Accountability In Nursing Practice

1555 Words7 Pages
When one considers the traits needed to be a good nurse, and what a core value of nursing would be, a multitude of characteristics are brought forth. Common ideas brought forth are empathy, integrity, respect and communication. However, an often overlooked but nonetheless quintessential attribute of the nursing practice is accountability. In nursing, where the lives of patient’s and their loved ones, and the reputation of one’s own nursing practice are in one’s hands, it is essential to take responsibility for what you do or do not say or do. Being accountable for one’s actions or words can often mean either recovery or deterioration, health or illness, life or death. This concept of nursing is explored brought forth often in Tilda Shalof’s…show more content…
Therefore, due to the sensitive and intense nature of the nursing practice, taking accountability of one’s actions and words is essential in delivering the utmost care to patients. Before one can argue the relevance of accountability in the nursing practice, it’s important to establish what accountability is. Accountability is defined as “being able to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions… being answerable to someone for something one has done” (Potter and Perry, 2014). Regardless of the nonspecific definition of accountability, it can easily be applied to the specificities of the nursing practice. In terms of the nursing profession, taking accountability occurs when giving care to a patient. A nurse must take responsibility for the treatment they give to their patient, both in the physical and emotional sense. In the nursing practice, it is essential to take responsibility for the mistakes one would make; if not, it gives both the nurse and nursing practice at a whole a negligent reputation. For the nurse, it reveals immaturity and cluelessness, wherein they aren’t able to identify faults in their practice,…show more content…
As displayed in Tilda Shalof’s novel A Nurse’s Story: Life, Death and In-Between in an Intensive Care Unit, taking responsibility reflects the high quality of care given by the nurse in question. It reveals maturity and strong self concept when a nurse can admit to faults or weaknesses and improve themselves because of them, as well as taking pride in one’s work when they exceed the expectations of the care they’re required to give. Additionally, it is equally important to acknowledge excellent care provided as a nurse, the growth and development of one’s skill with nursing; once more, to indicate self-awareness and responsibility. As such, it becomes quite clear, through the heavy allusions in nursing literature, to the first-hand experiences of a nurse in practice, how essential the trait of accountability is in the nursing practice. One may even say it’s the heart, of even the apex, of nursing
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