This article highlights the need for Surgical Technologists to understand the ethical and legal Issues In their day to day satellites. Professionalism when working in any area of a surgery department must be maintained no matter what the situation. Ethical and legal issues arise daily, so it is necessary to understand and apply certain concepts in order to properly evaluate a given situation and make appropriate decisions leading to performance that will render the highest quality patient care possible. Professional behavior in this regard is crucial for any health care worker.

In order to apply these concepts you first need to understand ways to evaluate the Issues. How Is ethics defined? According to the Ethics Center for Engineering and Research, ethics means being concerned with what is right or wrong, good or bad, fair or unfair, responsible or irresponsible, obligatory or permissible, praiseworthy or blameworthy. (Online Ethics Center for Engineering, 2006) It is associated with guilt, shame, indignation, resentment, empathy, compassion, and care. It Is being Interested In character as well as conduct.

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This article presents two WAP to evaluate potential ethical questions: First Is the utilitarianism system. This system concerns itself with determining the greater good and what decision will be beneficial to the most people. The second system presented is the deontological system. Under this system, a worker would look at the needs of the individual and determine the best course of action for the patient themselves. There is no suggestion that these two methods should conflict. In fact, quite often, what is best for a patient is often what Is best for society as a whole.

The problem arises In the Instances where these two methods conflict. In these cases, a worker must apply the concept of prudence. This is the idea that a similar person old make the same decision under the same circumstances. After presenting the general concepts of ethics, the author lists several examples of situations where questions of this nature may arise. Personal decisions such as abortion, Den's, drug use, and sterilization are explored. Society decisions to allow animal and human experimentation and organ transplantation are also reviewed. Situations that could potentially cause a worker to be uncomfortable are examined.

The author points out how difficult it is watching a DEN patient pass without acting can be. The issue of a patient's right to privacy is also delved into. A patient is not required to reveal their HIVE status even though this could pose a danger to any worker in the operating room. Quality versus quantity of life Is explained, however, the ethical problem is not a decision that needs to be made. In this case, the law has already determined assisted seclude Is not an option. The problem Lies In the workers desire to help a dying individual die, even though they are unable to do so.

This instance shows that ethical problems do not necessarily involve decision making on the surgical technician's, but rather a state of mind in many circumstances. Despite the medical season one might have for being hospitalized or cared for by a health care professional In an operating room setting and, regardless of how "ethically or unethically*' the medical situation may be perceived through the eyes of the medical The patient has a right to quality health care regardless of the circumstances or situations surrounding the procedure.

This includes, but is not limited to, any situation that evokes an inevitable emotional human response. The underlying theme in patient care and ethics is that the health care worker's feelings do not play into the decisions that need to be made for the patient nor do they have any bearing n what is best for society as a whole. Our responsibilities, as Purpose Surgical Technologists, go beyond the mere ability to perform our daily Job functions.

Our position is all encompassing in that, not only does it include the use of surgical instruments and equipment towards promoting health and well being, but it also extends to the rights of the patients under our care to receive the best quality, appropriate care within the patient's wishes and desires. We, as health care professionals, owe it to our patients to give them the highest possible quality of care of which we are capable. Uses in Career In order to be able to provide care without Judgment you need to do some deep soul searching and have a complete understanding of your ethical beliefs and biases.

Once you have that understanding, if you find your ethical beliefs could interfere with your work performance, you need to share these feelings with your employer. Each patient is entitled to the same level of understanding regardless of your personal Judgment. What you feel or believe to be wrong does not necessarily have a bearing on what is best for the patient. Summary The intent of this article is to point out the various ways a health care professional an evaluate circumstances they may encounter in the work place.

They can determine what is the best ethical course of action for society as a whole, they can determine what is best for the patient and his or her personal situation, or they can combine the two methods and approach the situation prudently. No matter which approach is taken, it is always best to take your personal feelings and emotions out of the equation. The bottom line is to combine doing what is right in general with what is right for the patient.