Nurses are considered the most trusted of any professionals, according to a recent Gallup survey.
According to the survey released in December 2012, 85 percent of Americans rated nurses' honesty and ethical standards as "very high" or "high.” Nurses out-ranked pharmacists, doctors, dentists, psychiatrists, police officers and members of the clergy. Nurses have earned the top spot in the poll every year since its inception in 1999, with the exception of 2001 when firefighters ranked first after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
What about nurses makes them so trustworthy?
According to two Nebraska Methodist College
faculty — Dr. Lin Hughes, dean of nursing, and Dr. Linda Foley, director of graduate students —
building and maintaining trust is an essential part
of the job description of a nurse, as outlined in the American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of
Ethics. According to the ANA Code of Ethics, it is the nurse’s duty in the community to promote
the health, safety, and welfare of all people while respecting human dignity and practicing with compassion.
“Nurses are the ones at the bedside caring for patients during their most vulnerable period of time,” Hughes said.
A nurse cares for patients in their time of need. The nurse is often the one who initially assesses the patient before collaborating with the primary care professional. The nurse then manages the prescribed care. It’s a nurse’s job to help patients understand the care they receive by explaining information about medications and treatments.
In a hospital setting, a nurse is available to patients 24 hours a day, seven day a week, and is seen as a patient’s advocate to the rest of the healthcare team. As a nurse, the job of caring for a patient goes beyond physical needs. The nurse also cares for a patient’s psychosocial and spiritual needs.
“Nurses need to be highly trustworthy because patients may share their most intimate feelings and thoughts and expect nurses to maintain the privacy of this knowledge,” Foley said.