ANA officially states strikes are unethical and approves use of replacement nurses - page 4

We all know that a code of ethics is not subject to a personal interpretation by an individual or an individual group. Nor can you pick and choose which code you follow and do not under different... Read More

  1. by   ohbet
    The issue of whether it is unethical,according to the Code of Ethics for nurses,isnt the only issue that I have with the code.

    If one looks at "3.5 Acting on questionable practice" then nurses are acting unethically when they dont report questionable practice,even though "Reporting unethical,illegal,incompetent, or impaired practices,even when done appropriately,may present substantial risks to the nurse;"
  2. by   -jt
    <<The issue of whether it is unethical,according to the Code of Ethics for nurses,isnt the only issue that I have with the code.
    If one looks at "3.5 Acting on questionable practice" then nurses are acting unethically when they dont report questionable practice,even though "Reporting unethical,illegal,incompetent, or impaired practices,even when done appropriately,may present substantial risks to the nurse>>

    You hit the nail on the head & that is exactly why the Code of Ethics was developed. Nurses ARE acting unethically when they dont report that & they may even be in violation of their states nurse practice act & could lose their licenses. If a pt suffers because a nurse was too afraid of retaliation and kept silent, the nurse can be held accountable for the harm that pt suffered. It puts us between a rock and hard a place. This is one of the reasons the Code was created in the first place.

    That is not a problem with the Code. It is a problem with the situations & conditions our employers force us into, which the Code was developed to give us a means to fight with. Its the very reason why we needed an official Code which guides our ethical responsibilities.

    The points you mention are precisely why we needed documentation that would protect us as whistleblowers - because it IS our ethical responsibility as patient advocates to report unethical, illegal, incompetent, or impaired practices. So when we are retaliated against for carrying out that ethical responsibility, we now have a weapon with which to fight that injustice.

    Any nurse who is retaliated against for carrying out her ethical responsibilty to the pt has this Code to stand up for her & protect her rights (national whistleblower legislation would be the ultimate protection & that currently is part of the safe staffing legislation package the ANA has put before Congress for passage into law & which the hospital associtaions are fighting against tooth & nail.)

    The Code of Ethics recently was tested and proved the impact it will have on this profession & for nurses when it WON the famous court case for 6 nurses in New Mexico this year who wanted to testify for a patient against the MD who harmed her. The hospital tried to stop them. Intimidation, harrassment, and scare tactics abounded. The RNs believed the MD was guilty & they could not remain silent. They appealed to the ANA for help in carrying out their ethical responsibility to the pt. The ANA defended them in court - with the Code of Ethics as the basis for their defense - outlining a nurses professional ethical responsibilities and the points you have just made in your post.

    The Court sided with the ANA & the nurses & ruled that, because of the Code of Nurse Ethics
    which guides their professional ethical responsibilities, the nurses indeed had the right and obligation & ethical responsibility as patient advocates to report unethical, illegal, incompetent, or impaired practices and to speak out in the pts defense. Further, there was to be no backlash or retaliation against the nurses for doing so.

    The 6 New Mexico nurses testified for the pt against the MD and could not lose their jobs, be intimidated or harrassed for doing so.

    This is just one example of what the Code of Ethics was made for & what it is all about: protecting nurses.

    Full reports can be read at the ANA website[I]
    Last edit by -jt on Dec 11, '01
  3. by   -jt
    <<Pay for the code? But this is not surprising, in order to get the home health aides code of ethics for my agency I would have had to pay $44, sorry, not worth it. If I did buy it, the FIRST thing I would do is put it on a web page, for FREE!!>>

    No you dont have to pay to the see the code or its INTERPRETATIVE statements! It IS available to be read for free online. Anyone who wants their own copy of the 30+ page document (which, btw, has not been posted here at all except for its "crib notes" from the 9-point short outline), you will be asked to pay for the copying & mailing of it. Members can also review the entire publication for free at their state association office.
    Last edit by -jt on Dec 11, '01
  4. by   -jt
    <<you are being positively silly in believing that there is no interpretation as to what is in a patient's best interest and thinking that YOU are the only one who knows what these codes mean in each situation. I am saying that YOUR interpretation is an interpretation too!>>

    LOL! I wonder how closely he even bothered to read those crib notes hes talking about. Its obvious he never read the actual Code. He keeps insisting that there is no interpretation but if he had read it at all, he'd have seen that it clearly states:

    "the Congress of Nursing Practice and Economics voted to accept the new language of the INTERPRETATIVE STATEMENTS, resulting in a fully approved revised Code of Ethics for Nurses WITH INTERPRETATIVE STATEMENTS.......

