Professionals in virtually all fields operate within a framework of what is known as Code of Ethics or Conduct. Usually the Code of Ethics entails the dos and the don’ts of the profession which all qualified and chartered practitioners in the field are supposed to abide with throughout their professional lives. The rules of the Code of Conduct are meant to safeguard the reputation of the profession from practices deemed unprofessional that can make the public lose confidence in the services offered.
In the nursing field, a Code of Ethics has been enacted following past violations of human rights on study participants. Nursing research Code of Ethics is supposed to regulate the conduct of the researchers in relation to protection of the rights of the human participants in the research study Beck and Polit (2009). This Code of the Ethics also ensures that research studies undertaken are ethical in the eyes of the concerned regulatory bodies as well as the general public.
Informed Consent Process
In nursing research studies, there are three main moral principles derived from the Belmont Report which underpins most research rules. The principles include beneficence, respect for human dignity and justice. Beneficence refers to the protection of the participants from all forms of harm including physical and psychological harm; respect for human dignity entails the participant’s rights to self-determination meaning that the participants are at liberty to be in command of their activities including their free will participation in the study lastly, justice relates to participant’s right to just and impartial handling and privacy Beck and Polit (2009).
In addition to these three main principles there is the principle of full disclosure under which researchers are under obligation to fully describe to potential participants their privileges, costs and significance of the study. According to Cannon and Boswell (2007), an informed consent to participate must be sought by the researcher(s). The researcher must ensure that the participants fully understand what they are consenting to and the possible consequences.
Privacy or confidentiality of those who have volunteered to take part in a research study can be ensured through anonymity where even the researchers do not know the identities of the participants. It can also be maintained through recognized confidentiality procedures that protect the information given by the participants Beck and Polit (2009). The health care center I work with has an IRB which scrutinizes research proposals from the nursing staff members and gives permission to undertake a research after getting convinced that the research study meets all requirements set in place. The members of the IRB comprise senior heads of departments, an official representative from the ministries concerned as well as representatives of the NINR.
The Role of a principal investigator in a typical research study involves provision of necessary technical advice relating to the research undertaken as well as guiding the junior researchers on ways to avoid activities that may be deemed unethical. As a baccalaureate prepared nurse I can play the role of data collection since doing so would gives me more insights on the practical aspect of the nursing career and prepares me for future research studies.
Protection of human rights of the voluntary participants and other members of the society is justified by the fact that nurses undertake research exclusively for purposes of improving the health standards of society including the individuals who volunteer to participate in a given research study. In addition, individual’s human rights are inalienable irrespective of the activity undertaken by the individual and a provable violation of human rights can be expensive to the researcher and the institution sponsoring him or her in the event that claims of rights violation by a participant are successfully decided by a court of law.
Evidence Based Practice
Just like the phrase suggests Evidence Based Practice (EBP) refers to the conscious making of clinical decisions about health care of your patients on the basis of the most excellent present evidence.EBP involves putting together the present evidence with other existing knowledge in your nursing practice. Beck and Polit (2009) assert that EBP entails endeavors to personalize evidence to conform to a particular patient’s requirements and a specific clinical condition.
EBP has profoundly influenced my nursing practice in many ways. It has offered me an opportunity to learn many new discoveries in the field of nursing which have seen me change my approach to patients’ health care needs.EBP for me provides a platform of putting into practice knowledge gathered in the field of nursing through research studies. Embracement of the EBP has enabled me to adopt a practical and pragmatic approach to clinical situations. In a nut shell, EBP is a secure way of finding out what can work in a real life situation. Therefore, despite the fact that only a small percentage of the patients responding positively to EBP practice in nursing it should be encouraged because it can guide professionals in establishing practically what areas needs further research and the kind of research needed.
Boswell, C. & Cannon, S. (2007). Introduction to nursing research: incorporating evidence-based practice. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Polit & Beck, C.T. (2009). Essentials of nursing research: appraising evidence for nursing practice. New York, NY: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.