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Nursing & Midwifery Code of Conduct and Ethics

Health Regulation Department Dubai Health Authority

September 2011

Nurses and Midwives Code of Conduct and Ethics

Page 1 of 13

HRD/HRS//PRU/021

Table of Contents Acknowledgment 1. Definitions 4. THE CODE AND OBLIGATIONS 5. APPLYING THE CODE 6. Purpose 3. BREACH OF THE CODE References 3 4 4 5 7 11 11 13 Nurses and Midwives Code of Conduct and Ethics Page 2 of 13 HRD/HRS//PRU/021 . Scope 2.

Acknowledgment Many individuals have assisted the Health Regulation Department in Dubai Health Authority and contributed to the development and review of the Code of Conduct and Ethics Nursing and Midwifery. The Health Regulation Department would like to gratefully acknowledge those people and to thank them for their dedication to quality in health and their assistance in undertaking such a complex task. Their contributions have been invaluable. Nurses and Midwives Code of Conduct and Ethics Page 3 of 13 HRD/HRS//PRU/021 .

Nurses and midwives in Dubai have a responsibility to the individual. 2. and communities.5 1. regardless of advice or directions from another professional and have a duty of care to their patients and clients. other professional and employers of the standard of professional conduct that they can expect of professional nurses and midwives. This vital Code of Conduct and Ethics for nurses and midwives in the Emirate of Dubai.6 1.1.4 1. They are answerable for their actions and omissions.2 Purpose Inform members of the nursing and midwifery professions of the standard of professional conduct and accountability required of them. society.1 2.2 1. A breach of this Code may constitute professional misconduct or unprofessional conduct. clients and their families they are expected to act always in their patients. The professional expectation of nurses and midwives is that they will conduct themselves personally and professionally in a way that will maintain public trust and confidence.7 Respect for self and others Honesty Safe and competent care Confidentiality and Privacy Quality nursing care for all people Team work Risk Management Professional nurses and midwifes in Dubai are entitled to a safe and healthy work environment. For the purpose of this document. United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been developed in line with goals and values of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) to promote a level of nursing and midwifery professional practice in accordance with international standards. and their professions to provide safe and competent care which is responsive to the needs of individuals. clients and families’ best interest and to uphold the following principles: 1. the term ‘Nurse’ also includes Assistant Nurse. Scope These guidelines describe the conduct and ethical responsibilities expected of all professional nurses and midwives who choose to practice in the Emirate of Dubai. Professional nurses and/or midwives registered and legally licensed to practice in Dubai are personally accountable for their practice. In caring for their patients. Inform the public.3 1.1 1. The purpose of the Code for nurses and midwives is to: Nurses and Midwives Code of Conduct and Ethics Page 4 of 13 HRD/HRS//PRU/021 . 2.

prevention of illness. safe and effective professional practice without direct supervision. Competent shall mean possessing the skills and abilities required for lawful. Advocacy. Code of Conduct shall mean the ethical responsibility inherent in the nurse’s and midwife’s role and supports the need to protect and promote the interests of patients/clients in accordance with community values and health care ethics as well as the rich cultural heritage and blend of the UAE public. Breach is defined as non compliance with principles and standards of conduct and ethical responsibilities as described in the Code. Assistant nurse shall mean a person who has completed an appropriate qualification and is registered and/or legally licensed to practice. It cannot be delegated since individual staff members decide for themselves whether or not they accept accountability for their actions. research.3 2. Nurses and Midwives Code of Conduct and Ethics Page 5 of 13 HRD/HRS//PRU/021 . Nursing encompasses autonomous and collaborative care of individuals of all ages. Nursing includes the promotion of health. Patient and client shall mean any individual or group using a health service. families.4 3. has successfully completed the prescribed course of studies in midwifery and has acquired the requisite qualifications and competence to be registered and/or legally licensed to practice midwifery. Act as a guide to ethical practice Provide a tool for professional and personal reflection on ethical conduct Definitions Accountable is related to responsibility in the sense that we have to acknowledge whether or not we have fulfilled the responsibility that has been assigned to us. promotion of a safe environment. The assistant nurse retains responsibility for her/his actions and is accountable to the registered nurse for all delegated decisions and functions. disabled and dying people.2. having been regularly admitted to a midwifery educational program. participation in shaping health policy and in patient and health systems management and education are also key nursing roles. Care shall mean provision of help or comfort. sick or well and in all settings. duly recognized in the country in which it is located. and the care of ill. groups and communities. Midwife is a person who. Nurse is a person has completed an appropriate qualification and is registered and/or legally licensed to practice.

