Senior Director of Patient Care Services Andrea Holecek, EdD, MSN, MBA, RN, NE-BC, FACHE (pictured left), and Director of Education Angel Dewey, MSN, RN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CCRN, CNRN (pictured right)

Nurse leaders publish book on best practices in ethical decisions

Thursday, January 24, 2019 |
Bayhealth nurses are driven to achieve nursing excellence, and are passionate about the work they do and the care they provide patients. This drive is evident in everything they do. An example of this is the collaboration between two Bayhealth nurse leaders, who authored a book on nursing’s role in healthcare ethics.

Senior Director of Patient Care Services Andrea Holecek, EdD, MSN, MBA, RN, NE-BC, FACHE (pictured left), and Director of Education Angel Dewey, MSN, RN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CCRN, CNRN (pictured right), are celebrating the release of their book, The Nurse’s Healthcare Ethics Committee Handbook. The book came about after the duo presented at a national nursing conference in 2016, where they were approached by an acquiring editor from the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing about writing the book. The book was released in August.

“The care of patients in a hospital setting is complex, and there are often situations where difficult healthcare decisions need to be made,” Dewey said. This is where an ethics committee comes in. A consultant from Bayhealth’s Ethics Committee is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to guide patients, families and the healthcare team in making decisions about medical treatment. Bayhealth’s Ethics Committee is an interdisciplinary team that determines the best path forward when ethics issues arise in the patient care process. The committee works closely with legal professionals to ensure that decisions are aligned with Delaware law.

Holecek and Dewey wrote the book because of the role of nursing in ethical decision making. “Nurses are uniquely positioned to serve as leaders in healthcare ethics because they are intricately involved in all aspects of patient care, including care coordination, recommendations for plans of care, provision of life-sustaining interventions, and patient education,” Holecek said.

The handbook provides tools that nursing students, professionals, administrators, and other members of the healthcare team need to develop processes that support nurses in an ethics committee leadership role. The handbook is filled with real-life scenarios and outlines a step-by-step process for nurses to evaluate ethical cases and the risks involved.

“As nurse leaders, we have a responsibility to share best practices,” Holecek said. “At the end of the day, everything we do is for the betterment of our patients, including helping families make ethical decisions.”

Visit Bayhealth.org/Nurses to learn more about nursing at Bayhealth.