A nurse, in all medical disciplines, practices with concern and respect for the dignity, worth, and distinctiveness of each individual, regardless of the socioeconomic status, personal characteristics, or the nature of the health condition (NursingWorld 1).
The health education profession, on the other hand, is committed to the excellence in the practice of sustaining overall health (National Commission for Health Education Credentialing [NCHEC], Inc., par. 1).
The author asserts further that it is the duty of health educators to seek the optimal standards of conduct and to motive the ethical behaviour of health providers including the nurses.
This paper will seek to compare and contrast the ethical responsibility of the nurse with those of the health educator. It is important to consider the difference in the job description of these professions.
Health educator’s responsibility is majorly focused on public education with the aim of supporting, sustaining and improving the overall health (NCHEC, par. 2); whereas, the nurse is primarily focused on the health, safety, and rights of the patient.
NCHEC, (par. 2) argues that when a conflict of interest emerges among persons, teams, organizations, agencies or institutions, the health educators must take into account all the concerns and accord priority to those that support wellbeing and live standards through values of autonomy and freedom of decision for the individual.
Similarly, in this regard the nurse is obliged to sustain, safeguard, and support the moral and legal rights of the patient to autonomy (Hook 4).
However, in case the patient is not in position to make decisions, a surrogate decision-maker has to be consulted on his or her behalf. Generally, sustaining autonomy also translates to appreciation that certain cultures disregard individualism and place more weight on the family or community ethics in matters pertaining decision-making.
The health educators support integrity in the provision of health education. In achieving this goal they ensure that they respect the privileges, dignity, worth and privacy of every persons by implementing strategies and procedures to satisfy the needs of various communities and populations (NCHEC, par. 5).
In this concern, nurses are indirectly involved and apply to specific circumstances. Based on the nursing code of ethics, nurses are advocate and leaders in upholding humane and dignified care delivery.
For instance, nurses are experienced, knowledgeable, and decisive about the palliative care and should be actively take part in relevant study, education, performance, and policy development (Hook 8).
Another aspect of health educators’ ethics concerns research and evaluation. Health educators promote the health being of the communities as well as the profession through research and assessments practice.
When arranging and carrying out research or assessment, they do so according to the requirements of the state and federal laws, institut6ional and organizational policies, and professional principles (NCHEC, par. 6).
Similarly, according to NursingWorld (6), nurses in administration, research, and education have responsibilities to the patient.
Nurses in such domains have indirect relationships with the patients in the sense that, they share responsibilities with those who they supervise and instruct. Moreover, the nurse must refrain from illicit practices or delegating duties against profession practice acts.
The ethical code focuses largely on health care delivery, although the level of care delivery is dependent on various organizational circumstances. Because of this relation, health educator’s ethical code should be tailored to the nursing code of ethic, so that nurses are in a position meet the needs of the recipient of the care.
Hook, Kevin, D. & White, Gladys, B. Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements, 2001. Print. 18 April, 2011 http://www.nursingworld.org/mods/mod580/code.pdf
National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. Health Education
Code of Ethics. Whitehall: NCHEC, 2008. Web. 18 April, 2011
NursingWorld. Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements. Stathome, 2010. Print.