Professional accountability in nursing is a crucial aspect of providing high-quality care to patients. It involves nurses taking responsibility for their actions, remaining competent and up-to-date with best practices, and upholding the standards of the profession (Chesterton & Tetley, 2020). This accountability can be demonstrated through various actions, such as using safe practices, involving patients in decision-making, working thoroughly and precisely, and providing timely care to those in need.
Using safe practices is a fundamental aspect of professional accountability in nursing. Nurses must ensure that they follow evidence-based guidelines and protocols to minimize the potential for harm to patients. This includes adhering to infection control measures, administering medications correctly, and implementing proper procedures for complex interventions such as blood transfusions (Griffith, 2020). By using safe practices, nurses demonstrate their commitment to providing high-quality and safe care to their patients.
Involving patients in decision-making is another important way to demonstrate professional accountability. Patients have the right to actively participate in their own care and make informed decisions about their treatments. Nurses should engage in open and transparent discussions with patients, providing them with relevant information, and considering their preferences and values when developing care plans (Bucknall, 2017). This not only empowers patients but also ensures that the care provided is individualized and aligned with their needs and preferences.
Working thoroughly, precisely, and not cutting corners is essential for demonstrating professional accountability. Nurses must adhere to professional standards of practice and perform their duties with diligence and precision. This includes accurately documenting medications prescribed to patients, conducting thorough assessments, and implementing appropriate nursing interventions (Griffith, 2020). By upholding these standards, nurses ensure that they provide comprehensive and effective care to their patients.
Responding to emergencies in a timely manner is also an important aspect of professional accountability. When faced with a life-threatening situation, nurses must prioritize the immediate needs of the patient and take prompt action to prevent further harm or loss of life. This may involve temporarily diverting attention from other patients in order to provide critical care (Johnson, 2018). This demonstrates the nurse’s commitment to patient safety and the preservation of life.
In summary, professional accountability in nursing encompasses taking responsibility for actions, remaining competent, and upholding the standards of the profession. This can be demonstrated through the use of safe practices, involving patients in decision-making, working thoroughly and precisely, and providing timely care to those in need. By upholding these principles, nurses contribute to the delivery of high-quality and patient-centered care.
Bucknall, T. (2017). Nursing intuition as a pattern recognition process: An evidence-based conceptual model. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 73(1), 6-15.
Chesterton, S. G., & Tetley, J. (2020). Professional accountability in nursing. British Journal of Nursing, 29(12), 674-676.
Griffith, R. (2020). Law and professional issues in nursing. London: SAGE Publications.
Johnson, S. A. (2018). Prioritizing patient care in the emergency department: An evaluation of the implementation of a triage acuity tool. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 71(4), 490-496.