    He doesnt need to have ESP to know what the intent of this code or the nurses who developed it was. All he has to do is read the INTERPRETATIVE statements that go with it.
  5. by   -jt
    <And as for there being 93% of the nurses in the nation looking for leadership and not finding any, I would have to say that my experience is a little different there too. I have found that in any crowd of 10, there is 1 doing the work, 2 or 3 complaining about the quality of the work done and 6 or 7 who may join in any ***** sessions but not in any of the work they state needs to be done.>

    I agree with that observation & have had the same experience. Most arent looking for leadership of any kind. They just want to do the job & go home but some nurses who dont/cant do any of the actual work to obtain improvements or make changes, do still contribute by donating $$$ so the work CAN get done by the others. In my experience, the statement below by one poster seems to be how most nurses feel:

    "I have no head for politics, I admit it, so I am happy to have the 8% who do, be my voice."

    I have no problem with that. Some nurses can get in there & do it. Nobody can cast blame on those who cant due to other responsibilities in their lives. If nurses who cant be actively involved would rather let other nurses who can do the activity, travel, committees, etc for all, thats ok with me. But its so much more powerful, effective & gets faster response when large numbers of a particular group make themselves heard. A letter, an email, a phone call to the law-makers regarding supporting nurses issues does not cost anything or take much time or a head for politics. There is no reason why 100% cant do just that much for themselves. But I dont think we our lawmakers are hearing from the majority of nurses in this country.

    The main thing is that the work get done - Like with the Code of Nurse Ethics and the outstanding National Nurses Bill of Rights that was unveiled this year - that benefits & supports all nurses - not just the 8% who worked so hard to obtain them.

    The 8% can & have been doing work like that for all, but it sure would be a hell of a lot easier & get done much faster, if some of the other 92% would help out with the more simple things like letters, and with the funding of the work that all will benefit from.

    As it is, 8% are doing the work but so much more work could be done if more than 8% helped to fund it.
    Last edit by -jt on Dec 11, '01
  6. by   NRSKarenRN
    Agree with JT, Jenny P and Mc Guff statements.

    If one looks at "3.5 Acting on questionable practice" then nurses are acting unethically when they dont report questionable practice,even though "Reporting unethical,illegal,incompetent, or impaired practices,even when done appropriately,may present substantial risks to the nurse;"
    That is accurate. Why do you think that ALL facilities now have Corporate compliance hotlines?? Because JCAHO MANDDATED that they act ethically....calls can be placed to these phone lines to report this type of activity, most are anonymous to protect persons from retaliation.
  7. by   -jt
    <Maybe if more nurses could actually SEE the work the the ANA does, they would become more excited.....

    I think that for many reasons, most nurses dont take the opportunity to avail themselves of all the information that IS out there. We're all being mandated to work extra hours, & working them under difficult, stressful conditions - then we go home to start our real-life jobs. Its hard to make the time to get updated on our profession or catch up on the national activities or legsilature business. And then we end up with confusion, misunderstanding, & misconceptions - as evidenced by this very thread.

    The thing is EVERY nurse CAN see exactly what the ANA is working on. They dont need to be a member -- all they have to do is have the time to look.

    For one thing, each year at the ANA national meetings, there is something called "attending as an observer" where non-members who are interested in finding out more can sit in on ANA proceedings, learn about national issues currently being worked on, observe the process & ANA nurses as they conduct the business of the association. There is also a free website where anyone can see everything that is being accomplished & have access to all the information they want.

    There is a section on the website titled "what ANA has done lately.....". Additionally, there are texts of Congressional testimonies made by ANA nurses regarding the staffing crisis, workplace conditions, compensation & abusive management practices like mandatory ot. There are texts of the safe staffing, whistleblower, nurse retention & nurse recruitment bills put to Congress by the ANA, what ANA nurses are doing to get these bills passed into national law, & where it stands as of the moment. There are governmental updates & what the ANA is doing in the federal legislature, reports on what is happening with ANA nurses around the country, state legislations that will affect nurses & how ANA nurses are in there acting on them; newspaper articles regarding ANA nurses & the leadership; news interviews with ANA nurses & the leadership; the latest happenings in the profession and in the workplace, etc etc etc.

