In this weeks unit we discussed what makes up an ethics committee, who usually plays an active role on the committee and what is expected of the committee. I found it interesting that although ethics committees from each organization can do things differently, most meet a few times a year to discuss goals and expectations for the year and also go over scenarios that may be similar to what they may encounter when the hospital calls them in to discuss a case. The ethics committee is required to perform its due diligence, ask the correct questions, perform the necessary interviews, and keep a global perspective of the situation in order to make a recommendation to the caregiver team. I also found it interesting that the ethics committee has no power, its just a team that attempts to put all the pieces together to make an ethical decision in order to support the patient, the healthcare team, and the hospital.
The team activities discussed ethical dilemmas seen within healthcare and a scenario to go over as if we were an ethics committee. It was good practice to discuss this as a team and see different perspectives come together. We all arrived at the same decision but each of us noticed something different and we were able to keep a global approach to the situation. The ethics dilemmas showed me how many ethics problems there may be out there. It helped me to further realize that I for sure will take part in these discussions often within my profession.
This week’s unit has helped me be more ethically sensitive. As a nurse I encounter situations very often that may require more discussion and I feel more comfortable talking to my manager and even asking if we need an ethics committee to review certain cases. Sometimes I may face a circumstance where my own values may be challenged. Its up to me to speak up when I feel uncomfortable with a decision and voice my concern for the issue.
I enjoyed learning this week’s content. It was good to have a discussion about ethical decisions and the reasoning behind the decision we made. It was also good to understand more about what an ethics committee does and how they can be a resource and support to my position as a nurse.