Risk Factor in Nursing and Health Care Professionals
Nurses have a duty to care for patients and are not at liberty to abandon them; however, nurses are challenged to thoughtfully analyze the balance of professional responsibility and risk, including moral obligations and options, in order to preserve the ethical mandates in situations of risk to the nurse or profession.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) believes that nurses are obligated to care for patients in a non-discriminatory manner, with respect for all individuals. The American Nurses Association recognizes there may be limits to the personal risk of harm nurses can be expected to accept as an ethical duty. Harm includes emotional, psychological, physical or spiritual harm even with the benefit of early recognition and guidelines for prevention; it is the nature of health problems to raise questions for the nurse regarding personal risk and responsibility for patient care.