Nurses need to know that by breaking patient confidentiality they stand to be suspended from the institutions they work for or lose their jobs all together. Therefore, they will always be keen on what they do to prevent such occurrences. i. Elements of the concept of reasonable limits Nurses are supposed to be wise and intelligent people such that they can tell what is right from wrong. The elements of the concept of reasonable limits include: Accountability
Nurses will be held accountable for the decisions they make and if their actions result in legal matters, then they will be answerable and face the penalties that come with it if any. ii. Rationale for breaking confidentiality Confidentiality can be broken in cases where the health of the patient is at risk. This usually occurs when patients have been diagnosed with a serious disease for example a serious brain tumor and they have decided not to seek further treatment.
The attending physicians or nurses need to follow up such cases and closely monitor the patients so that they can better advice them on the risks involved. Though private the case may be, they need to talk to the patients and tell them that if they refuse to be treated, then their family members or close friend will have to be informed so that they can better convince them. Confidentiality can be broken when the courts have ordered for medical reports of patients that will enable the law makers pass judgments where the patients are involved.
Confidentiality can also be broken in the cases where minors are involved. When children have not reached the legal age then their parents or guardians are in charge of every aspect of their lives. When the have medical problems that are related to their social lives like have STDs that are slowly becoming serious or are engaged in drugs or excessive alcohol consumption, then they are risking their lives and medical practitioners need to inform those in charge of them when the situation is serious.
Confidentiality can also be broken when a patient has a contagious disease and they stand infecting those them. The ever increasing environmental pollution has brought with it new diseases especially because of toxic emissions. People never know the extent of such diseases and how they can affect other people therefore, they are a threat to the community. That is why when nurses discover such matters, it is important to share this information with other practitioners and research scientists so that they can investigate on the way forward no matter how private the matter is.
Another rationale for breaking confidentiality is when a nurse is not in charge of the patient anymore. This may be because they have personal matters to attend to therefore they have to leave work for a while or they have left the institution all together. Then it will be wise to inform other people who will be left about the condition of the patient so that they can assign other nurse to deal with the patient, iii. Based on reasonable limits, justify breaking or keeping confidentiality
A nurse can break confidentiality when they cannot come up with proper solutions to the problems they face therefore they will need to consult experts in the area. This will be acceptable as they will be looking out for the best treatment of their patients rather than keeping to themselves and making the patients worse. Nurses on the other hand can keep confidentiality even without being asked when they see that if other people knew about the patient’s condition especially family members, they will isolate them and they will not get the care they deserve.