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The Significance of Confidentiality in Nursing Care

  • 09 Pages
  • Published On: 02-12-2023

Peer reviewed article:

“Martin-Ferreres, M.L., Pardo, M.Á.D.J., Porras, D.B. and Moya, J.L.M., 2019. An ethnographic study of human dignity in nursing practice. Nursing outlook, 67(4), pp.393-403”

Confidentiality is crucial in nursing in providing dignified care to service users (Barnable et al. 2018). NMC (2018) mentioned that, nurse must maintain confidentiality of personal and professional database of services users and patient’s health related database in terms of protecting patients’ right to privacy and confidentiality. This essay will discuss the importance of confidentiality in nursing in relation to make a critical analysis of the given article. Here the essay will first define confidentiality nursing and how it is associated with effective care delivery to services users. Then that essay will critically discuss the given article in terms of demonstrating the confidentiality in nursing in relation to provide the compassionate and high standard care to service users. Finally, the essay will draw a conclusion in which the main aspects in the content will be summarized.


NMC (2018) mentioned that confidentiality is the professional standard that every nurse needs to follow and implement into practices in terms of eliminating the chances of any unauthorized access of patients related information. Nurses must maintain confidentiality in their practices to provide the dignified care to services users (Martin-Ferreres et al. 2019). Confidentiality in nursing is strongly associated with protecting services users’ rights to maintain privacy of their treatment and health. Evidence suggest that nursing must be enough compatible in maintain privacy of patient’s related database and healthcare information in terms of ensuring that the patients will be treated with dignity, fairness and respecting in the society. NHS (2018) mentioned that in many cases, nurses are failed to maintain the confidentiality in their practices that interfere with their accountability and professional integrity (Poorchangizi et al. 2019). Thet potential reason behind failure of nurses in maintaining confidentiality into the practices is the high workload, burnout, lack of cooperation from patient and their family members and lack of support from the healthcare professionals. PHE (2018) mentioned that, there are many NHS nurses who fail to maintain confidentiality in their practices due to severe workload and lack corporation from patients and health professionals. Critics argued that, there are many other factors that pose impediments in maintaining confidentiality in nursing profession such as lack of skill, and training in the workplace and lack of resources in the healthcare organization (Green, 2017). NMC (2018) mentioned that, many confidentiality and privacy have been registered in the NHS hospital due to the lack of skill and expertise in nursing staffs. NMC (2018) mentioned that nursing professionals must be enough competent and skilled in respecting patient’s right to confidentiality. Through maintaining confidentiality nursing professionals are able to respect patient’s dignity and rights that enables them to maintain a healthy and trustworthy relationship with patients.

The given article discussed that nursing professionals need to provide the dignified care to the services users by maintain confidentiality in their profession (Poorchangizi et al. 2019). This article has identified two important themes such as ability of the nursing professional in providing the dignified and compassionate care to service users in promoting high level on confidentiality in nursing and the factors that impacts on the way on maintaining confidentiality in nursing. NMC (2018) mentioned nurses must have proper knowledge and understanding on the rights, autonomy and dignity of patients which will enable them to respect all these aspects while delivering care to service users, on the others hand nurse have the competencies in identifying as well as eliminating the factors and barriers that impact the ability to provide the highly confidential carte to service users (Elliott, 2017). These barriers are lack of knowledge of nursing staffs regarding maintaining confidentiality, the lack of training to the nursing professionals, poor resources management framework in the healthcare organizational and lack of support from the healthcare authority. In this context the given article provides insight on the important strategies that nursing professionals can take to ensure that high-quality care is provided to patents to respect their rights to the confidentiality and privacy (Dorsey et al. 2020). On the contrary (0 argued that, there may cases in which maintaining confidentiality about patient health and treatment interfere with the responsibilities nursing professionals in promoting public health. For example, in case of treatment of infectious disease or HIV, many nursing professionals face severe ethical dilemmas regarding whether they will disclose the information or maintain the confidentiality of the information. In this situation, patent’s right to confidentiality and privacy interferes with the professional accountability and integrity of nursing professionals. NMC (2018) mentioned that, nursing professionals must have the right decision-making ability and the problem-solving skill in term of evaluating the usefulness of confidentiality in effective treatment process. The given article discussed the importance of positive support and cooperation of the senior healthcare official to the nursing professionals in terms of protecting the privacy and confidentiality right of patients.

