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Interpret an Ethical Dilemma-Covid-19 Pandemic

Interpret an Ethical Dilemma-Covid-19 Pandemic

Professional, ethical dilemmas are common in all professions and may negatively impact an organization if handled ineffectively. Throughout my career, I have faced a few professional ethical dilemmas that limited my ability to maintain professionalism. During the Covid-19 pandemic, I faced a major professional and ethical dilemma when working as a nurse in a community healthcare facility in a region with many Covid-19 patients. The human resource management department at the facility responded to the increase in the flow of patients by adding an extra shift for all nurses. Sometimes, we could work during the day and at night to ensure that all patients received quality care and were discharged within the shortest time to create more space for other patients. During one of my shifts, I noticed that some of my colleagues were sleeping in the changing rooms during shift hours and delegating their work to interns. I had difficulty deciding whether to report the issue or ignore it and mind my business to avoid creating conflicts with my colleagues. I also feared losing my job because I was new at the facility and did not know my colleagues’ relationship with the human resource manager and top officials. I decide to report the matter anonymously through the facility’s suggestion box. The human resource manager called a meeting two days later and informed all nurses that anyone who would be found sleeping or idling in the changing room during shift hours would be reported to the nursing board for appropriate disciplinary action to be taken against them.

My professional ethical dilemma enlightened me on the need to consider various outcomes before taking action. For example, I considered the possibility of a conflict of interest, thus forcing me to reconsider the channel I would use to report the matter. I would have done things differently if I had known the type of relationship the human resource manager had with my colleagues. For example, if I was sure that the relationship between the human resource manager and my colleagues was formal and there would be no conflicts of interest when addressing the matter, I would have first approached my colleagues and informed them that what they were doing was against the nursing profession and the facility’s policies and procedures before reporting the matter. Another thing that I could have done would be to schedule a meeting with the human resource manager to report the matter. I would have ensured that I had evidence to support my accusation before approaching the human resource manager to avoid losing credibility. I would also have approached our supervisor to inform her about the issue before reporting the matter to the human resource manager. However, I would have first confirmed that my colleagues did not have an unprofessional relationship with the supervisor to guarantee that the matter was forwarded to the human resource manager without risking my job and relationship with my colleagues and other staff in the facility.

According to Planken (2013), social responsibility includes behaving ethically and focusing on deliberately contributing to the welfare of society, which comprises various stakeholders and communities a person operates in and interacts with. I acted socially responsibly by protecting the welfare of the patients, and I relied on my colleagues to receive quality nursing care. Reporting my colleagues’ absenteeism enabled the facility to take action to ensure that nurses were abiding by the required code of conduct policies, and procedures to take care of the patients and maintain a good reputation for the facility. I also acted in a socially responsible manner by contributing to the welfare of the healthcare facility by ensuring that the nurses provided the required level of care to the patients. My actions also contributed to the welfare of other nurses within the facility by ensuring that every nurse was treated equally without creating a situation where some nurses handled more workload than others.

Communication skills are vital in ensuring the message is not misinterpreted (Harding, 2018). One of the concerns I had about my communication skills was my ability to select the most appropriate communication method. According to Orthia & Dobos (2021), communication methods are selected based on the audience, the urgency of the information being shared, and the kind of information being shared. I was unsure whether writing a note about the issue I was reporting and placing it in the suggestion box would effectively pass my information to the human resource manager because there was no guarantee that all suggestions in the suggestion box would be read. The second concern was whether my message was clear because I did not include too much information since I wanted to encourage the human resource management to investigate the issue and make their conclusion based on what they observed. I was also concerned about whether the tone I used in the note was appropriate because I was focusing on ensuring my message was convincing so that the human resource department could investigate my claims and punish the accused nurses appropriately.

Ethical communication plays a vital role in ethical leadership. According to Robles & Robles (2023), ethical communication includes communicating truthfully, concisely, clearly, and responsibly. One of the principles of ethical communication is ensuring honesty and transparency when passing information. Therefore, ethical leaders should be eloquent and ensure that all the information they share is accurate and factual. The second principle is understanding the audience. Ethical leaders need to pass information that is appropriate for their audience and use appropriate communication channels to reach the audience. Therefore, ethical leaders should have empathy to effectively connect with the audience and meet their expectations. According to Whitehead (2017), empathy is categorized into cognitive, empathic, and emotive empathy. Cognitive empathy is the ability to understand a person’s viewpoint and what they may be feeling and thinking. Empathic empathy is the drive to take action to help others. Emotive empathy includes feeling what another person is feeling. Empathy also defines the relationship between the ethical leader and followers, thus creating trust. Ethical leaders should also consider the third principle of ethical communication, which includes respecting privacy and confidentiality. Ethical leaders should be able to determine appropriate communication methods to avoid disclosing sensitive information to the wrong people and maintain the privacy and confidentiality of the people they are communicating with. The fourth principle is choosing the most appropriate place to share information. Ethical leaders should be tactful when selecting where to share information with their audience to avoid distractions that could distort the information being shared. For example, sensitive information may be shared in an organization’s boardroom to ensure only authorized individuals access the information.


Harding, D. (2018). Communication skills. Oxford Medicine Online.

Orthia, L. A., & Dobos, A. R. (2021). Components of effective communication. Health Promotion, 126–146.

Planken, B. (2013). Definitions of social responsibility. Encyclopedia of Corporate Social Responsibility, 768–772.

Robles, M., & Robles, M. (2023). Ethical communication. Purpose and Strategy in Communication.

Whitehead, A. (2017). Empathy and Interdisciplinarity. Medicine and Empathy in Contemporary British Fiction, 91–124.


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Everyone has experienced ethical dilemmas. An example includes feeling that the only way you will meet a quota is by cutting corners. Maybe there was no noticeable harm, or perhaps the outcome was devastating. Not taking all required steps can result in financial losses, employee turnover, or worse, an employee being injured on the job. What would have happened if different directions were made? What if you followed the ethical guidelines set forth by your organization? You may realize a poor decision was made; the key is to learn from previous ethical decisions to possibly alter (if at all) your next decision.

Interpret an Ethical Dilemma-Covid-19 Pandemic

Interpret an Ethical Dilemma-Covid-19 Pandemic

Using a case study format, explain a time when you were faced with a professional ethical dilemma. Identify the key issues and challenges you faced. Then, explain the course of action you took. Be sure to include the following:

Determine if you would have done anything differently and provide examples.
Interpret how you acted in a socially responsible manner; if not, explain how you could have responded differently to the dilemma.
Explain whether there were any concerns surrounding your communication skills.
Recommend improvements, if necessary, as related to the communication skills required of an ethical leader.
Please be as detailed as possible, while also being clear and succinct. This case study should be written through the lens of one who is about to deliver a lecture on ethical decision-making. Be vulnerable yet professional.

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