Put simply, you just can’t be a part of the healthcare community without acting with integrity. People in the throes of a medical crisis are at their most vulnerable point in life, and they and their family members need to trust that the decisions that are being made on their behalf will provide the best possible outcome.
Being responsible for the wellbeing of an individual who is experiencing a health issue is entirely different from someone who is trying to achieve financial security for their client for example. Some of us may have experienced the results of having received bad advice on our investments, however, the principles regarding patient care have to be held to a much higher standard.
There are situations that a healthcare team will face which require honesty and truthfulness to be expressed in terms that cannot be misconstrued in the heat of the moment. If something is simply a bad idea, and one which may further compromise the patient, there are ethical standards that make it imperative to express an objection and offer an alternative plan.
ANGELS OF FLIGHT CANADA employs Registered Nurse Case Managers, to guide and support individuals who are in medical crisis anywhere in the world. AOF also employs and provides training to Flight Registered Flight Nurses who care for the vulnerable clients during a flight on commercial airlines when they’re sufficiently stable to travel or coordinate an air ambulance flight for those unable to fly commercially.
Apart from the academic requirements and relevant experience, each team member has an expressed value system that aligns with the mission of repatriating patients under the best possible circumstance with the primary focus on “patient and staff safety first”. Things like reliability, responsibility, consistency and unwavering commitment are key components for upholding the reputation of a first class service provider.
Honesty and integrity – which often go hand in hand – can sometimes present conflicts with anxious family members who want to bring their loved one home now as opposed to later. Knowledge, experience, and consistency of standards must remain intact for a successful repatriation. Truthfulness has to outweigh high emotions in support of the best interests of the patient.
Integrity is a sacred trust for those who are relying on a complete stranger to make possible life-saving decisions on their behalf. It is something that healthcare providers must make continuous efforts in to ensure that high standards are maintained.
Submitted by Gail Courneyea, Angels of Flight, Peterborough