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Nursing Ethics:Type 2 Diabetes

 

Abstract

There has been a proliferation of cases where nurses have been implicated for failure to adhere to nursing ethics in their daily practice. This has put the healthcare establishments where they work at risk of being undervalued and subjected to legal suits since non-adherence to ethical provisions of practice can amount to negligence. Increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the community also points to a lack of basic information on predisposing factors of the disease. Most people realize they have the disease when it has already progressed making chances to recovery or containment less.

In order to reduce the exposure to the risk of health facilities due to lack of a code of ethics, it is important to formulate such code and ensure the nurses fully understand its provisions and how they impact on their practice (Holt & Convey, 2012). In the area of type 2 diabetes, education and sensitization programs in the community must be given prior attention. This will increase the knowledge levels on the main areas of identifying those at risk, symptoms of the disease and preventive or mitigating measures that should be taken as adopting proper diets, exercises, and control of weight gain.

Nursing professionals must be properly inducted into the main provisions of the ethical code of conduct. This can be done through seminars and conferences. In order to increase the level of knowledge of type 2 diabetes, medical professionals must form joint teams with community workers to educate the community on the issue.

The success of the code of ethics program will be evaluated through the use of surveys on attitudes, level of professionalism and job satisfaction of nurses. The success of the community education program on type 2 diabetes will be evaluated using questionnaires.

The collected evidence will be disseminated through meetings, conferences, and publishing in journals.

Type 2 Diabetes Problem Description

There has been an increasing trend of lack of ethical practices in healthcare institutions accompanied by the prevalence of type 2 diabetes within the population. Lack of ethical practices can mainly be attributed to the lack of an efficient code of ethics in healthcare institutions. This implies that there is no policy framework that acts as a guide on how to enforce various ethical issues such as respect for the autonomy of the patient and medical professional, beneficence, and nonmaleficence. Lack of this framework exposes nurses to ethical dilemmas that have the potential of reducing the quality of patient service and also leads to confusion and ambiguity. This makes the service inefficient and exposes the healthcare facility to liability from suits that may be lodged by unsatisfied clients.

In the case of type 2 diabetes, there have been unprecedented increases in the reported cases of type 2 diabetes among the general population mainly due to a lack of information on what causes the disease and how it can be controlled. Most people also do not know how they can adopt changes in their lifestyles in order to contain the spread of the disease. People have increased their preference for sugary foods that are causing increased levels of sugar in their blood. There is, therefore, the need for awareness programs that would raise the level of information amongst the population so that proactive measures can be taken to contain the situation.

Solution Description

Lack of ethical practices in healthcare institutions is a pervasive problem that needs to be contained due to its serious ramifications on the quality of care. There is a need for healthcare industry players to develop an ethical code of conduct that should be used as a point of reference by nurses in all their professional endeavors. This ethical code of conduct must be developed in accordance with established standards in the industry. These standards are set by the known professional bodies such as the American Nurses Association. The formulated code of ethics must also be accompanied by interpretive statements so that every section is easily understandable (Holt & Convey, 2012).

It would also be prudent for healthcare organizations to organize interactive forums where the contents of the code of ethics can be discussed extensively. During such forums, professionals in the industry can make oral presentations on how to apply various provisions of the code. This involves discussing various ethical dilemmas that nurses experience in their daily practice. It should also involve case study analyses so that nurses can fully internalize applicability and deeper meaning of provisions in the code.

Prevalence of type 2 diabetes can be contained if there are adequate health education programs in the community. Such programs would sensitize communities on the dangers of eating foods that have high contents of sugar and fats because they cause conditions such as obesity and being overweight that increase the risks of contracting the disease. Increased community education and sensitization would also inform the population of those who are at risk of contracting the disease such as those who have reached the age of 40 and above and those whose relatives especially members of immediate family have been diagnosed with the disease. Other risk factors that people should be sensitized on include impaired tolerance to glucose and impaired fasting glycemia.

Implementation Plan

Implementation Plan for the code of ethics will require obtaining necessary approvals from the management of the healthcare institution. These approvals will be obtained by highlighting the risks that the hospital is exposed to due to the lack of the code of ethics. Such risks include being exposed to professional negligence suits that may be instituted by unsatisfied clients. The hospital may also suffer reduced ratings since the code of ethics is one of the key policy documents that should guide the interaction of medical personnel, patients and their relatives.

The input into the code will require the involvement of all the stakeholders such as nurses, physicians, patients, and even visitors. Their thoughts will be sought through organizing forums such as seminars. These proposals will then be aggregated to form the main basis for the formulation of the code. The healthcare institution will seek the input of professionals who are affiliated with some of the professional nursing bodies such as the American Nursing Association. These professionals will help in benchmarking of all the content that will go into the code so that it is conformity with the industry standards.

