Evidence-Based Practice

The term Evidence-based practice is relatively new, yet in the last decades, EBP had a great impact on nursing practice, education and as a science in general. There is a broad agreement by scholars and publications upon EBP definition as “problem-solving approach to clinical decision-making that integrates the best available evidence and clinical expertise, along with patient preference and values” (Hain & Haras, 2015).

Meanwhile, ethics is rooted in ancient Greek philosophical inquiry of moral life and relates to a system of principles that can considerably change previous thoughts, actions, and decisions (Doody & Noonan, 2016). More particularly, The nursing code of ethics stands as a central and necessary mark of a profession. It functions as a general guide for the profession’s members and as a social contract with the public that it serves. The code list nine provisions that makes explicit the primary goals, values, and obligations of the nursing profession and expresses its values, duties, and commitments to the society of which it is a part.

The relationship between evidence-based practice and ethics is obvious in many ways. Empirics and ethics are fundamental patterns of knowing in nursing: Empirics and ethics are actively participating in being fundamental patterns of knowing that shaped nursing as distinguish discipline. We gain empirical knowledge from research and objective facts.

This knowledge is systematically organized into general laws and theories. One of the ways we employ this knowledge is through the use of evidence-based practice (EBP). likewise, ethical knowledge helps one develop our own moral code; our sense of knowing what is right and wrong. For nurses, our personal ethics is based on our obligation to protect and respect human life. Our deliberate personal actions are guided by ethical knowing (Vaughan, 2014).

The “Code of Ethics for Nurses” can guide us as we develop and refine our moral code. Certainly, empirical knowledge is essential to the purpose of nursing, but nursing also required to be alert to the need to express the uniqueness of individual and to have an appropriate parameter that can judge and appraise these evidence on ethical manners. The knowledge of ethical code can provide answers to the moral question during the application of EBP. According to Carnago ; Mast (2015), each pattern of knowledge in nursing is separated but interrelated and interdependent to each other, and none of them alone should be considered sufficient. The overall purpose of EBP and nursing code of ethics is almost identical: The second provision of the code clearly states that “The nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient, whether an individual, family, group or community” (ANA, 2015).

This commitment is to the health, well-being, and safety of the patient across the lifep and in all settings in which health care needs are addressed. The principle of beneficence, which promote the well-being of others and non-maleficence which refers to the ”obligation to not inflict harm on others. Once again, many statements in our Code reflect this important concern for avoiding harm to those we serve. The nurse upholds patients’ interests by influencing and managing those who provide direct care and fostering positive team approaches to facilitate safe, quality care. Similarly, the definition of evidence-based practice emphasize the use of best available evidence which most probably will benefit the patient and ensure the safety of that course of action through utilizing only approved and extensively tested evidence.

While, a great attention to preserve the uniqueness of individual values and preferences. the Code of Ethics basic principles and definition of EBP simultaneously stress the importance of using best current evidence that ensures achievement of the desirable outcome (Stokke, Olsen, Espehaug, & Nortvedt, 2014). To conclude, Nurses encounter and address many ethical dilemmas on a daily basis. Since nursing actions aim to improve the health and wellbeing of patients which best manifested by using EBP, it is inevitable and expected that nursing practice has an ethical dimension. Nurses, therefore, have a duty to develop not only an awareness of the ethical dimension of practice but also strategies to practice ethically.

Fortunately, The original ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses With Interpretive Statements was released in 2001, and it was revised in 2015. This update ensures that the Code of Ethics continues to be relevant to the transformations in health care delivery and modern clinical practice advances. No matter how important technical and scientific expertise in nursing may be, providing nursing care must always be characterized as an ethical founded undertaking.

By incorporating evidence-based decision making and intersecting it with traditional principles of ethics (beneficence, non-maleficence and justice), nurses are fostering care strategies for individuals and populations while addressing underlying systems issues that may impact care including facilitating a culture of safety that supports reporting errors and near misses which is vital for modern date practice (EBP) and promoting a healthy work environment of respect.

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