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Dental Nurses’ Code of Ethics – Responsibility to Patients

Dental Assistant Code of Ethics “Ethics” are a set of moral principles or values that dental nurses need to adhere to. This code of ethics was developed by members of the original dental assistant’s association to set the standards of behavior to maintain and improve the status of dental assistants within the health care profession. The welfare of the patient is the predominant focus of this code.

All dental assistants should act by this minimum code;

• maintain honesty, loyalty, and diplomacy in all contacts with the profession and society

• give to the employer the co-operation and show the initiative and efficiency needed to serve all patients capably and efficiently

• work in a collaborative manner with all health care professionals and others involved with providing care, respecting their particular contributions within the care team

• work co-operatively with patients and their families, recognizing their involvement in the planning and delivery of care

• respond to patient’s need for care and comfort, exercising courtesy, kindness and consideration irrespective of origin, religion and cultural beliefs, or the nature of their health problems

• not advise any treatment for patients which require the professional expertise of a dentist, at the same time acknowledging any limitations in knowledge and competence and decline any duties or responsibilities unless qualified and able to perform them in a safe and skilled manner

• keep in confidence all professional details of dental colleagues, individual patients and the dental profession in general

• refrain from criticizing the employer’s treatment of patients or any previous dental treatment or the dental profession in general

• contribute to and maintain a safe and effective care environment for patients and colleagues

• maintain and increase professional knowledge and competence by taking advantage of every educational opportunity available; and

• assist professional colleagues to develop their professional competence and assist others in the care team

In summary, your ethical duty to the patient is to:

– be competent in work and be abreast of the progress of dental science applicable to the work situation – understand the patient as a human being

 – bring to bear the full resources of training and not exceed the legal range of duties and observe the rules of professional confidentiality.

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