Professional conduct


During my clinical assignment in one of the healthcare facilities, I was handling cases of hip and knee replacement. I had to use my knowledge as a surgeon to conduct several operations on patients. However, I used to communicate with people frequently to know more about their health status. During that time, I had a conversation with James about his knee condition. The information he gave me indicated that he had suffered from the disease for five years. He also told me that he had previously tried several medications already but was unable to heal.

Additionally, the patient also indicated that there are some of the family who had suffered from the illness previously. Therefore, as a professional, I knew that the information given was private and confidential. As a result, I decided to keep my conversation with John private and confidential.


I used several approaches to maintain the patient’s privacy during our conversation. First, I sought permission from John before discussing anything regarding his condition. The primary goal was to ensure that the discussion is as a result of his free will and not coercion (ARMSTRONG,2007). This assisted in creating a better relationship between John and me. Secondly, I asked for the permission of the patient regarding who can share their medical information. However, I only released his health information to the public after seeking his consent (GRACE, 2009). Our agreement included the extent that I can share his knowledge with other people.

Moreover, I also informed the client regarding the type of data that I was to collect from him during our conversation. Additionally, I told on how the evidence gathered was going to be used. One of the ways was to assist hospitals and the government in future planning.

However, there are some circumstances where I could reveal John’s health information to another person or entity without breaching the principle of confidentiality. One of the incidences is where the law obligates me to disclose such data to the relevant authorities. For instance, where such records are needed in court proceedings (BUTTS & RICH, 2005).  The information can additionally be vital where there is an ongoing probe by the investigating agencies. The data can also be given to third parties in situations where public interest surpasses individual benefits.

During my placement, I had to demonstrate professional conduct by promoting effective communication between the patient and me. The main aim was to know about the patient’s welfare after leaving the healthcare facility (JASPER,2006). Some of the ways were via the email and making follow up calls. There was a situation where one of my friends Peter came for treatment before I had finished my conversation with John. In this case, I had to continue my discussion with John before treating my friend(BENJAMIN & CURTIS, 2010). My actions were intended to eliminate biased tendencies in my place of work. Though, there are circumstances where discriminatory practices can be accepted in health centers. One of the occasions is where there is a case of emergency treatment. For example, the physician may decide to attend an accident victim instead of treating someone who is suffering from a normal cough. This is because failure to attend an emergency patient can lead to death. However, no one can punish a health professional for making such a judgment.

Additionally, during my interaction with patients, I led by example by respecting all the patients irrespective of their economic status and backgrounds. The step also influenced others to follow the trend thus, ensuring that the sick people are comfortable. Moreover, I provided individualized care by cleaning the knees of the operated patients by following the applicable procedures. First,I had to seek John’s consent before cleaning his wound (AUSTRALIAN NURSING COUNCIL, 2003).I also used fresh items to conduct the process with the primary aim of ensuring that the patient does not get an infection. I had to uphold the professional code of conduct to ensure that I operate within the rules. It could assist me in decreasing conflicts in our dealings.


As a clinical officer, I am guided by the professional code of ethics while executing my task. Previously, I applied the principle of confidentiality while dealing with John. The concept prohibited me from disclosing the patient’s health status. I only revealed this information after seeking the consent of the patient. Also, I was transparent to my patient by exposing the data I needed from him. This is one of the ways I could abide by the principle of confidentiality and keeping John’s secrets. However, there are certain circumstances where the facts about the patient can be revealed without his consent. One of the instances is where the state needs such information.This is where such data is for the benefit of the public.

Additionally, the statistics may be needed in court proceedings.  The second case is where I decided to finish advising a patient even though my personal friend required my services. Lastly, through interaction with John, I was able to enhance respect for all the patients in our institution.



ARMSTRONG, A. E. (2007). Nursing Ethics: a Virtue-Based Approach. London, Palgrave Macmillan UK.

AUSTRALIAN NURSING COUNCIL. (2003). Code of professional conduct for nurses in Australia. Dickson, ACT, The Council.

BENJAMIN, M., & CURTIS, J. (2010). Ethics in nursing: cases, principles, and reasoning. Oxford University Press.

BUTTS, J. B., & RICH, K. (2005). Nursing ethics. Boston, Jones and Bartlett Publishers International. Oxford Publishers

GRACE, P. J. (2009). Nursing ethics and professional responsibility in advanced practice. Boston, Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

JASPER, M. (2006). Vital notes for nurses: professional development, reflection and decision-making. Blackwell Publishing.

Monahan, G. and Hipsley, D. (2007). Essential professional conduct. Abingdon [England]: Routledge/Cavendish.

THOMPSON, I. E., BOYD, K. M., HORSBURGH, D., & MELIA, K. M. (2006). Nursing ethics. London, Churchill Livingstone.

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