Individual nurses and midwives will have their own scope of professional practice. The skill would not be greatly less or more than what would be expected. educational background and abilities.Reasonable shall mean the test of what is reasonable is related to the standard of the ordinary skilled professional exercising and professing to have that special skill. Scope of Professional Practice is related to an individual’s knowledge. attitudes. Nurses and Midwives Code of Conduct and Ethics Page 6 of 13 HRD/HRS//PRU/021 . skills.

1. 4.1. 4. a nurse or midwife must not contravene any law or breach the human rights of any individual. beliefs. vulnerability.1. The nurse or midwife must continue to provide care to the best of their ability until alternative arrangements are implemented.3 4. 4.1 A nurse or midwife must maintain conduct that is honest.2. rights.1.2.4 Nurses and Midwives Code of Conduct and Ethics .4. and trustworthy at all times 4. any conscientious objection that may be relevant to professional practice.2. 4.1 A nurse or midwife must respect the dignity.1. 4. A nurse or midwife must care for the property and possessions of patients while care is provided.2.2 PRINCIPLE TWO: A professional nurse or midwife must be trustworthy. 4. needs.5 Nurses and midwives recognize and respect the role of patients and clients as partners in their care by identifying their preferences and choices.6 4. and developing personal qualities that promote effective professional relationships and practices. 4.2 Appropriate professional boundaries must be maintained in all relationships with patients and clients.2 Nurses and midwives must behave in a way that upholds the reputation of the professions and maintains public trust and confidence. Behavior that compromises this reputation may call the nurse’s or midwife’s license into question even if it is not directly connected to his or her professional practice. Page 7 of 13 HRD/HRS//PRU/021 4.1. including the role of significant others and respecting these within the limits of lawful professional practice. A nurse or midwife has an obligation to report to a relevant person or authority. different values. 4.4 In making professional judgments in relation to individual’s interests and rights. reliable. acknowledging their physical and psychological strengths and limitations. A nurse or midwife must not under any circumstances cause physical or psychological harm to a patient.1 THE CODE AND OBLIGATIONS PRINCIPLE ONE: A professional nurse or midwife must demonstrate respect for self and people. at the earliest possible time. cultures and religions in the provision of care. This involves maintaining their own health.3 Self-respect enables nurses and midwives to foster their sense of personal wellbeing and act in ways that increase their own sense of self-worth.

