Over the last several years, the issue of ethics has been increasingly brought to the forefront. This is because a wide variety of organizations have been facing some kind of high profile scandal involving an ethical dilemma. To address these issues, most firms have implemented a code of ethics for everyone to follow. The problem is that most people are not aware that these codes could exist or the specific ideas inside of them.
A good example of this can be seen by looking no further than observations from Farrell (2012). He found that a number of private corporations and non-profit entities do have a code of ethics in place. However, only a limited numbers of employees know about them. Moreover, there is no attempt inside the majority of firms to enforce them. Once this happens, is when the odds increase that there will be some kind of ethical dilemma inside an organization. To deal with these issues requires examining the code of ethics for an employer and the challenges they are facing. This will be accomplished by focusing on the American Nursing Association's (ANA) code of ethics and the issues they are addressing. To determine what is taking place requires: providing a basic background of the organization, the type of ethics system that is utilized, examining how the code is practiced / enforced, the way they can modify these guidelines, the reaction and the impact of these changes. Together, these different elements will provide greatest insights, as to the overall strengths and weaknesses of the ANA's code of ethics. (Farrell, 2012, pg. 225) ("Code of Ethics," 2012)
ANA Background and its Mission Statement
The ANA was established in 1896. This is when it was originally called the Nurses Associated Alumnae of the United States and Canada. In 1911, was the point that organization took on its current name. At the heart of their focus, was on creating standards for specialization in specific nursing career fields. Moreover, there was a need to establish some kind of ethical guidelines for everyone to follow. ("ANA History," 2012) ("Code of Ethics," 2012)
As a result, the mission statement of the ANA will focus on several different areas to include: promoting safety standards, improving the quality of treatment / care for patients, facilitating safety throughout the industry and dealing with specific nursing related work issues. The combination of these factors is creating a situation where ANA is serving as a self-regulatory agency. This is implementing and enforcing standards to improve the quality of health care services that are provided. ("American Nursing Association," 2011) ("Code of Ethics," 2012)
The Type of Ethical System used by the ANA
The ethics system that is being utilized is based upon a duty driven model. This is when specific actions that are taken by nurses that are determined to be correct by an outside authority. In this particular case, the ANA is using this as way to create a universal set of standards for the industry. Then, they will have a review board (i.e. conduct committee) that will listen to particular complaints about select nurses. This is an enforceable standard that is designed to improve everyone's compliance with these different guidelines. ("Business Ethics," 2012) ("Code of Ethics," 2012)
Identify and discuss how the code of ethics is used.
The code of ethics is used on a daily basis to provide some kind of assistance to nurses (who are dealing with a host of moral dilemmas). The basic idea is that this will help to prepare everyone in the field, for making the best decisions that will take into account the views of different stakeholders. This is utilized to create a basic set of standards that everyone will follow. In some cases, this will take place with the ANA providing some kind of ruling on specific practices. While at other times, the organization could be investigating the activities of specific individuals (who are licensed with the ANA). Over the course of time, this is creating a universal set of standards that can be applied to the entire field. ("Code of Ethics," 2012)
In the case of employees, the code is establishing a foundation of practices in dealing with a host of ethical challenges on a daily basis. This will help nurses to determine the most appropriate way to address these issues. While the management will use the code to: monitor, enforce and report specific violations to the ANA. They have the ability to investigate and censure members for any kind of breaches. ("Code of Ethics," 2012)
When it comes to the board of directors, this will ensure that the hospital is in compliance with different legal standards and that the quality of care remains high. For the patient, this means that they will be receiving the best advice and better treatment options for their condition. Once this takes place, is when the total number of errors is reduced. These different elements are showing the code will create a standard that will protect the different stakeholders. This is when it will help to transform a health care environment for the better. ("Code of Ethics," 2012)
Why might the organization need to modify their existing code of ethics? Consider how you might modify the code if you were the new CEO and how you would implement the changes.
The organization will need to modify their code to deal with various challenges inside the field of health care. This is because; there is a shortage of nurses (which is increasing their responsibilities). For many health care organizations, this can lead to more medical errors with overworked nurses losing track of patients. To deal with these challenges there needs to be some kind of provision implemented that will establish a certain amount a number of nurses for a select amount of patients. ("Nursing Shortage," 2012) (Fowler, 2008, pp. 79 -- 96)
For example, if a health care facility was required to have four nurses working with every five patients. This will reduce the total number of mistakes. The reason why is because, each staff member has specific patients they are assigned to. When this number is lower, they can be able to stay on top of specific issues impacting the person (i.e. dosages in medication). This is when the overall quality of care will improve dramatically (as mistakes are reduced as much as possible). ("Nursing Shortage," 2012) (Fowler, 2008, pp. 79 -- 96) ("Code of Ethics," 2012)
What possible reactions to the code are to be expected from employees and managers? What effects does the organizational culture have on the acceptance of the code?
The potential reactions from these changes will be mixed. This is because there are select employees / managers who will support these changes and others that are opposed to them. The organizational culture will determine how quickly new policies are implemented. The reason why, is most people will assume that the status quo is sufficient. When anyone is trying to introduce changes, is the point that they will become opposed to these transformations. The key for overcoming these challenges is work with the different staff members and executives. This is when they will be more supportive of any kind of transformations. (Fowler, 2008, pp. 79 -- 96) ("Code of Ethics," 2012)
What is the effect of the code on the organization?
The impact of the ANA code of ethics; is that it is helping to transform the way health care services are delivered. This is because the organization has the ability to: license, train and enforce their guidelines. Over the course of many years, this is creating a situation where there are higher moral and ethical standards. This is the point that the overall quality of care will improve…