NURSING ETHIC - u dont have to be a good person to be a good nurse - HELP!

  1. Hey guys! im a student nurse, introduced myself of the newbie board a wee minute ago! this is a really interesting forum...evryone seems very helpful, so i thought i would b very forward and ask for help

    I am taking part in an ethics debate at uni, but i have had a bit of brain freeze.

    the subject is "you dont have to be a good person to be a good nurse", i so far have wrote about how nurses cant be perfect always, how social background and there lifestyle doesnt have to affect nursing practice.

    neone got any ideas about wot else i could look into??

    My first two years at uni were not so good and i am hoping i can change things round a bit with this debate!!! lol!!!

    please help i would b so gratefulenguin: x x
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    About studentally16

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 3
    i work part time in a shop (not very nursy! lol)


  3. by   ukstudent
    Are you debating for or against the proposition. How are you defining a "good person?"

    By good person, do you mean ethics such as honesty, or morals such as being a hetrosexual from the "correct religion?"

    A nurse needs to have honesty but sexual orientation and religion does not make a nurse either good or bad.

    People here will be able to help you if we can understand what you need. Good luck in the debate.
  4. by   NurseCard
    Yeah, it really does depend on what your definition of a "good person" is. Dishonesty is something that can affect nursing practice because it is essential for nurses to have accountability; to always carry out their duties in the proper way, to follow proper protocols, and to admit to their mistakes whenever duties weren't properly met or mistakes were made.

    Other lifestyle choices may cause a nurse to be labeled a "bad person", but they may be choices that really wouldn't affect a nurse's ability to effectively carry out all of the duties of a nurse at all. At least that's my opinion. Things like drinking, smoking, gambling. Certain addictions, maybe. A narcotic addiction could definately be a bad sign, as a nurse in dire need of her fix could turn to stealing. An ADDICTION to alcohol might be bad, as a nurse might not be able to even get through a shift without taking a drink. A gambling addiction... nurse might be tempted to steal narc's and then sell them to get money. But if a nurse chooses to, I dunno, go out and get drunk with her friends every other weekend or so, of if she chooses to hit the gambling boat once or twice a month.... shouldn't effect her ability to perform her job.

    I could go on and on and on here... there are lots of lifestyle choices that, to one employer might scream "This person isn't fit to be a nurse" and to another employer, might not make a bit of difference. Someone might choose not to hire a nurse because she's obese. To the employer it might say "How can THIS person teach my patients proper nutritional ideals?". Doesn't make it RIGHT, but there you go. And, someone might choose not to hire a nurse because she was seen out at the bar last weekend living it up with her friends.

    I'm really just rambling. I haven't been awake very long.
  5. by   VickyRN
    Definitely need to review the Code of Nursing Ethics on the ANA website, and anything similar in the nursing organizations for the UK/Scotland.
  6. by   Dragonnurse1
    If I read your post correctly the ethical question is do you have to be a good person to be a good nurse. Isn't it interesting that ethics is the 1st thing that people throw away. I'm betting that in England that good still means the straight and narrow and that a bad person is the one having fun? In the ethical state anyone that is distrustiful, lies, steals, does drugs etc, they are bad and no they would not make good nurses. But If you are talking real world, you leave your private life at the door and pick it up on the way home, you would never do anything to harm your patient even if it means telling on the doctor, and you believe that first you do no harm you will possibily make a goos nurse. After hours your you life is your own just do not get busted and have your face on the telly or in the paper. Oh by the way no recreactional drugs never if your hair is 1/2 inch long they can find out everything you took for the last 30 days.
    Last edit by Dragonnurse1 on Oct 5, '07 : Reason: rotten typing
  7. by   jelorde37
    i know two nurses who fell to drugs... many people use drugs as a basic premise as to being "bad". but these two nurses were some of the best nurses that i have every met. if i ever had to be sick and had to choose between four nurses to take care of me, those two drug nurses would have to be part of the four.

    i guess in a way, it all depends on your definition of "bad". certainly, nurses are human beings and every human being has some issues no matter how "good" or "clean" they look on the outside, but sometimes those issues can be put aside for the greater good.

  8. by   RN_in_SC
    "you dont have to be a good person to be a good nurse"

    I would say that statement is false, but I don't know what you are arguing.
  9. by   suespets
    for my idea of a good person,yes, a nurse has to be one.No one is perfect, but nothing wrong with having a good conscience!!
  10. by   barefootlady
    I knew a nurse who lied to her spouse constantly about money, gambled, cheated with other men, was a terrible driver and was forever getting speeding tickets, could not be counted on for any personal support to her children(was late to her daughter's wedding d/t placing bets) but at work she was a professional in every aspect of her job.

    I knew another nurse who flew to Las Vegas every 3 months for 7 days and worked in a brothel. She put the money in a IRA. She retired from nursing and moved out there to manage a brothel. She was a good nurse when she worked.

    These ladies did not practice high morals, ethics, nor good judgement in their personal lives but they dropped whatever vices they were plagued by at the door of the facility and did a good job when they were there. Neither of these ladies were into drugs, so that may have been the reason they could function in their jobs.

    Knew a male RT who drove to Columbus on his off weekend to do drag shows. He was a great entertainer, moved to Myrtle Beach years ago to continue this work.

    Is this the type of examples you wanted?
  11. by   classicdame
    There are some values shared by most cultures - do not steal, kill, lie, etc. The issues come in the details, like "letting someone die" vs. "making them die". Is there a difference between caring for a patient and taking care of a patient? If so, it is in the interpretation of values and the demonstration of them.