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Ethical Practice

The care of patients can be clinically and ethically complex. UVAHS provides comprehensive services to support nurses and the interdisciplinary team in the application of ethical principles to manage challenging ethical situations.

The ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses is the basis for the PNSO Values Statement, and an awareness of ethical practice considerations permeates other values and guiding principles.

Centralized ethics education occurs through new employee orientation, annual mandatory refresher courses, and special training emphasis is given to research/IRB participants and new graduate nurses. When staff experience morally distressing situations, they have a variety of resources they can choose, including hosting a unit-based Ethics workshop specific to their needs. Additional educational ethics programs are tailored to palliative care, behavior management, and cultural sensitivity programs.

The UVAHS Ethics Committee is an interdisciplinary committee charged with assisting leadership in ensuring consistency  between mission and values, organizational behaviors and clinical practice. The Ethics Committee oversees the Ethics Consult Service that provides information, education and/or consultation about ethical problems twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  Often these inquiries reassure team members as to whether they are proceeding appropriately through complex and nuanced situations. Nurses are active in ethics education, policy review and the introduction of institutional initiatives.

Patient advocacy is a major role for the nurse and a therapeutic nurse-patient relationship is possible only when trust is established. Nurses have an obligation to protect patients and the public; annual mandatory competency retraining assures that staff remain informed of resources and changes in reporting rules and regulations. A number of Medical Center Policies guide staff on important ethical issues such as corporate compliance, conflicts of interest, standards of performance and professional behavior, and reporting requirements.

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Welcome to the Professional Nursing Staff Organization! All Registered Nurses employed by the UVA Health System's Medical Center, School of Nursing and School of Medicine are members of our Professional Nursing Staff Organization (PNSO). Please provide us feedback!

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