Professional accountability as defined by Bovens (1998) states, “it suggests that someone takes his tasks and duties seriously, acts only after due deliberation, and considers himself answerable to others for the consequences of his actions” (p. 26). For example, providing medications and skills to follow protocols on surgical patients properly requires nurses to be competent on this procedures. If I am a nurse coming from another department and ask to perform specific skills that I am not competent of doing and did it anyway. I am accountable and responsible for my actions alone.
Professional accountability: clinical expertise. An example would be when as a preceptor to a new nurse in your department. A preceptor is accountable for providing the correct information and procedures appropriate to your department.
Professional accountability: the nursing process. A patient who comes in for a heart surgery complained of chest pain during a nursing assessment. As a nurse, you would assess the pain that includes the severity, is this new symptom, when it started, has the patient taken any medication before coming to a hospital, need for EKG, inform the MD and so forth. While you are waiting for Md’s order what are you, as a nurse, going to do to relieve the pain and make the patient comfortable. What is the hospital policy on giving NTG? The last is the evaluation of your action. Did you provide the necessary response and treatment to better care for your patient?
Lastly, nurses provide an evidence-based practice approach to all patients regardless of what experiences a nurse have in the past because EBP is proven that works.
Bovens, M. (1998). The quest for responsibility. Accountabilityand citizenship in complex organizations. New York, NY:Cambridge University Press.
Grand Canyon University (Ed). (2018). Dynamics in nursing: Art & science of professional practice. Retrieved from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs430v/dynamics-in-nursin…
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