Despite several usefulness or benefit of the given articles there are some drawbacks thet needed to be discussed (Bijani et al. 2019.). The article although discussed the two themes such as tet ability if nurses in maintaining confidentiality and factors affecting the confidentiality in nursing practices, this article fails to discuss the strategies as well as ways the nursing professionals on any organization can use to deal with impediments associated with maintain confidentiality. Additionally, confidentiality can sometimes cause severe ethical dilemmas in nursing staffs as it can interfere with their professional accountability and integrity in promoting positive public health, especially in case of dealing with patients with infectious diseases. These aspects are not mentioned in the article. On the other hand, this article fails to highlight the effective recommendation that nurses can use into the practices to improve the ability to maintain confidentiality into their practices (Kashefian-Naeeini, 2019). Moreover, the article although highlight the impediments associated with ability of nursing to maintain confidentiality it is failed to discuss the facilitator that can provides strength and support to nursing professionals in maintaining confidentiality practices. From the evaluation of this given article, it can be stated that although this article presented a good understating on the confidentiality in nurse it fails to discuss how the evidence-based practices can be taken by nurses and healthcare professionals to improve the entire confidentiality process in the nursing practices.

By critical evaluating this give research articles I have gained good understanding on the definition and principles off confidentiality in nursing practices. here I have gathered in-depth knowledge on the importance of confidentiality in nursing in terms of providing the dignified and compassionate care to patents (Tajabadi et al. 2020). throughout the study I have also gathered knowledge on what are the professional standard accountability and the professional integrity nursing staffs in a healthcare organization every nursing staffs needs to implementing into care practices. Here I have learned about the facilitators and barriers associated with the ability of nursing professionals in term of maintaining confidentiality in the practices. I also learned what are the ethical dilemmas that are associated with maintain confidentiality in nursing (Siminoff et al. 2017). This study also develops my understanding on how nurses can identify and eliminate the barriers in terms of protecting the rights of patients to the privacy and comparing the given article with the others articles I have developed my understanding regarding what are the challenges in the nursing professional that NHS face in terms of maintaining confidentiality in their practices. Here I develop the in-depth understanding about what are the roles of health care authority and the senior health care professional in terms of improving ability of nursing professionality protect the right of services to the privacy a dignity. In this context, I have learned that there are several factors a nursing staffs must consider while maintaining confidentiality in care delivery such as whether the treatment is valid or not, whether the database is infectious or not and whether the confidentiality will interfere wit the public health promotion. In case infectious disease, it is important that nursing staffs must disclose the information regarding the patients who are under the treatment of this infectious disease. This is because, the disclosing the information nursing staffs can enhance the public awareness regarding taking the safety measure to prevent the infections. I have learned that after disclosing any treatment related information to the general public nurses must ensure that the patient whose information is disclosed will be protected from any kind of discrimination, maltreatment and unfair practices in the society. I have learned that how nursing professionals ensure the fair and dignified treatment to service users along with maintain the privacy.

From the overall discussion it can be concluded that nursing professionals must maintain confidentiality in their practices in terms of providing dignified and compassionate care to services users, nursing professionals must respect patient’s right to confidentiality and privacy of their personal, professional and health related database. Through maintaining privacy, a confidentiality in practices nursing professionals can promote their professional integrity and accountability throughout the care delivery. There are several barriers and facilitators ta are associated with the ability of nurses in terms of promoting confidentiality into practices. Nurses must consider these factors to improve their competence to ensure confidentiality of patient’s health related information throughout the care delivery.

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Reference list:

Barnable, A., Cunning, G. and Parcon, M., 2018. Nursing students’ perceptions of confidentiality, accountability, and e-professionalism in relation to facebook. Nurse Educator, 43(1), pp.28-31.

