Ethical Drift Essay


Ethical Drift

Ethical drift refers to a total deviation from ethical practices that happen unnoticed by people who substantiate their nonconformity as acceptable and believe in upholding their ethical boundaries. As professional ethics consist of legitimate standards that address a nurse’s obligations towards serving patients, nurses face ethical challenges putting them at risk of ethical drifts. For instance, an ethical drift I have witnessed in nursing practice involves a coworker who asked for help with a complicated patient in the clinic. Having a patient suffering from several fractures, my coworker wanted help because while the patient was experiencing severe pain, he was using bad words and physicality. However, the nurse who was called for help did not respond to the duty accordingly and explained that his shift was over; therefore, he could not work until the next shift. During the treatment struggle, my coworker was even pushed hard and fell, breaking her small finger. Because of laziness and lack of sincere devotion to work, the nurse called for help drifted ethically causing the patient to receive medical care inappropriately.

After taking this course, I would develop professional, ethical awareness when I encounter an ethical drift because the performance of nursing as a profession is based on ethical values and professional ethics. According to Poorchangizi et al. (2019), students’ perspectives on professional values have a significant influence on their approach to applying professional values in their workplaces. Therefore, as ethics has a central role in nurses’ moral behavior toward patients, developing awareness regarding professional nursing values is essential in preparing nurses to provide appropriate care to patients professionally and ethically. Hence, as a nurse, I would devote myself to accepting responsibilities and acting accordingly in a way that does not jeopardize a patient’s health when called upon to offer help.


Poorchangizi, B., Borhani, F., Abbaszadeh, A., Mirzaee, M., & Farokhzadian, J. (2019). The importance of professional values from nursing students’ perspective. BMC nursing, 18(1), 26.