PROFESSIONAL CODE OF CONDUCT FOR NURSES AND MIDWIVES

(Nurses and Midwives Act No. 31 of 1997)

Part II

Nurses and midwives, are personally accountable for their practice and in their exercise of professional accountability, they must:

 

  1. Always perform in such a manner as to promote and protect the interests, safety and well-being of clients.

 

  1. Ensure that no action or omission on their part or within their sphere of responsibility is harmful to the interest, condition and safety of clients.

 

  1. Regularly maintain and update their professional knowledge and competence through education, research and self-motivated learning.

 

  1. Acknowledge any limitations in their knowledge and competence and decline any duties or responsibilities unless able to perform them in a safe and skilled manner.

 

  1. Work in an open and co-operative manner with clients and their families, foster their independence recognize and respect their involvement in the planning and delivery of care.

 

  1. Uphold the principles of leadership, accountability, partnership and sustainability in the delivery of health care recognizing and respecting the contributions of other members of the health care team.

 

  1. Recognize and respect the uniqueness and dignity of each client and respond to their need for care, irrespective of their ethnic origin, political affiliation, religious beliefs, gender, traditional beliefs, values and practices, personal attributes and the nature of their health problem or any other factors.

 

  1. Report to an appropriate person or authority at the earliest possible time, any objections by the client to any relevant procedures which may be contrary to their professional practice.

 

  1. Avoid abuse of their privileged relationship with clients and of their privileged access allowed to them, their property, residence or work place.

 

  1. Protect all confidential information concerning the clients obtained in the course of your professional practice and make disclosures only with consent by order of the court, GNC or where they can justify disclosure in the wide public interest.

 

  1. Report to an appropriate authority or person, having regard to the physical, psychological and social effect on clients, any circumstances in the environment of care which could jeopardize standard of practice and quality of care.

 

  1. Report to an appropriate person or authority where it appears that the health or safety of colleagues is at risk as such circumstances may compromise standards of practice and care.

 

  1. Practice within your qualifications, competences, knowledge and experience, and consult and or refer clients for further management.

 

  1. Support professional colleagues in the context of their knowledge, experience and sphere of responsibility to develop their professional competence and assist others in the health care team to contribute safely to the provision of quality care to a level appropriate to the roles.

 

  1. Refuse any gift, favour or hospitality from clients currently in their care which might be interpreted as bribe, nepotism or seeking to extend influence to obtain preferential considerations.

 

  1. Ensure that your professional status is not used to promote commercial product.

 

  1. Declare any financial or other interest in relevant organizations providing such goods and services and ensure that their professional judgment is not influenced by any commercial consideration.

 

  1. Ensure that the professional research ethics are upheld at all times.

 

  1. Uphold the standards of Nursing and Midwifery by maximizing utilization of available resources.

 

 

 

Part III

 

  1. ADMINISTRATION OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINARY CODE

 

The Professional Code of Conduct shall be administered by the General Nursing Council of Zambia (GNCZ) and all stakeholders.

 

1.1. Application of the Professional Conduct and Disciplinary Code for Nurses and midwives

 A. Practitioners

i. It is the responsibility of the individual practitioner to acquire a copy of the Professional Conduct and Disciplinary Code from GNCZ.

ii. It is the responsibility of the individual practitioner to ensure that he/she reads and understands the obligations placed upon him/ her through the Professional Code of Conduct for Nurses and Midwives.

B. Employers

i. It is the responsibility of the employer to acquire a copy of the Professional Conduct and Disciplinary Code from the General Nursing Council of Zambia.

ii. Each employer is responsible to ensure that the Professional Conduct and Disciplinary Code is understood by all nurses and midwives including the stakeholders.

iii. It is the responsibility of the employer to provide an enabling environment for nurses and midwives to uphold the Professional Conduct and Disciplinary Code

iv. It is the responsibility of each employer to ensure that they have in place a mechanism for implementing the Professional Conduct and Disciplinary Code

C. Consumers

i. The rights of the consumer shall be respected in the delivery of care through the Professional Conduct and Disciplinary Code

D. Breach of the Professional Conduct and Disciplinary code

 i. Breach of the Professional Conduct and Disciplinary Code will warrant disciplinary action being taken against the offender as outlined in the Disciplinary Code

E. Grievance

i. Any nurse/midwife who has any grievance regarding the application of Professional Code of Conduct can, after following the laid down procedures of the institution, complain in writing to the Registrar of the Council.

