Integrity is an essential characteristic in any career but may look different depending on your role. This report discusses integrity in nursing, why it is crucial, and how to practice this value in your nursing career.
What is integrity in nursing?
Integrity in nursing is acting according to the regulatory beliefs of the hospital or institution you work for and upholding their standards and expectations regarding patient care. Specifically, for example, this could mean being honest about a patients' prognosis and treatment options and offering the same quality of support and assistance to all individuals you work with and treat. While important in various workplaces, this value can be helpful in this field because, as a nurse, you may work closely with many people. All of them may have different religious, ethnic, or socio-economic backgrounds. In addition, people rely on nurses to be trustworthy and helpful, so integrity in nursing aligns with these expectations and requirements. Possessing this quality and making it one of your professional values can ensure you offer a fair and consistent quality of care to all patients while remaining aligned with your ethics and professional priorities.
Why is integrity in nursing important?
Integrity in nursing is essential because, as these professionals may face different professional challenges and complex situations, integrity can ensure that they execute their professional duties and uphold their responsibilities to their patients and their employer. To have integrity means to be honest and fair and to remain aligned with your core values at all times. This can be a valuable aspect of nurses' work, seeing as they support people and their families as they recover from illnesses, injuries, or other health conditions. Their professional duties may be emotionally and physically demanding. In addition, having integrity can assure your patients that you are invested in their best interest and are committed to their progress and healing.
Benefits of having integrity in nursing
There are many reasons you may focus on integrating this value into your job as a nurse. Some benefits of having integrity as a nurse include:
Creating a positive work environment
Knowing that you can trust yourself and your coworkers can help facilitate a positive work environment and meaningful professional relationships. For example, nurses often work closely with doctors and other medical professionals to assess a patient's condition and create a unique treatment plan. Being assured that you and your colleagues are all committed to the same goal and are honest about your actions and intentions can help everyone rely on each other and work together to develop the right solution. In addition, this can help build feelings of respect, professionalism, and certainty.
Being dependable and trustworthy
When you demonstrate integrity, those around you may find you more trustworthy and dependable. Your actions may show that you are someone they can rely on, and this will give them an honest and professional response if they inquire about the status of a patient, success of a treatment, or health of their loved one.
As a nurse, many people may look to you for answers, and they may feel comfortable knowing they can rely on you to give them a realistic overview of the situation, rather than telling them what they may want to hear. In addition, if you are dependable, doctors will feel confident you are administering appropriate medication to the correct patients and keeping accurate records of their health and progress.
Warranting forgiveness from others
When a professional acts with integrity, others may be more willing to overlook mistakes because they trust you have good intentions and would not intentionally cause issues or make an error. If you consistently show that you always try to do the right thing and perform as well as possible, others may be more likely to forgive you if something abnormal occurs. In addition, realizing that others acknowledge your consistently good intentions and behavior may help you handle professional pressure when challenges arise.
Improving your ability to perform your professional duties
Ultimately, having integrity can make you a better nurse and may help you with other aspects of your professional responsibilities. When integrating this value into your practices, consider why you decided to become a nurse and what inspired you to help people.
As a nurse, you routinely act in the best interest of others, and there are likely many reasons you felt compelled to pursue this career. Having integrity in your professional life can help align with your purpose and motivations and allow you to arrive at work feeling engaged and motivated.
How to practice integrity in nursing
Here is a list of steps you can follow to practice integrity in the workplace as a nurse:
1. Focus on honest communication
A crucial aspect of integrity is honest, so one way to practice this value at work is to remain trustworthy and genuine in your communication with patients and colleagues. Strong communication skills can allow you to show integrity at work by being thorough and transparent while taking into consideration the thoughts and feelings of others.
As a nurse, you may have to comfort patients as they deal with challenging diagnoses or circumstances, so remaining trustworthy and reliable can help comfort and care for those you work with.
2. Treat others with respect
Another way to practice this value at work is to treat everyone with respect, regardless of their unique circumstances or physical abilities. You can show integrity by treating everyone with the same level of consideration, including your supervisors, other medical professionals, and patients. Whether you work in a medical clinic, doctor's office, or hospital, you may encounter a variety of individuals who rely on you for guidance, supervision, and treatment. In addition to exhibiting your professional ethics and morals, treating others with respect can help you earn respect, which may make your time at work more enjoyable.
3. Uphold ethical standards
Focusing on your communication and how you treat others are both essential aspects of integrity in nursing, but it can also involve upholding your workplace's ethical standards and regulations. This can affect various aspects of your work, including how you record and store patient data, the medications you administer, and the standards of care you provide.
Principles and ethics can play an essential role in the successful functioning of a medical center, so all employees must act with honesty and integrity when they provide treatment to their patients. Having integrity can help you feel good about the services you offer and know that they align with your employer's expectations and requirements.
4. Hold yourself and others accountable
Holding yourself accountable for your actions is a way to show that you are honest about your work and take pride in what you do. In addition, this can demonstrate to your coworkers and the people you care for that you are trustworthy and reliable and that they can depend on you to follow through with your intentions. Finally, this can sometimes involve recognizing when you have made a mistake and admitting your error. While this may not be easy, it is crucial to create meaningful professional relationships and establish trust with others.
5. Follow through with your commitments
In addition to holding yourself accountable for your actions, following through with your promises and obligations can show that you are a person with integrity. For example, completing this action illustrates your dependability and dedication to your profession when you commit to doing something for a patient or a colleague.
This can allow others to identify you as someone they can expect to fulfill their promises, which may let you take on more remarkable or more critical tasks and help a wider variety of patients. Of course, it may involve going above and beyond others' expectations or requests, but the extra effort can be beneficial for your personal and professional growth.