• The Code of professional conduct (NMC, 2002) states that a nurse is personally accountable for their practice. Being accountable means being responsible for something or to someone. It also states that you must promote a health care environment conducive to safe, therapeutic and ethical practice whilst working within a team. Being competent means possessing the skills and abilities required for lawful, safe and effective professional practice without direct supervision.
• The Scope of professional practice (UKCC, 1992) is based firmly on the Code, emphasizing that professional practice occurs in a context of continual change and development. It points out that practice must be sensitive, responsive and relevant to the needs of the individual patients. Our nursing role takes on countless responsibilities, centered on the patient wherein we are promoting a safe environment, working within our professional boundaries and maintain knowledge of our limitations.
• The nurse owes the same duties to self as to others, including the responsibility to preserve integrity and safety, to maintain competence, and to continue personal and professional growth.
• The profession of nursing, as represented by associations and their members, is responsible for articulating nursing values, for maintaining the integrity of the profession and its practice, and for shaping social policy.
• The nurse is responsible and accountable for individual nursing practice and ......... an obligation to provide optimum patient care.
You have the right to make all decisions about the health care you receive. If you do not want certain treatments, you have the right to tell your doctor, either orally or in writing, you do not want them. If you want to refuse treatment, but you do not have someone to name as your agent, you can sign a living will.
Most patients can express their wishes to their doctor, but some who are badly injured, unconscious or very ill cannot. People need to know your wishes about health care in case you become unable to speak effectively for yourself. You can express your wishes in a health care power of attorney or living will.
In a living will, you tell your doctor that you do not want to receive certain treatment. In a health care power of attorney, you name an agent who will tell the doctor what treatment should or should not be provided.
The decision to sign a health care power of attorney or living will is very personal and very important. This pamphlet answers some frequently asked questions about health care powers of attorney and living wills.
These documents will be followed only if you are unable, due to illness or injury to make decision for yourself. While you are pregnant, however, these documents will not cause life support to be withheld.
If you do not have a living will or health care power of attorney that tells what you want done, you do not know what decisions will be made or who will make them. Decisions may be made by certain relatives designated by South Carolina law, by a person appointed by the court, or by the court itself. The best way to make sure your wishes are followed is to state your wishes .in a health care power of attorney, or sometimes, a living will. If you want to refuse treatment but you do not have someone to name as your agent, you can sign a living will.
If you have questions about signing a health care power of attorney or living will, you should talk to your doctor, your minister, priest, rabbi, or other religious counselor, or your attorney. Finally, it is very important that you discuss your feeling about life support with your family. A health care power of attorney also should be discussed with the people you intend to name as your agent and alternate agents to make sure that they are willing to serve. It is also important to make sure that your agents know your wishes.
The agent named in a health care power of attorney can make the decisions about your healthcare. A living will only tells the doctor what to do if you are permanently unconscious or if you are terminally ill and close to death. A health care power of attorney is not limited to these situations.
A living will affects life support only in certain circumstances. A living will only tells the doctor what to do if you are permanently unconscious or if you are terminally ill and close to death. A health care power of attorney is not limited to these situations.
Permanently unconscious means that you are in a persistent vegetative state in which your body functions, but your mind does not. This is different from a coma, because a person in a coma usually wakes up, but a permanently unconscious person does not.
A living will can only say what treatment you don't want. In a health care power of attorney you can say what treatment you do want, as well as what you do not want.
With a living will, you must decide what should be done in the future, without knowing exactly what the circumstances will be when the decision is put into effect. "With a health care power of attorney, the agent can make decisions when the need arises, and will know what the circumstances are.
An Ombudsman as designated by the State Ombudsman, Office of the Governor, 1 must be a witness if you sign a living will when you are in a hospital or nursing home. An Ombudsman does not have to be a witness if you sign a health care power of attorney in a hospital or nursing home.