Ethics & Misconduct
Code of Ethics
The code of Ethics is based on the fundamental values of the Nursing Assistant (NA) profession that includes the worth, dignity and uniqueness of all persons as well as their rights and opportunities. This Code is intended to serve as a guide to the everyday conduct of members of the Nursing Assistant profession.
The following principles should guide Nursing Assistants in their various roles and relationships. Ethical behavior results not from edict but from a personal commitment of the individual.
I. The Nursing Assistant’s ethical responsibility to residents: A resident is to include all individuals who receive care.
A. Care- The NA recognizes his/her role as a caregiver, not authority figure, and focuses on the resident. The NA’s first concern is for the resident’s safety and welfare. The NA recognizes listening as a therapeutic act and projects a positive attitude in verbal and nonverbal communication (tone, volume, speed). The NA is thorough in meeting the resident’s needs and in the delivery of care. The NA understands and monitors the resident’s condition and reports significant changes to their team. The NA organizes the work to insure that care plans are carried out accurately. The NA supports the resident’s efforts by offering frequent praise, by maintaining open lines of communication, and by following up on a resident’s request in a timely manner.
B. Respect- The NA treats the resident as he/she would like to be treated regardless of illness or condition. Promoting a resident’s self-esteem is an important part of respect and is accomplished by honoring the resident’s belief system, respecting his/her life experiences, and encouraging decision making by giving choices about daily activities. The NA provides privacy and treats residents fairly without showing favoritism or being judgmental. Respect continues after death in the care of the body and emotional support given to the family.
C. Responsibility- The NA conducts himself/herself in a professional manner. The NA performs at his/her level of competence, seeks clarification or helps whenever uncertain, and ensures that the resident has a safe and comfortable environment.
D. Confidentiality- Recognizing the fragility of privacy and honoring the trust relationship of resident and caregiver, the NA ensures each resident’s dignity and privacy by following HIPAA guidelines to protect resident PHI (protected health information). The NA should share PHI with as few individuals as needed to ensure resident’s care and discuss only as it relates to the NA’s education. NA takes all reasonable steps to make sure individuals without ‘need to know’ do not overhear conversations about PHI and do not discuss PHI in elevators or cafeteria or any social networks. NA protects computer screen, and clip boards or notes, floppy/zip/CD-ROM/PDA from loss. NA does not text or leave telephone messages of PHI. NA identifies patient by initial only, using demographic data only to identify patient’s needs to instructor. NA cannot photo duplicate documents and no notes with PHI are put in trash or recycler.
E. Abuse- The NA does not abuse residents in any way – verbally, physically, or mentally. Abuse includes subtle forms such as talking about residents in front of them, talking down to residents, raising the voice, or forcing residents to comply with expectations. The NA respects the resident’s personal property, does not steal, and does not accept gratuities. The NA also reports behaviors of others that are not in the resident’s best interest.
II. The Nursing Assistant’s ethical responsibility to families, guardians, and community:
A. Family Rights- The NA keeps family information confidential, provides privacy for families, is considerate of cultural differences, and respects decisions made by residents and families.
B. Professional Demeanor- The NA shows concern and caring for families and visitors by speaking in a respectful and quiet tone of voice, by exercising good judgment in maintaining a supportive, professional role to the family, and by responding promptly to the needs of the families. The NA is an ambassador to the community through honesty, competence, and provision of quality care to its members.
C. Open Communication- The NA is friendly and compassionate to families and visitors, helping them during the admission process, encouraging them to become involved with activities and referring them to other healthcare professionals to resolve questions or problems.
III. The Nursing Assistant’s ethical responsibility to co-workers:
A. Attitude- The NA is positive, constructive, and professional in seeking solutions to problems. The NA sets a positive example by being on time, being enthusiastic, being complimentary of others, and by not bringing personal problems to the work environment. The NA gives input in an assertive but not aggressive manner.
B. Respect- The NA treats co-workers as he/she would like to be treated. Respect is demonstrated by being sensitive, helpful, and friendly to one another, being tolerant of different personalities, being reliable, honest and trustworthy, and recognizing that respect is essential for all relationships.
C. Teamwork- The NA recognizes himself/herself as one member in a multi-disciplinary team, all focusing its efforts on the resident. In a spirit of teamwork, the NA is supportive, cooperative, and prompt in assisting co-workers at all times.
IV. The Nursing Assistant’s ethical responsibility to employers:
A. Quality- The NA focuses on doing the best job possible. This involves punctuality, attendance, thoroughness, time management, and maintaining knowledge/competency.
B. Attitude- The NA enhances the work environment by being enthusiastic and taking pride in his/her appearance and demeanor.
C. Respect- The NA is supportive of the organization by following policies and procedures and utilizing the chain of command. The NA views himself/herself as a representative of and promotes the organization positively. The NA is respectful of the employer’s property. Include using supplies responsibly to avoid waste.
V. The Nursing Assistant’s ethical responsibility to the healthcare profession:
A. Integrity- The NA is committed to ethical behavior and practice. The NA positively promotes the Nursing Assistant profession to encourage others to see it as a rewarding career.
B. Quality Service- The NA, in a respectful, organized, and compassionate manner promotes the caring image of the profession by working as part of the healthcare team (communicating changes, seeking consensus, consulting proper sources for solutions). The NA treats all patients equally regardless of age, race, or religion and does not perform anything beyond his /her qualifications.
C. Professional Responsibility- The NA follows recommended healthcare practices (infection prevention practices, updated immunizations, personal cleanliness, environmental neatness, careful use of equipment, etc.). Out of respect for the profession, the NA remains in the field only if he/she feels an enthusiastic commitment.
D. Continuing Education- The NA maintains his/her competence, growth, and adaptability through ongoing training and by keeping all certifications up to date.
VI. The Nursing Assistant’s ethical responsibility to himself/herself:
A. Self-Esteem- The NA is happy with and respects himself/herself. The NA is cheerful and honest with himself/herself. The NA develops a positive attitude and lives by a moral code. The NA keeps his/her work and social life separate. The NA keeps physically fit through a healthy life-style, balancing rest, relaxation, recreation, and work, getting regular physical exercise, eating a balanced diet, avoiding substance abuse and making use of emotional support structures when needed.
B. Pride- The NA takes pride in quality care and is open-minded and professional. The NA places value in the team concept.
C. Resources and limitations- The NA is open to listening and learning to better himself/herself. The NA acknowledges his/her strengths and limitations, is willing to request help, and is able to take time off to refocus at an appropriate time.