Chapter 16 of Purtilo and Doherty’s Ethical Dimensions in the Health Professions highlights the importance of good citizenship in healthcare. On page 406, figure 16-1 provides a graphic representation of six domains that make up good citizenship. These include: honesty, accountability, responsibility, empathy, fairness and respect. I find this image a good reminder of values that are important to nursing.
In my role as a nurse professional, I think that good citizenship is essential to providing high-quality patient care. Nursing practice is based on honesty, so we as nurses must be open and honest, even when doing so is not comfortable or easy. Good citizenship also requires nurses to take accountability for their decisions and actions. This includes taking accountability for any consequences of your actions.
In nursing, compassion is an essential part of being a good citizen. Nursing requires nurses to show compassion, empathy and understanding, especially when patients are facing difficult situations. Being compassionate means putting ourselves in our patients’ shoes and responding to their needs with genuine care and concern.
Fairness in nursing is also an important aspect of being a good citizen. The way nurses treat their colleagues, patients and other health professionals should be fair. It is important to avoid bias and discrimination, based on race, ethnicity or religion.
The importance of respect in the nursing profession is also critical. Nurses must show respect for their patients’ privacy, autonomy, and dignity. It means treating patients with professionalism and sensitivity to their religious and cultural beliefs.
In conclusion, good citizenship is dependent on accountability. The nurses must accept responsibility for the decisions and actions they make, as well as be prepared to answer for them. It means that nurses must be transparent about mistakes and errors and take steps to correct any consequences.
To conclude, good citizenship is crucial to the delivery of quality patient care. Nursing can improve patient care by upholding honesty, accountability, fairness and respect. In my role as a nurse, I try to live these values every day in order to make a positive difference to my patients’ lives.
Purtilo, R. & Doherty, R. (2016). The Ethical Dimensions of the Health Professions. 6th Edition. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. ISBN: 9780323328920.