    Besides that, the ANA conducts activities around the country throughtout the yr where even non-member nurses can take part & at the same time see what the ANA is doing. "Nurses C.A.N. Night", National RN Lobby Day in DC, and state-wide RN Lobby Days are just 3 examples that non-members can participate in & learn more about the issues & the ANA..... and see where the members dues go (read about it on the website).
    Last edit by -jt on Dec 11, '01
  8. by   -jt
    <Are you saying as JT has, that the words that were used are different from the people who wrote these were actually intending to write?>

    Nobody said anything of the kind. For the definitive and final word on it, read the comments from a poster here who actually was directly involved in developing the code & putting it into effect:

    from jennyP:

    <<<<<"We overwhelmingly supported this 2001 Code of Ethics because it addresses things like:

    #5.THE NURSE OWES THE SAME DUTY TO SELF as to others, INCLUDING the responsibility to preserve integrity and safety, to maintain competence, and to continue personal and professional growth.

    #6 The nurse participates in establishing, maintaining, and IMPROVING HEALTHCARE ENVIRONMENTS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENTS conducive to the provision of quality health care and consistent with the values of the profession THROUGH INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE ACTION.
    It is there in black and white:

    we strive to improve our workplace and may need to take collective action (STRIKE!).

    my copy which we approved of the Code and its INTERPRETIVE statements is a 30+ page document and is the full Code of Ethics." >>>>>>>>
    Last edit by -jt on Dec 11, '01
  9. by   -jt
    Just an FYI about dues & membership:

    In order to be a member of the ANA, nurses join their state association and automatically become members of the ANA. Dues are paid to the state association & OUT OF THAT AMOUNT, the state association sends $120/yr to the ANA for your ANA membership.

    Any & All nurses can join their state association - even if they have a different union where they work. Nurses who are not unionized by their state association pay less dues than those who are. In NYC, where ADN new grad staff RN starting salaries are over $50,000/yr (excluding differentials!), all non-union nurses (non-union direct care staff RNs, RNs unionized by other unions at their facilities, managers, educators, specialists, NPs)etc) pay just $300/yr in total dues- and that includes the ANA part of the dues. Relatively speaking, compared to their salaries, thats a drop in the bucket. Nursing students, retired nurses, parttime nurses per diem nurses & disabled nurses pay much less. Since dues are based on a % of the salaries in the area, compared to NY, most other states dues are even less than this.

    All in all, the dues are not even close to being an exorbitant amount. Its less than a dollar a day. And much less than the price we spend every morning in Starbucks.

    There may be some nurses around the country who cant afford $200 or $300 per year, but they may be able to occasionally afford to make a donation to the total effort or at least write a letter to their Congressman. Unfortunately, I dont see 92% of the 2.7 million nurses doing either one.

    I think most are too busy finishing their 8,12,16 hours & then picking up their kids, cooking dinner, cleaning the house & getting ready to go back to work for another 8,12,16 hours.

    They dont even have a moment to stop & think of how much of an impact their little letter or donation or membership can have in helping put an end to all that.
    Last edit by -jt on Dec 11, '01
  10. by   hoolahan
    Goodness gracious jt, I truly admire your passion.

    As for you putting my 2 sentences together, so that I look like a total boob, I have been to the ana web site many times, just not to read the new code of ethics page just yet. I have been busy working 13 day stretches, and I won't have time for serious reading until after Christmas at this point. I have been quite busy with state board of nursing issues and hcfa issues in my new position at the moment. When I get a breather, I'll see what's new with the ana!
  11. by   -jt
    "As for you putting my 2 sentences together, so that I look like a total boob,"

    LOL!!! Ohhh no!!! I didnt even notice who wrote them much less if the same person wrote them! Thats what I get for being home sick & taking too much Robitussin DM. Sorry! (I better check the label - I think Im over-dosing on ephedrine)
    Let me see how I can fix that post so I say what I meant - just that there is a lot of info there but not everybody is aware of that.
  12. by   donmurray
    I hesitate to intervene but I have a question.......100% minus 8% equals.....93%?
  13. by   hoolahan
    Don, somewhwere back there it was 92%, I'm pretty sure I read it!

    jt, been there! Hope you feel better! :-) It is eye opening thought to see my words put together like that. Maybe that is the kick in the butt I needed, but I still would rather those who have the drive be my voice. Thanks for doing it!! Don't fix it, then I'll really look like I'm talking crazy!!