The Nurses and Midwives’ Council is the statutory body responsible for the Nursing and Midwifery professions and in particular, with the organization of the training and education of Nurses and Midwives and the maintenance and promotion of standards of professional conduct and efficiency. The purpose of this code is to:
Inform Nurses and Midwives of the standard of professional conduct required of them in the exercise of their professional accountability and practice.
Inform the public, other professionals and employers of the standard of professional conduct that they can expect of registered Nurse or Midwife.
As a Registered Nurse and or Midwife, you shall be accountable for your Professional practice:
1. You shall be answerable for your actions and omissions regardless of advice or directions from another professional.
2. You have a duty to care for Patients, clients and their relatives who are entitled to receive safe and competent care
3. You must adhere to the laws of Ghana as enshrined in the constitution.
4. You may delegate care to others who may or may not be registered Nurses or Midwives but you remain accountable for such delegation.
As a Registered Nurse and or Midwife you must maintain the Individuality of the Patients, Clients and their Relatives. You Must:
1. Acknowledge and respect the role of Patients, clients and their families as partners in their care and the contributions they can make to their care, speedy recovery or peaceful death.
2. Ensure that you promote and protect the interest and dignity of Patients, clients and their relatives irrespective of gender, age, race, ability, sexuality, economic status, culture, religious or political affiliations.
3. Avoid any abuse of the privileged relationship which exists with patients, clients and their relatives and of the privileged access allowed to their property, residence or work place.
4. Report to a relevant person of authority, at the earliest possible time, any conscientious objection that may be relevant to your professional practice.
5. Continue to provide care to the best of your ability until alternative arrangements are instituted.
As a Registered Nurse and or Midwife, you must protect confidential information. You must:
1. Respect confidential information obtained in the course of professional practice and refrain from disclosing such information without the consent of the patient, client or relative or legal guardian, except where such disclosure is required by law or by order from a court of jurisdiction or is necessary in the Public interest.
2. Ensure that patients, clients and relatives understand that some information may be made available to other members of the health team involved in the delivery of care.
3. Seek patient or client’s wishes regarding the sharing of information with their relatives and others. When a Patient or client is considered incapable of giving permission, you must consult your immediate supervisor.
As a Registered Nurse and or Midwife, you must obtain consent before you give treatment or care. You must:
- Acknowledge that patients and clients have a right to receive information about their condition, which should be accurate, truthful and easily understood.
- Respect patients’ or clients’ rights to decide whether or not to accept any care or treatment.
- Ensure that informed consent is given voluntarily by a legally competent person.
- Note that consent may be given in writing, orally or by co-operation, which should be accurately documented.
- Note that consent equally applies to mentally challenged patients, in such cases; you may consult Specialists and or relatives.
- Note that witness to a given consent must be a close relative or a legal guardian of the Patient or client.
As a Registered Nurse and or Midwife, you must maintain your Professional Knowledge and competence. You must:
- Keep your knowledge and skills up to date throughout your professional working life.
- Renew your Professional Identification Number (PIN) within the specified period upon providing evidence of workshop updates.
- Acknowledge limitations of your professional competence and only accept responsibilities and undertake practice for those in which you are competent.
As a Registered Nurse and or Midwife, you must Identify and Minimise Risks to Patients, Clients and their Relatives. You must:
- Work with other members of the team to promote health care environments that are conducive to safe, therapeutic and ethical practice.
- Act quickly to protect clients from risk if you have good reason to believe that you or a colleague, from your own or another profession, may not be fit to practise for reasons of conduct, health or competence.
- Ensure the availability and adequacy of basic resources to function.
- Make known to your immediate supervisors any circumstance which could place the patient, client and their relatives in jeopardy or which militates against safe standards of practice.
- In an emergency, in or outside the working setting, you have a professional duty to provide care. The care provided would be judged against what could reasonably be expected from someone with your knowledge, skills and abilities when placed in those particular circumstances.
As a Registered Nurse and or Midwife, you must be Trustworthy. You must:
- Uphold the reputation of your profession; your behaviour must at all times bring credit to the profession.
- Avoid the use of professional qualifications in the promotion of commercial products or services in order not to compromise the independence of professional judgements on which Patients, Clients and relatives rely.
- Refuse any gift, favour or hospitality, which might be interpreted as seeking to exert undue influence to obtain preferential consideration.
- Neither ask for nor accept loans from Patients, Clients or their relatives and friends.
As a Registered Nurse and or Midwife, you must collaborate with other professionals in the Health Team. You must:
- Work in collaboration and in co-operation with other health professionals, recognize and respect their particular contributions within the health team.
- Communicate effectively and share your knowledge, skill and expertise with other members of the health team for the benefit of patients, clients and their relatives.
- Ensure accurate documentation of all procedures and care rendered to patients, clients and relatives.
Source: Nurses and Midwifery Council of Ghana