 

 

Part IV

2. DISCIPLINARY CODE FOR NURSES AND MIDWIVES

SECTION INFAMOUS CONDUCT DESCRIPTION PENALTY
1ST BREACH 2ND BREACH 3RD BREACH
2.1. Nursing qualification a)     Falsely claiming nursing qualifications

 

Forging any document purporting to be a nursing and or midwifery professional certificate

 

Erasure    
b)    Obtaining nursing qualifications by fraud

 

Registration by fraud Erasure    
False representation Erasure    
Concealment of material facts Erasure    
Make or cause unauthorized entry, alteration or erasure in a register or any other certified copy of any entry, register or certificate Erasure    
2.2. issuance of license a) Making or giving any false statement or information in connection with the application for issuing a practicing licence False representation of facts Erasure    
Concealment of material facts

 

Erasure    
Makes unauthorized entry, alteration or erasure in a register or any other certified copy of any entry, register or certificate Erasure    
Causes to be made unauthorized entry, alteration or erasure in a register or any other certified copy of any entry, register or certificate Erasure    
2.3. Impersonation a) Impersonating another licensed nurse, midwife or specialist or permitting another person to use practitioner’s certificate. Use of a badge or uniform of a person registered under this Act Caution Erasure  
Permitting another person to use practitioner’s certificate Erasure    
Masquerading to be any other professional other than that of a nurse and or midwife. Caution Erasure  
2.4. Nursing Practice

 

a) Incompetence

 

Inability to perform required nursing and/or midwifery procedures according to the level of training Censure Caution Erasure
Administering of overdose / under-dose of drug(s) Caution Erasure  
Failure to supervise personnel to whom nursing and/ or midwifery tasks were delegated. Censure Caution Erasure
Failure to refer patient to appropriate practitioner. Caution Erasure  
Giving improper explanation to a patient relating to an operation or procedure Censure Caution Erasure
Failure to observe patient’s condition and respond appropriately Caution Erasure  
Failure to implement the curricula according to guidelines Censure Caution Erasure
Failure to maintain set standards of education in Training Institution Censure Caution Erasure
Failure to carry out prescribed instructions and/or administer care Caution Erasure  
Failure to document care provided Caution Erasure  
Poorly documented care given Censure Caution Erasure
Failure to provide safe and clean patient’s environment Censure Caution Erasure
Failure to interpret patient assessment and/or observation findings Caution Erasure  
Wrong drug administration Caution Erasure  

 

 

 

 

b) Negligence

 

Failure or refusal to refer patient to appropriate practitioner on time caution erasure  
Failure or refusal to observe patient’s condition and respond appropriately caution erasure  
Failure or refusal to implement the curricula according to guidelines caution erasure  
Failure or refusal to maintain set standards of education in Training Institution caution erasure  
Enrolling a student into training institution without stipulated qualifications caution erasure  
Failure or refusal to supervise personnel to whom nursing and midwifery tasks were delegated censure caution erasure
Failure or refusal to carry out prescribed instructions and administer care caution erasure  
Failure or refusal to document care provided censure caution erasure
Failure or refusal to provide safe and clean patient’s environment censure caution erasure
Failure or refusal to take care of client property resulting into loss censure caution erasure
Failure or refusal to adequately assess and/or observe the patient caution erasure  
Use of cell phones and/or ear piece while attending to clients censure caution erasure
Delegating to unqualified personnel caution erasure  
 

 

c) Giving improper explanation to a patient relating to a major operation Giving improper explanation to a patient relating to a major operation or procedure censure caution erasure
d) Divulging professional confidence Leakage of confidential information relating to the profession. caution erasure  
Breach of confidentiality pertaining to patient’s welfare caution erasure  
Releasing information pertaining to the profession without following established channels of communication Caution Erasure erasure
Malicious and/or public accusation by a practitioner against a fellow practitioner Caution Erasure erasure
  e) Unprofessional behaviors bringing the professional integrity in disrepute Consuming alcohol while in prescribed uniform Caution. Erasure erasure
Fighting, beating or disorderly behavior on or off duty censure caution erasure
Accepting and soliciting gift(s) from a client with a view to providing preferential treatment caution erasure  
Failure to be in prescribed uniform while on duty Caution Erasure  
f) Procuring, aiding, attempting, agreeing or offering to procure or assist at a criminal abortion Procuring a criminal abortion erasure    
Aiding a criminal abortion erasure    
Attempting a criminal abortion erasure    
Agreeing to a criminal abortion Erasure    
Offering to procure a criminal abortion erasure    
Assist at a criminal abortion Erasure    
2.5. Use of alcohol a) Practicing under the influence of alcohol Practicing under the influence of alcohol

