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Major Key Differences: Fidelity vs. Veracity in Nursing

Major Key Differences: Fidelity vs. Veracity in Nursing

In nursing, it is not uncommon to face ethical dilemmas. Due to the importance of maintaining integrity and trust in the nursing profession, fidelity is an essential moral principle. The ethical principles which guide the practical nursing profession must be known by nurses. Nursing professionals who get a diploma from Illinois College of Nursing accreditation have established ethical nursing principles that can help healthcare teams make the right decisions in difficult situations. These guidelines define the norms and expectations of a career in nursing, regardless of personal beliefs.

Definition of the Principle of Fidelity:

Fidelity, as an ethical principle, is a measure of trustworthiness. Being dependable means keeping promises and fulfilling commitments. Fidelity is a combination of integrity and honesty. However, fidelity goes beyond honesty because it requires you to keep your promises.

What is Fidelity Nursing?

The ethical principle of fidelity in nursing education includes the basic definitions of acting with honesty and integrity. Still, in a professional variety of healthcare settings, nurses are also expected to work to benefit their clients or patients for positive patient outcomes. Nurses will likely meet their professional obligations of providing safe, ethical, and competent care.

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As a nurse, fidelity means the nurse will keep both explicit and implicit promises to patients. For example, “I will be back in 10 mins with your pain medicine.” The implicit contracts expected of nurses include maintaining confidentiality and orienting medical care toward the patient’s needs. Nurses who fulfill these promises align with the ethical principle of fidelity.

To practice with fidelity, nurses should act in such a manner that they increase the public’s confidence that they will provide safe, ethical practice, and competent care. Fidelity requires healthcare professionals to deliver patient care with honesty, loyalty, and caring.

Nursing Examples of Fidelity

Fidelity interacts with all other ethical principles. Here are some examples of how nurses may uphold the principle of fidelity.

Example: Commitment Toward Fulfilling a Promise

A nurse cares for a diabetic patient who has recently had a below-knee (BKA) amputation. The pain of the patient was unmanageable despite the nurse giving the maximum doses of PRN pain medication. During the morning evaluation, the nurse discussed options for controlling the pain with the patient. During this conversation, the nurse suggests that the patient could benefit from consulting a doctor who specializes in pain. The nurse informs the patient that they will mention this suggestion in rounds.

In clinical practice, protecting confidentiality is an expectation. A confidentiality principle in nursing is that only information about a patient should be shared if it’s necessary. If the information is optional to provide high-quality care, it should not be discussed with others. A clinical nurse and a physiotherapy aid work together to help an admitted patient ambulate after her ankle surgery in nursing homes. The patient’s chart mentions a previous admission to psychiatric treatment four years earlier. The physiotherapist, who is in the report with the nurse, asks questions about the last psychiatric treatment. The nurse directs that the physio assistant should refrain from discussing this history, as it is irrelevant to their role. Now understand fidelity vs veracity in nursing and healthcare facilities.

Fidelity Vs Veracity in Nursing

Veracity and fidelity have similar meanings, but they are not the same. Veracity is the opposite of lying or misleading. Transparency and the disclosure of important information are also part of integrity in health care settings. Veracity in nursing can be seen when consent is required. To be in line with integrity, health care providers or nurses must present all the necessary information in a way that is truthful and allows the patient to make an informed decision. Veracity in nursing practice is the entire disclosure of all information.

Fidelity is not just about being honest and truthful. It’s also about fidelity in terms of professional obligations. Fidelity is more than just honesty. Veracity is necessary, but more is needed to be devoted. A nurse or health care team may be honest but still need to give the level of nursing care expected by patients and professionals. This is not fidelity. Veracity and fidelity both relate to the trust given to vocational nurses but are not interchangeable.

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