Nursing encompasses a myriad of requisites that nurses should meet to provide quality health care services for patients. Nursing does not simply necessitate knowledge and skill of the technical aspect of health care because it also requires the application and practice of right conduct and good morals. The Hippocratic Oath, which binds health care workers to their duties and obligations, reflects the importance of practicing medical ethics. The oath begins with a promise to the Greek gods, Apollo, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panaceia, who represent the important elements of good health – duty of a physician, well-being, healing, and treatment. Moreover, in the oath, health care practitioners are bound to treat other human beings as equals and ensure that they are provided with proper medical attention that would serve their best interests.
Abiding by the Hippocratic Oath, however, takes more than verbally agreeing to what the oath represents. I believe that nurses need a solid moral compass, ideally inherent, to fulfill their duties and obligations and a strong sense of responsibility fuelled by passion, motivation, inspiration, and loyalty. It is one thing to complete four years of nursing education, obtain a job and in the health care industry, and go to work and fulfill one’s nominal duties every day, but it is another thing to exhibit the passion and desire to be a nurse. Therefore, a nurse who can fulfill duties and obligations effectively physically, emotionally, spiritually, and morally is one who lives and breathes nursing, health care, and taking care of other people; one who does not consider nursing as a mere occupation. For this reason, I believe I will make a good nurse.
My interest in nursing began when I was in eighth grade. My teacher back then asked us to write about who we want to be when we grew up. I wrote about wanting to be a nurse because even then, I wanted to take care of people who needed help. Until today, I believe that nursing is a good profession and not only one that I can do for gainful employment, but also something that I can fulfill in order to serve my God. I was raised a Christian and I have always been taught by my parents and peers in the same faith that helping other people is akin to serving God. Therefore, I have always believed that nursing is my higher calling, a profession that can help me achieve spiritual fulfillment apart from financial stability. For me, gaining income is simply an additional benefit, but another motivation to be a nurse nonetheless. The opportunity to interact with other people is another motivation for me to be in the field of health care. I know that I can learn so much, especially about life, by interacting with patients and with other nurses, I grow inspired to hone my craft and apply myself in the field as best I can. I feel confident that I apply good morals and ethical principles in the workplace, as a nurse, because I am passionate about nursing, motivated and inspired to do my duties and obligations, and exhibit loyalty towards patients and their well being and my colleagues. I feel that moral obligation is something inherent and something instinctual, but at the same time, aligned with the duties and responsibilities of health care workers demanded by the Hippocratic Oath.
I am aware that nurses will have to face moral and ethical dilemmas in the workplace and making decisions will be highly challenging in these situations. The issue of abortion, for instance, is a common example that shows how a health worker’s personal values and philosophies may conflict with duty and obligation, especially when carrying a child is risky to the life of the mother. In this situation, making decisions and assisting health care for the patient becomes tricky. At this point, it is crucial to apply one’s responsibility as health care worker to look after the wellbeing of the patient and respect the decision and belief of the patient and the family. There should be balance between doing one’s duties and upholding moral values. Creating a middle ground where doing one’s duties and obligations melds with ethics and moral values are highly necessary to become an effective health care worker. Moreover, I strongly believe that if looking out for the best interest of the patient is inherent in every health care worker, making hard decisions and handling dilemmas will be less challenging and complicated.