New Codes Of Conduct For Australian Nurses And Midwives
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s (NMBA) new Code of conduct for nurses and Code of conduct for midwives will come into effect from today.
These codes were developed through extensive consultation with nurses and midwives, including the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives, and relied upon academic research and an analysis of conduct complaints.
“(The codes will) provide common sense guidance on how to work in a partnership with individuals and communities to ensure they are getting care that meets their needs,” Chair of the NMBA, Associate Professor Lynette Cusack RN said.
Principle 3 of the codes states “Australia has always been a culturally and linguistically diverse nation“, and includes emphasis towards care of indigenous communities:
In supporting the health of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, nurses must:
- provide care that is holistic, free of bias and racism, challenges belief based upon assumption and is culturally safe and respectful for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples
- advocate for and act to facilitate access to quality and culturally safe health services for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, and
- recognise the importance of family, community, partnership and collaboration in the healthcare decision-making of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, for both prevention strategies and care delivery.
Writing for Croakey, Associate Professor Cusack, referenced the 2018 Closing the Gap report to highlight the importance of nursing and midwifery care that takes into account people’s culture and needs.
“It is clear that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples still experience poorer health outcomes than non-Indigenous Australians.
“It is clear that health leaders, like the NMBA, need to take action.”
The new codes are available on the NMBA website and will replace the existing Code of professional conduct for nurses and Code of professional conduct for midwives, as well as the professional boundaries documents, on 1 March 2018.