When nurses break the rules in a patient's best interests

23 February 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 4

Nurses entering the nursing profession pledge to do everything in their capacity to ensure that the care they deliver is in the best interest of their patients. However, nurses inevitably encounter many restrictions in striving to meet this pledge. Nurses are therefore constantly wrestling with a major dilemma: should they blindly adhere to the policies of their hospitals, or should they do their utmost for their patients in accordance with their nursing code, even if that might mean disregarding protocol.

In many case, nurses will of course resolve this dilemma and manage to both remain within the boundaries of hospital policies and deliver the best possible care for their patients. However, on occasion, they may find this is impossible and they have no option but to breach the policies and bureaucracy of their employing institution in order to meet their pledge to deliver care in their patient's best interests.

In my years working as a physician in India, I have observed many such events, and I would like to highlight two occasions on which the actions of quick-thinking nurses made me feel proud and fortunate to be working with such caring colleagues.

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