In order to increase the level of information and knowledge on type 2 diabetes in the community, a multipronged approach will be used. Professionals such as doctors, nurses and community workers will work in collaboration. The doctors and nurses will ensure there are enough literary materials such as pamphlets, flyers, and handbooks that contain general information on the disease such as those at risk, symptoms and how the disease can be contained.

The community workers will mobilize most of the community leaders so that they can organize community advocacy groups to hold sessions within different social groups where they highlight the main issues concerning the disease. They will also encourage community members to develop a habit of having their blood sugar levels checked regularly.

Those at risk such as those whose parents or close relatives have been diagnosed with the disease and also those who already have it will be advised on the best measures to take. These include avoiding sugary foods and those that have a high concentration of carbohydrates. They will be sensitized on the fact that lifestyle change is one of the main ways that can be used to contain the disease. This involves avoiding most of the processed foods and concentrating on raw foods. After sensitization, each of the families will be given printed materials so that they can remain updated on the predisposing factors on the cause of the disease.

Evaluation Plan

It will be proper to test the milestones achieved after implementing the plans. In order to test the impact of the introduction of the code of ethics on healthcare institutions, the level or number of complaints being received from patients and their relatives on professional mishandling by the nurses will be reviewed. This involves comparing the number of complaints before and after implementing the code of ethics.

There should be a noticeable reduction in such complaints since the nurses must have internalized most of the provisions of the code regarding how they should enforce patient’s rights, their own rights and those of relatives of the patient.

It is also deemed sound to conduct surveys that reveal the level of job satisfaction of the nurses before and after implementing the code. It is obvious that nurses should find much comfort and should be greatly satisfied after having a code of ethics. The survey results should be compared to the previous ones that had been conducted before the launch of the code.

The survey should evaluate the attitudes and level of productivity of nurses in terms of their willingness, commitment, and motivation they have on the job. The survey should also indicate the degree of retention for the nurses by seeking to know their willingness to retain their current positions based on the level of comfort (Maria & Moreira, 2013).

In order to evaluate the level of knowledge in the community on type 2 diabetes, various surveys will be conducted to rate the level of information that the general public has. The polls will be conducted randomly among various households where general questions on knowledge of the disease, its symptoms, and control measures will be sought (Kapelle, 2012). The results obtained from the survey will give an indication of whether there is a need for increased community education on the disease.

Dissemination Plan

The results obtained from the surveys will be disseminated to key individuals through oral presentations, systematic reviews and reports. Adoption of the code of ethics and internalization of its main provisions by nurses will be availed to the management teams in the healthcare institutions. The reports will indicate the main factors that might have contributed to either change in attitudes and increased productivity or unwillingness by nurses to adhere to the code. This will allow the management to take requisite measures in order to enhance the success of adapting to the code by all its nursing professionals. This information will be given through forums such as meetings or conferences.

On the community education on type 2 diabetes, the evidence on the level of knowledge in the community will be disseminated to the public health officials through reports. They will be informed on the level of knowledge in the community and the main contributing factors. The information will also be published so that it can be available to others even in the future.

Review of Literature

Adherence to the nursing ethics as provided for in the code of ethics is one of the key measures of competency and professionalism in the nursing profession since it makes nurses have the capability to maintain the dignity of those who are under their care. They are also able to exercise authority in the resolution of various ethical dilemmas arising in daily practice. This improves the ratings for hospital establishments and increases the chances of obtaining positive health outcomes. It also reduces moral distress in nurses thereby increasing their productivity because moral distresses reduce the ability of nurses to cope with the daily demands of their work. It may also increase the likelihood of nurses making errors since they are not in a stable mental state (Burston & Tuckett, 2012).

Type 2 diabetes is one of the leading killers in the world today. Most people lack knowledge of the initial symptoms of the disease which include frequent urination, feeling thirsty, weight loss and feelings of hunger. Due to lack of this knowledge, many people only attend hospital when the disease has progressed tremendously. The disease has severe effects on vital body organs such as the kidneys, eyes and the liver. The onset of type 2 diabetes increases the risk of contracting other diseases such as cardiovascular illnesses, ischemic heart disease, and heart stroke. It is also known that type 2 diabetes is the leading cause of nontraumatic blindness even in young people. The disease is also associated with kidney failure. It is, therefore, essential to increase the level of awareness on the prevalence of the disease so as to reduce fatalities (Fowler & Davis, 2013).