4.2.3.6 4.3. If an aspect of practice is beyond the nurse’s or midwife’s level of competence or outside his or her area of registration. skills and abilities required for lawful.2 To practice competently. Maintenance of competence includes participation in ongoing professional continuing education and upgrading of skills to maintain the competence necessary.3 4. All nurses and midwives have a duty to facilitate students of nursing. they must possess the knowledge.4 4.3.1 A nurse or midwife is personally accountable for the provision of safe and competent care.3.7 4. A nurse or midwife must practice in a safe and competent manner that is not compromised by personal health limitations.3 PRINCIPLE THREE: A professional nurse or midwife must practice in a safe and competent manner 4.4.3. he or she must obtain help and supervision from a competent practitioner until he or she has acquired the requisite knowledge and skill. Therefore it is the responsibility of each nurse or midwife to maintain the competence necessary for current practice. 4.4. Nurses and Midwives Code of Conduct and Ethics Page 8 of 13 HRD/HRS//PRU/021 . 4.5 Nurses and midwives must ensure their registration status is not used in the promotion of commercial products or services and that the status of being a health care professional is not used for personal gain or any form of rewards/incentives that are not part of the stipulated conditions of employment. safe and effective practice. They must acknowledge the limits of their professional competence and only undertake practice and accept responsibilities for those activities in which they are competent. 4. All nurses and midwives must maintain a working knowledge of local and national policies and laws that apply to practice including the Code of Conduct and Ethics.5 4. midwifery and others to develop their competency.1 All nurses and midwives have a moral duty and legal obligation to protect the privacy of an individual and treat all patient information confidentially and use it only for the purpose it was given. When an aspect of care is delegated.4. a nurse or midwife must ensure that delegation is appropriate and does not compromise the safety of an individual.3.4 PRINCIPLE FOUR A professional nurse or midwife must maintain confidentiality and privacy.2 A nurse or midwife must use professional judgment where there is a need to share information for the therapeutic benefit and safety of a patient /client or where the life of that person may be placed in danger.3. 4.3.8 4.

When information is required to disclose outside the health care team a nurse or midwife must obtain patient’s/ client’s consent.5. In any case where there is a suspicion or issue of child abuse a nurse or midwife has an obligation to comply with any national or local polices or laws. If in doubt. nursing and health care they consider on reasonable grounds to be unethical. accept their moral and legal responsibilities for ensuring they have the knowledge. In pursuit of this aim.2 Nurses and midwives who value quality nursing care recognize that they are accountable for the decisions they make regarding a person’s care. consent must be obtained from a parent or designated responsible adult. Nurses and midwives actively participate in minimizing risks for individuals and supporting quality practice environments. unsafe.5.4. They also question.6 4.5 PRINCIPLE FIVE Professional nurses or midwives must provide quality of care for all people 4.7 4. Nurses and midwives participate in creating and maintaining ethical.9 4.5.5.4. the nurse or midwife must seek clarification from his or her manager about how to deal with or release information. 4.5. 4. culturally and socially responsive.8 4.4. every care must be taken to protect the person’s privacy.4.4. helping to raise the standard of nursing care 4.4 A nurse or midwife must keep information secure and in an appropriate area.3 4.1 Providing quality nursing care involves nurses and midwives accepting accountability for the standard of nursing care they provide. order of a court or as directed by organizational policy.4. and where necessary report to the authority. If consent can not be obtained for whatever reason. and will strive to secure for them the best available nursing care.5 4. clinically appropriate and economically sustainable nursing and health care services for all people living in Dubai. equitable. incompetent or illegal. Nurses and midwives recognize that people are entitled to quality nursing care.4.5 Nurses and Midwives Code of Conduct and Ethics Page 9 of 13 HRD/HRS//PRU/021 . disclosure of information can be made if required by law.3 4. nurses are entitled to participate in decisions regarding a person’s nursing care and are obliged to question nursing care they regard as potentially unethical or illegal. A nurse or midwife must report any breach of confidentiality immediately. If the patient is a child. and practice within the boundaries of their professional role. A nurse or midwife must respect the patient’s or client’s wishes regarding the disclosure of information to family members and others. When personal information is required for teaching or research.4. skills and experience necessary to provide safe and competent nursing care.4 4.

6.7. 4. expertise and contributions of their colleagues.3 Nurses and Midwives Code of Conduct and Ethics HRD/HRS//PRU/021 Page 10 of 13 .7. The care provided would be judged against what could reasonably be expected from someone with the nurse’s or midwife’s knowledge. 4.4. 4.1 Nurses and Midwives should work collaboratively within health care teams and respect the skills. therapeutic and ethical practice. in or outside the work setting. Nurses and midwives must treat colleagues fairly and not discriminate. skills.6.7. 4. skill and expertise as required for the benefit of patients/clients. abilities and experience when placed in those particular circumstances.7 PRINCIPLE SEVEN A professional nurse or midwife must act to identify and minimize the risk to patients and clients.2 When working as a member of a team nurses and midwives must communicate effectively and share knowledge. nurses and midwives must report them to a manager.1 Nurses and midwives must work with other members of the team to promote a healthcare environment that is conducive to safe. 4.3 4. In an emergency. 4.6.2 Where nurses or midwives can not change circumstances in the care environment that could compromise standards of practice. Nurses and midwives must support colleagues who appropriately and professionally notify circumstances of unsafe and unethical practice. Director of Nursing or employer. a nurse or midwife has a professional duty to provide care.6 PRINCIPLE SIX A professional nurse or midwife must collaborate with others in the team.

