Accountability is defined as the concept of being responsible for one’s actions. This means being accountable for our work practice, environment and patient safety. The American Nursing Association’s (ANA) code of Ethics defines professional accountability as being “answerable to oneself and others for one’s actions.” In 2016 the Gallup poll rated Nursing as one of the most trusted profession in the United States for 15 consecutive years. It is of vital importance that we maintain this level of trust with each patient encounter. As nurses our patient’s healthcare depend on the decisions and actions we make. Sometimes our actions make a difference between life and death. As nurses we face daily time challenges as well as work demands. We often have to deal with staff shortages and the acuity of our patients. Even with all these road blocks, it is our responsibility to maintain certain ethical standards in order to obtain better outcomes. The ANA code of Ethics for Nurses was developed as a guide for carrying out nursing responsibilities in a manner consistent with quality in nursing care and the ethical obligations of the profession. It was created to help nurses “navigate ethical and value conflicts, and life and death decisions, many of which are common to everyday practice” (Ethics and Human Rights, 2018). It states that, “the nurse is responsible and accountable for nursing practice and determines the appropriate delegation tasks consistent with the nurse’s obligation to provide optimum patent care” (Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements, 2010)
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