How Nurses` Obligation to Others Conflicts with Their Obligation to Themselves

HowNurses’ Obligation to Others Conflicts with Their Obligation toThemselves

Aspart of their moral and ethical responsibility, health care providersare obliged to take care of their patients while taking care ofthemselves. In the course of their work, striking a balance betweencaring for patients comes out as a difficult task. In most cases,they prioritize patients instead of themselves. The result of this isthat health care providers end up sacrificing their wellbeing for thesake of their patients (Parsons,2013).

Intheir line of work, health care workers take care of their patientsguided by four obligations that are contained in the Code of Ethicsfor Nurses. These obligations must be met by nurses at all times andsituations. They meet these obligations by protecting the privacy andconfidentiality of their patients, honest communication andadvocating for the best interests of the patients. They also have toconduct valid informed consent processes with the patients and carefor them with compassion, justice and fairness. These obligations putheath workers in the world that prioritizes the well-being of thoseunder their care while neglecting their welfare.

Thestrict obligations that health care professionals have to meet asthey conduct their duties at times conflict with their personalobligations. Most registered nurses suffer from fatigue and stressdue to the involving nature of their work. Back to back shiftscoupled with the big number of patients each nurse has to attend toleaves them tired, demoralized and fatigued (Parsons,2013).This state of affairs threatens the entire health care system.Stressed and overworked nurses cannot provide the best care forpatients. Most nurses do not have enough personal or family time.Most of their time and energy is dedicated to their patients, notthemselves. This set-up explains why the majority of nurses, based ona report by American Nurses Association released last year, wereoverweight. Only 35% of the nurses in the survey did any form of bodyworkouts. This scenario shows how nurses’ obligations to theirclients conflicts with their obligation to themselves.


Parsons,S. E. (2013). Nursingproblems and obligations.S.l.: Theclassics Us.