 

Erasure   erasure
Drunkenness on duty Erasure    
2.6. Practicing without a license a) Practicing without a license

 

 

Practicing without a license caution erasure  
2.7. Advertisement a) Advertising a Practitioner’s services Posting on social media one’s image in prescribed uniform for the purpose of advertising one’s services censure caution erasure

 

Posting on social media client’s picture without patient’s permission caution erasure  
Participating in a commercial advert without permission from GNC caution erasure  
2.8. Press statement a) Issuing unauthorized press statement Issuing unauthorized press statement with regards to the profession and clients. caution erasure  
2.9. Drug acts or omission a) The preparation, consumption or self-administration of any drug included in the Dangerous Drug Acts or listed under the Schedule of the Pharmacy and Poisons Act The preparation of any drug included in the Controlled Drug Acts or listed under the Schedule of the Pharmacy and Poisons Act or any other such laws as may be amended from time to time caution erasure  
Consumption of any drug included in the Controlled Drug Acts or listed under the Schedule of the Pharmacy and Poisons Act or any other such laws as may be amended from time to time. caution erasure  
Self-administration of any drug included in the Controlled  Drug Acts or listed under the Schedule of the Pharmacy and Poisons Act or any other such laws as may be amended from time to time caution erasure  
    The preparation, consumption or administration of any drug included in the Controlled  Drug Acts or listed under the Schedule of the Pharmacy and Poisons Act or such other laws on another person without prescription Erasure    
2.10. Drug acts or omission a) Use of cannabis Use of cannabis caution erasure  
2.11. Drug acts or omission a) Alcoholism Alcoholism caution erasure  
2.12. Patient abuse

 

a) Negligence – causing death or deformity Negligence – causing death or deformity erasure    
b) Negligence – in the giving of prescribed drug treatments

 

Negligence – in the giving of prescribed drug treatments caution erasure  
c) Abuse of patients physically, mentally or sexually Abuse of patients physically erasure    
Abuse of patients mentally Caution erasure  
Abuse of patients sexually erasure    
Violation of patient’s / client’s rights caution erasure  
  d) Failure or refusing to offer assistance to a patient Failure or refusing to offer professional assistance to a patient caution erasure  
Assigning nursing and/or midwifery duties to patients and/or support person(s) who have no ability or knowledge and skill to perform such duties Caution Erasure erasure
2.13. Theft and other dishonesty Acts a) Theft of hospital property Theft of hospital property erasure    
b) Other theft Other theft erasure    
c) Other Dishonesty Acts Offer of and /or acceptance of bribes and other favour caution erasure  
Nepotism: Exerting your influence to favour a category of clients, colleagues, religious or political group censure caution erasure
Corrupt practices by a  nurse and/or midwife  erasure    
Plagiarism – use of another person’s works e.g. GNC documents without giving appropriate credit caution erasure  
Use of one’s professional status for unlawful gain. caution erasure  
Use of one’s professional status to gain sexual advantage over student nurses and/or midwives caution erasure  
Practicing outside the scope of nursing and midwifery  practice censure caution erasure
Examination malpractice as provided for in SI 92, Regulation 4 (4) erasure    
2.14. Proceedings in the courts of Law a) Publish or disclose to unauthorized person information relating to the Council that comes to your knowledge in the course of your duties without the written consent given by or on behalf of the council Publish or disclosure to unauthorized person information relating to the Council that comes to your knowledge in the course of your duties without the written consent given by or on behalf of the Council Erasure    
  b) Proceedings in the courts of Law Being found guilty of Infamous conduct by the proceedings in the court of law Erasure    

 

 

APPEAL

 

All appeals should be to the high Court within thirty (30) days from the date of receipt of the Council’s verdict (disciplinary action).