Nurses Accountability In Nursing

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With each passing year, the mantle of accountability grows heavier on the shoulders of registered nurses worldwide. In a profession whose roots date back to Florence Nightingale and the Crimean War, no time in nursing’s history has the word accountability meant so much. As the profession assumes more and more power, the burden of liability becomes heavier. However, few individuals know the true meaning of accountability. For many, accountability and responsibility have the same meaning and carry the same weight. Yet, this is far from true. Accountability binds all levels of healthcare together. Accountability, as opposed to responsibility, separates an average nurse from that of an exceptional nurse because it makes nurses answerable for their …show more content…

Healthcare workers have the duty to make it to work on their assigned days. Nurses carry the responsibility of handling a patient load each day. Responsibility, while a powerful notion in itself, lacks one fundamental value that separates it from accountability. Ownership constitutes that missing value not found in responsibility. When a nurse holds accountability, they take direct ownership of consequences that may occur from their actions (Battie’, R. & Steeleman, V.M., 2014). A nurse held in account must justify their activities. In contrast, to hold responsibility means to have authority of someone or some thing. If this person fails in their assignment, they face no possible liability and no consequences from a higher authority. For example, an AUA who performs only the assignments dictated by the responsibility set forth by their job title will initiate only the minimum required bed baths each day. They will suffer no consequences as long as their minimum quota is met. In contrast, an AUA holding accountability will not only deliver the number of assigned baths but, also cleanse each patient with chlorohexidine wipes. This extra step taken reduces the rate of infection on the unit. The AUA’s both performed his or hers assigned responsibilities but the latter nurse showed the extra initiative and intrinsic value found in those with accountability. While seemingly small, this distinction …show more content…

The weight of it’s meaning carries a heavy burden for some healthcare workers but, also seen as an accepted challenge by others As the roles of nurses expand into more critical areas, accountability’s role in healthcare will continue to increase.. Newly graduated RN’s have the task of continuing the legacy set by those that preceded them. The new generation of RN’s must continue the push to new boundaries of accountability in the medical field and continue to make nursing one of the most trusted professions in the world. This drive for accountability will continue to push the limitations of the profession and provide safer practice and better patient

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