2 6.3 5. or that a nurse or midwife’s behavior is not as professional as you would expect.1. Discuss with your Legal Officer.4.5 More information and advice can be obtained: Page 11 of 13 Nurses and Midwives Code of Conduct and Ethics HRD/HRS//PRU/021 . or the supervisor.4 6.4 6.3 Once a breach has been reported to the Director of Nursing it is her/his decision as to the seriousness of the complaint and appropriate actions. 5. APPLYING THE CODE DHA has developed this Code for the benefit of patients.3 6.1 6.1.2 5.1 6. there are a number of things you can do which include any or all of the actions below: Talk about your concerns to someone in the organization where the problem occurred. their families and general public of Dubai and as guidelines for conduct and practice of professional nurses and midwives.1.4. Approach your Nursing Manager/ Director or Hospital Director according to the nature of the breach.3 6. or that the Code has been breached in any way.1 Nursing and Midwifery Values The following values are integral to professional nursing and midwifery practice and form the basis of the Code 5. BREACH OF THE CODE 6.2 6.4 5. Possible disciplinary actions following a breach of the Code: Informal or formal counseling Performance management process Referral to legal proceedings 6.2 6. This might be the nurse in charge. Discuss with your Human Resource Officer.1 If you are a professional nurse or midwife and are concerned that a nurse or midwife is not providing safe or competent care.6 Caring Respect Integrity Trust Safety 6.5 5.1.5. 6. If the complaint is of a serious misconduct or incompetence the Director of Nursing is required to forward the complaint and full investigation report to the Director of Health Regulation Department in DHA.4.

1 6.5. Health Regulation Department in DHA Nurses and Midwives Code of Conduct and Ethics HRD/HRS//PRU/021 Page 12 of 13 .2 Access corporate policies and procedures within your organization.5.6.

adopted and supersedes the ICM “Definition of the Midwife”. Australia meeting. Australia. Code of Ethics http://www. Australia. Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses in Australia. accessed on 20/09/2011 from http://www.ch/about-icn/code-of-ethics-for-nurses/ for Nurses.qld. Code of Ethics for Nurses in Australia. Australia. Queensland Health.nursingmidwiferyboard. Nursing Council of New Zealand.gov.ae/fchs/uploads/Files/Semester%201%20-%2020112012/2972NRS/Code_Conduct_book_eng.fchs. Professional Standards Policy. ANMC. Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council. performance and ethics.au/Accreditation. Code of Conduct for Nurses in New Zealand. Queensland Government. Code of Conduct.icn. NMC. UK. available on: International Confederation of Midwives Council.ac. Accessed from: http://www. Brisbane. International Confederation of Midwives Council.docstoc.gov. Accessed from http://www. Queensland Nursing Council. the NMC code of professional conduct: Standards for conduct. Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses and Midwives in Oman.asp Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council.au/about_qhealth/cc. International Council for Nursing.com/docs/5482218/Sultanate-of-Oman-OmanNursing-and-Midwifery-Council-OPERATIONAl . ANMC.health. Available on the link: http://www.References Professional Code of Conduct issued by Ministry of Health.aspx Nurses and Midwives Code of Conduct and Ethics HRD/HRS//PRU/021 Page 13 of 13 . United Arab Emirates. Nursing and Midwifery Council.pdf Oman Nursing and Midwifery Council.