Awareness on Ethical and Legal Aspects of Nursing Practices among nurses at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital, Thimphu, Bhutan
J Clin Adv Nur
Background: Nurses have to deal with human complexities and are highly vulnerable to face legal and ethical issues. With the advent and easy access to social media, there are increasing numbers of public grievances being filed against health professionals either in real life or in social media. Therefore, this study is being done to assess and to create awareness on ethical and legal aspects related to nursing practices at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH).
Methods: It is a cross-sectional descriptive survey with nurse representatives from both Inpatient and outpatient departments of the National Referral hospital. A simple random sampling technique was used for selecting respondents from each ward. 250 nurses were interviewed on various aspects of nursing knowledge, perception of law and ethics and its application in nursing practices using standard and validated questionnaires.
Results: Over 74% of the nurses responded that they had attended law and ethics classes during their nursing training. More than 50% of the nursing staff had less than 5 years of job experience. Most of the nurses were females (> 65%) and were less than 30 years of age. All the nurses interviewed agreed that knowledge regarding ethics was important in their workplace.
Conclusion: Majority of the nurses had adequate knowledge and perception regarding Law and Ethics. They agreed that knowledge and perception regarding ethics was important to their workplace. However, there were some lacking among nurses pertaining to knowledge on medico-legal Law and Ethics and clinical experience. Therefore, we from BHMC and Infection Control recommend a proper prospective study with a larger sample size on sensitization and continuing medical education for nurses on relevant topics to improve the work ethics and clinical knowledge.
Keywords: Ethical; Health profession; Knowledge; Legal issues; Nurses: Practice