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Unprofessional behavior may threaten your nursing career

Your work as a nurse can be hectic and stressful at the best of times. When a difficult job becomes too much, it might be tempting to snap at others. You might even entertain the notion of taking your frustration out on someone who is unable to fight back or is unaware of any potential misconduct. While you may never act on these thoughts, it is important for you and other nurses in Texas to understand the potential consequences of unprofessional conduct.

When you became a nurse, you agreed to a code of ethics that stated you are to behave professionally in all regards to your job, as well as to serve as an advocate for your patients and act in their best interests. The following examples might shed some light on what misconduct may break a nurse's code of ethics:

  • Spreading gossip, bullying, ostracizing or otherwise making other nurses on staff feel intimidated, inadequate or unwelcome
  • Losing your patience with a patient in an unhealthy or abusive way, such as yelling, calling names, belittling or causing physical harm
  • Not following your employer's policies to the best of your knowledge and ability
  • Ignoring basic safety and hygiene standards, which may put your patients, co-workers and self at risk
  • Not holding yourself accountable for mistakes or consistently trying to improve your skills

Some of the above examples may not be enough to cause you to lose your license, but could negatively impact your reputation in the eyes of your co-workers and employers. Other actions, however, might result in the loss of your nursing license and your job. You have the right to defend your license if you are facing disciplinary action, particularly if you feel it was a mistake. However, you can greatly improve your chances of not facing negative consequences if you are always striving to observe your code of ethics and act professionally on the job.

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