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Being a safe and ethical practitioner
chapterposted on 25.10.2019, 00:00 by G Mata, Joyce HendricksJoyce Hendricks, E Jacob
Being a safe and ethical nurse in the healthcare environment requires an understanding of various frameworks that underpin and guide nursing practice. A generalised healthcare safety system is implemented to ensure the wellbeing of all those in the healthcare system. This safety system is known as clinical governance. In the healthcare setting, a clinical governance framework ensures that the delivery of healthcare occurs in a safe environment. In addition to a clinical governance framework, healthcare staff also work within ethical and legal frameworks that underpin and govern their practice. In a nurse's daily practice, every action is based on the need to make informed decisions, which are based on the nurse's moral and ethical principles, their knowledge and understanding of different clinical situations and the legal accountabilities underpinning nursing practice. To make informed decisions, nurses must be aware of their own personal ethical stance and consider this, together with legal and professional requirements such as the codes of ethics and professional conduct (NMBA 2018a, 2018b), and the Registered Nurse Standards for Practice (NMBA 2016). This chapter discusses the frameworks that guide practice. It introduces the concepts of quality and safety, clinical governance, clinical risk, ethical issues and the tenets of professionalism.