What does privacy entail? How much should a nurse reveal about a patient?What is the relationship among the nursing profession, privacy and confidentiality? Finally, what is the relationship between privacy and the society’s health?
Privacy entails the restraining of information from certain persons or the protection of items from unknown or specific persons (DeCew, 1997). With aspects such as freedom of speech, persons tend to overdo things and forget that an individual’s privacy cannot be infringed upon. This is practiced more often in the nursing facilities, law facilities (lawyer-client information) and most commonly at religious sites (priest-believer relationship). In the nursing profession, privacy between a nurse/ doctor and patient is a virtue that if not upheld may result to loss of the job. Hence, the nurse may not be allowed to practice in any hospital. This is important as a nurse who can be entrusted can easily communicate with patients since this is necessary to enable them obtain the required information for better treatment.
How Much Should a Nurse Reveal about a Patient?
Nurses are sworn to keep the oath and keep information between themselves and the patients private (DeCew, 1997). In the event where the patient is underage (has not attained the age of obtaining a national identification card) then the nurse is allowed to talk to their guardian. Under no circumstance is the nurse allowed to tell anyone else about visits or discussions where the patient is a grownup. Be it a spouse, parent or relative, it is the patients’ role to pass the information to the patient privately. The nurse is only restrained to share private information with the patient and the doctor in question only. This is controlled by the provision of the code of ethics and punishment is offered in the event that a nurse goes against the code of ethics. A nurse can also provide information about a patient where there is a legal matter and the court of law demands that information about a patient be shared.
The Nursing Profession, Privacy and Confidentiality
As a means of ensuring that privacy is upheld, this profession has provided a code of ethics and electronic codes where passwords are given to prevent intrusion by unauthorized persons into patients’ information and records (DeCew, 1997). Every nurse has the passwords. Any time a nurse is not at the electronic device, they are advised to ensure that the computer is logged out as one is never sure who will get their hands on the sensitive information. The nursing profession has written down rules and regulations on how to handle patient information. Consequences are also given if the code is not followed.
The Relationship between Privacy and the Society’s Health
The society may relatively discriminate against an individual if identified with certain ailments which are not readily accepted by members of the society. These ailments may include HIV / AIDS, cancer, skin diseases or sexually transmitted diseases. The society may look down upon individuals suffering from these diseases. As a result, the individuals get difficulties recovering or coping with the ailment. Privacy on the other hand ensures that no unauthorized person gets involved in the patients’ private lives. The society is judgmental and privacy is a way of controlling it.
Privacy and confidentiality in the nursing profession are essential to both the patient and the nurse. The patient gains confidence to visit a hospital no matter the ailment due to the fact that the situation cannot be let out to the public. Thus, this helps in preventing individuals from staying at home when an ailment is considered embarrassing by the society. Privacy should therefore be upheld no matter the views held by people. Nurses take oaths. Hence, their relationships with patients’ information should remain private and confidential.