Bijani, M., Tehranineshat, B. and Torabizadeh, C., 2019. Nurses’, nursing students’, and nursing instructors’ perceptions of professional values: a comparative study. Nursing ethics, 26(3), pp.870-883.

Dorsey, E., Okun, M.S. and Bloem, B.R., 2020. Care, convenience, comfort, confidentiality, and contagion: the 5 C’s that will shape the future of telemedicine. Journal of Parkinson's Disease, (Preprint), pp.1-5.

Elliott, A.M., 2017. Identifying professional values in nursing: An integrative review. Teaching and learning in Nursing, 12(3), pp.201-206.

Green, J., 2017. Nurses’ online behaviour: lessons for the nursing profession. Contemporary nurse, 53(3), pp.355-367.

Kashefian-Naeeini, S., 2019. Confidentiality in E-Professionalism: The Case of Electronic Health Records (EHRs). Interdisciplinary Journal of Virtual Learning in Medical Sciences, 10(3), pp.63-64.

Martin-Ferreres, M.L., Pardo, M.Á.D.J., Porras, D.B. and Moya, J.L.M., 2019. An ethnographic study of human dignity in nursing practice. Nursing outlook, 67(4), pp.393-403

Poorchangizi, B., Borhani, F., Abbaszadeh, A., Mirzaee, M. and Farokhzadian, J., 2019. The importance of professional values from nursing students’ perspective. BMC nursing, 18(1), pp.1-7.

Siminoff, L.A., Wilson-Genderson, M., Mosavel, M., Barker, L., Trgina, J. and Traino, H.M., 2017. Confidentiality in biobanking research: A comparison of donor and nondonor families' understanding of risks. Genetic testing and molecular biomarkers, 21(3), pp.171-177.

Siminoff, L.A., Wilson-Genderson, M., Mosavel, M., Barker, L., Trgina, J. and Traino, H.M., 2017. Confidentiality in biobanking research: A comparison of donor and nondonor families' understanding of risks. Genetic testing and molecular biomarkers, 21(3), pp.171-177.

Surmiak, A.D., 2018, September. Confidentiality in qualitative research involving vulnerable participants: Researchers' perspectives. In Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research (Vol. 19, No. 3).

Tajabadi, A., Ahmadi, F., Sadooghi Asl, A. and Vaismoradi, M., 2020. Unsafe nursing documentation: A qualitative content analysis. Nursing ethics, 27(5), pp.1213-1224.

Yao, E., Li, Y., Wang, C. and Hui, J., 2020. Understanding confidentiality breach in adolescent mental health sessions: an integrated model of culture and parenting. Ethics & Behavior, pp.1-12.



This research paper aims to explore the roles of nursing professionals in providing dignified care to patients. Here Martin- Ferreres et al. (2019) carried out the ethnographic study in which a participation observation of 158 hours for 27 nurses had been conducted. Nurses were selected from four hospitals in Barcelona (Spain) to conduct the semi-structured interview. As mentioned by Surmiak (2018), dignified care includes confidentiality and privacy that promotes the holistic wellbeing of service users. This article has presented two themes, the ability of nurses to provide the dignified care by promoting confidentiality in care and factors that influence the privacy and confidentiality of the care delivery process. This article is useful in terms of providing a new insight on the fact that the ability of nurses to maintain the confidentiality and privacy in the care delivery is strongly dependent on good skill and professional knowledge of nurses in promoting the human dignity. As mentioned by Barnable et al. (2018), nurses must understand the concept of human dignity and its implementation in their practices to respect patient’s rights and autonomy. This article is also useful in mentioning factors impacting the confidentiality in patients care such as skill of nurses, their professional knowledge, cooperation from patient’s side, well-organised communication system in hospitals and good training and skill development of nurses to improve their skill to maintain confidentiality (Martin-Ferreres et al. 2019). Despite these benefits this research article has certain limitation such as it fails to mention the ways in which nurses can improve way to maintain confidentiality in care process and also the techniques that they need to apply to avoid the barriers associated with maintaining patients’ privacy.

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