NAWCO® Code of Ethics

Preamble

The Code of Ethics of the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy® serves as a guide of conduct for all WCC®, DWC®, OMS, NWCC, and LLE® practitioners. Their fundamental objectives are to enhance overall quality of life, dignity, and well-being of every individual needing skin and wound management services, and the treatment of wounds based upon each individual assessment.

WCC®, DWC®, OMS, NWCC, and LLE® practitioners have an obligation to act in ways that will merit the trust, confidence, and respect of healthcare professionals and the general public. Therefore, WCC®, DWC®, OMS, NWCC, and LLE® practitioners should embrace an exemplary system of professional values and ethics.

Ethical Responsibilities

“As a WCC®, DWC®, OMS, NWCC, and LLE®,  practitioner, I  shall, within the scope of my authority”:

  • Hold the safety and welfare of patients as my highest goal.
  • Promote, advocate for and strive to protect the health, safety and rights of the patients in my care.
  • Perform my work with honesty, diligence and responsibility.
  • Execute my work according to scientific standards of objectivity, accuracy and integrity.
  • Treat each patient in a caring and respectful fashion, mindful of individual differences and cultural and ethnic diversity.
  • Protect the confidentiality of all information obtained in the course of professional service.
  • Engage only in those services for which I have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience.
  • Refer patients to other professionals when specialized knowledge or expertise is needed to serve patients fully or the patient is not effecting reasonable progress with healing.
  • Participate on an interdisciplinary care team and contribute to decisions that affect the well-being of patients by drawing on my knowledge, values and experiences.
  • Advocate to the public and health care professionals, the importance of risk assessment and prevention of alterations in skin integrity.
  • Continue to advance my knowledge and understanding of current and emerging wound care practices through education and training.
  • Treat colleagues with respect and represent their qualifications, views and obligations accurately and fairly.
  • Respect patients rights to treatment with informed and voluntary consent.
  • Respect patients rights to refuse, modify or terminate treatment regardless of prior consent.
  • Avoid any interest, activity or influence that might be in conflict with my obligation to act in the best interests of patients or the profession.
  • Refuse any gifts or benefits that are intended to influence a referral, decision or treatment and are purely for personal gain and not for the good of the patient.
  • Contribute time and professional expertise to activities that promote skin, wound and/or ostomy management education to other healthcare professionals and consumers. These activities may include teaching, research, consultation, service, legislative testimony, presentations to the community and participation in professional organizations.
  • Collaborate with other health care professionals and the public in promoting community, national and international efforts to meet needs of wound care and/or ostomy patients.