellent care to their patients. They are able to fulfill their duties to their patients regardless of their socio-economic factors. No person is immune to any health issues, whether you’re comfortable or struggling to make ends meet.

This guide will cover how FNPs should follow the best practices while providing the best care possible. Whether in a family practice environment or a free clinic, they believe in being ethical and making sure every patient is cared for accordingly.

It starts with the right education

Acquiring the best education is the first step FNPs can take in becoming accomplished healthcare providers. With the right FNP educational program, they’ll get hands-on experience and a deeper understanding that comes with the role of becoming a trusted healthcare provider for every patient.

If you live in the state of Tennessee, there are online programs that will allow you to fulfill your educational needs. By completing the online MSN-FNP program offered by Carson-Newman University, students can become an NP in Tennessee with a top-quality education and the ability to obtain a license to practice.

Students complete online coursework and also take part in classes that will offer hands-on experience and a deeper understanding of the role of an FNP. After this, students are prepared to begin a career as an FNP with the ability to communicate, diagnose, and recommend treatment for patients who need it.

Four principles of medical ethics and best practices FNPs can follow

FNPs who serve patients of all socio-economic statuses must be aware of the four principles of medical ethics: autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. Let’s cover each of these in detail and how it can tie into how FNPs can help put together a fair healthcare system for all.

Autonomy: Respecting the decisions of patients

Autonomy is considered one of the top pillars of medical ethics. It is important for FNPs to respect a patient’s right to make decisions they believe are beneficial to their own healthcare needs. Those from different socio-economic groups should be provided with relevant information so they can make informed decisions regarding their health.

For example, let’s say the patient needs surgery to correct a longstanding issue. An FNP can provide them with everything they need to know, including the benefits, potential risks, and alternatives. From there, it will give patients the chance to decide what to do next.

Some patients may not have access to such information prior to meeting with an FNP. This can be due to a lack of accessibility, among other factors. Those of lower socio-economic status can consult with an FNP in order to know the important information that pertains to their healthcare needs.

Beneficence: Working for positive outcomes

FNPs must aim for the maximum positive outcome for their patients. At the same time, they must also minimize any risk of possible harm. Limited resources and cultural differences require FNPs to practice beneficence.

If there is an immediate need for medical services, an FNP will decide the best course of action. However, it is important for them to be mindful of what the result will be. FNPs must be aware of any implications that may arise from certain procedures. Even if it’s the best option that can save a life, certain complications could still be possible. The good news is that there are still options that can be exercised to ensure that the patient gets the best outcome of their treatment without further issues.

Non-maleficence: Do no harm

Any healthcare provider should promise to do no harm to their patients. FNPs have a duty to perform medical procedures accordingly, even in cases of emergency. They must perform their tasks with the use of medical tools and equipment that are clean and sterile. Anything that may be used for improvised care may not be sterilized for medical use, and this is where dangerous complications can arise.

FNPs should treat patients of any socio-economic status with tools and equipment that are safe, sanitary, and useful for the procedures they need. Safety should always be of the utmost importance in any healthcare setting.

Justice: A fair healthcare system for all

Another pillar in medical ethics is justice. This is defined as providing a fair and equitable distribution of resources and services.

One challenge includes the prioritization of care. If a person with a debilitating illness or injury is given care over those with lesser needs, is it considered fair? FNPs can alleviate accessibility issues by specializing their care—one may work in pediatrics, and another may work with adults and seniors.

Seniors who may be in an independent living situation but have a fixed income must still have access to healthcare. So should those who have a generous retirement fund and are enjoying their golden years to the fullest. An FNP knows that every person is different and will treat them accordingly no matter what.

Just and fair FNP practice includes elements of legality. What may be legal in one state may be illegal in another. For this reason, an FNP should consult with legal professionals as a precaution to prepare themselves for certain situations.

Integrity matters

Integrity is another important quality for FNPs. Every patient deserves to receive healthcare from someone who is professional, transparent, and honest. This is where trust is built.

Patients want honest and accurate answers when it comes to their health. Not to mention, those in socio-economic groups where barriers and discrimination exist want nothing more than the right kind of treatment without judgment or inaccuracies. FNPs can set an example by providing reliable care and giving their patients the answers they need to address the health concerns they may be dealing with.

FNPs can lead the way for better healthcare

FNPs are among some of the most highly respected personnel in the healthcare field. They can lead by example in their efforts to help improve the entire healthcare system for patients of all socio-economic backgrounds. All patients, regardless of socio-economic circumstance, should receive quality healthcare. This includes receiving an accurate diagnosis and treatment from professionals such as FNPs who believe in doing good, avoiding harm, and preserving integrity in their practice.

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