I really enjoyed the unit this week. I feel like up until this point, ethics committees have been kind of this mythical group of people that exist and are never seen. It was interesting to learn more about when ethics committees should be involved, who is on an ethics committee, and what their purpose or goal is. I learned that this is a resource that is not utilized as often as it could be (I think Sean said 3 times a year on average).
The team activities this week were much less controversial than I was expecting them to be. I was surprised how well our “ethics committee” was able to come to a consensus about what our recommendation for the scenario would be. Many of us were able to find guidelines on discontinuing dialysis, which made our opinions much easier to validate. I can see it being much more challenging when a dilemma arises that has not been encountered quite as often and there are no “guidelines” in place.
I think handling ethical dilemmas has to be one of the most challenging aspects of being a leader in the healthcare system. There are so many ethical dilemmas that could potentially arise. Each patient and each scenario will have their own complications or interesting factors to take into consideration when trying to arrive at an ethical solution. I feel like it is important to be sensitive to identifying ethical concerns in our nursing practice. Being aware of the resources we have as nurses when an ethical dilemma arises is definitely beneficial.