Nurse managers are responsible for not only managing the nurses on the unit, but also ensuring the quality of care of patients, maintaining the welfare of the staff, and being in charge of the healthcare organization. They also have ethical responsibilities to uphold. Ethics involves having the care and safety of patients as the priority. Nurse managers are faced with different ethical problems every day. With these ethical problems, nurse managers must find solutions to resolve these issues.
The article, ‘Ethical problems in nursing management: The views of nurse managers,’ by Aitamaa, Leino-Kilpi, Iltanen, & Suhonen (2016) is about a study that was composed to identify the ethical problems that nurse managers encountered in their work. This study consisted of interviewing a total of nine nurse managers in the healthcare field, coming from different levels of management. The nurse managers were asked to describe the ethical problems that they have come across in their work.
The ethical problems that were reported by the nurse managers were divided into four different categories: conflicts in practical situations, lack of appreciation, disregard of problems, and experienced inadequacy. Conflicts in practical situations involved issues where staff members did not get along with each other as well as bullying and scapegoating. Another ethical problem was lack of appreciation, where certain staff members would feel undervalued. There were also issues where some patients weren’t treated the same as other patients. For example, alcoholics weren’t treated as well as other patients.
Disregard of problems is also an issue that nurse managers encountered. Disregard of problems involved situations where nurse managers saw something was wrong, but they didn’t take any action to correct the problem. Another form of disregard of problems is when staff members would avoid their responsibilities. The last category of ethical problems is experienced inadequacy. An example of experienced inadequacy is when nurses are not able to care for all the patients as well as they should be taken care of due to an inadequate amount of staff members. When there aren’t enough nurses to care for all the patients, they must decide whose needs are greater.
As a result, certain patient care activities might not get done. For example, some patients might not get baths as often as they should. Another form of experienced inadequacy is lack of financial resources. With a lack of financial resources, some organizations would hire less nurses. This would mean that there’s less healthcare professionals to care for the patients, possibly resulting in poor patient care. The ethical problems that were identified in the study can be used to help create a solution for future ethical issues. If nurse managers work to find solutions to ethical problems, they are working to improve the overall quality of the organization, patient care, and staff welfare.
This article is important to nursing leadership and management because it identifies ethical problems that exist in nurse management. By identifying existing problems, nurse managers can work to find solutions to those existing problems and can also work to prevent future problems from arising. Aitamaa et al., (2016) states that nurse managers appear to be aware of their ethical responsibilities in relation to supporting the rest of the nursing staff as well as the patients. Nurse managers are faced with ethical dilemmas daily, and they must have solutions
In nursing, as well as other professions, employees desire working conditions with that have good management. From this article, people can learn about the different ethical problems that arise in order to prevent them from occurring in their own workplace or to gain knowledge of how to solve the similar problems in their workplace.