Quick question - autonomy?

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    I am confused on how autonomy applies to nursing - I understand it is the right of self-governance, therefor it means you as a nurse are acocuntable for your own actions, but I just don't understand the context in which it would be used.

    Can someone give me an example of autonomy as a nurse other than just accounting for your actions?
  2. 3 Comments so far...

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    I'm not sure I understand your question...I think I do, but this answer may not be what you are looking for. Autonomy in nursing can sometimes be a controversial subject. To me, in general, your are autonomous as a nurse in that you do physical assessments on patients, and make a judgment call on whether or not to contact a doctor based on your findings. You are autonomous in that you can make a judgment call to refuse or cal into question an order if you think it will do harm to your patient. Standing orders is an area where some people think it counts as adding towards a nurses autonomy, some don't. Where I work, we have a lot of standing orders, and we can make that judgment call on whether or not to implement them, but I've seen people go either way on how they feel about that, as I said.

    Does that help? Anyone else can feel free to add on or correct me, I'm no expert.
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    Quote from yaneau
    I am confused on how autonomy applies to nursing - I understand it is the right of self-governance, therefor it means you as a nurse are acocuntable for your own actions, but I just don't understand the context in which it would be used.

    Can someone give me an example of autonomy as a nurse other than just accounting for your actions?
    Is this a homework assignment? It sounds like you are asking about the ethical principle of clinical autonomy vs beneficence?

    Tell us what you know about autonomy and how nurse practice might deal with a PATIENT'S right to autonomy....
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    How about considering the concept that a lot of professional nursing practice has absolutely nothing to do with medical diagnosis or the medical plan of care? And that therefore physicians are not able to evaluate, fire, or manage nursing practice? You can look it up-- it's in your state Nurse Practice Act and in the ANA Scope and Standards of Practice that apply to all RNs in the US. THAT's autonomy. Ignore it at your peril. No kidding.


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