Is it safe for nurses to blow the whistle?

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Abstract

Anton L (2016) Is it safe for nurses to blow the whistle? Nursing Times; 112: online issue 7, 5–7. Nurses should raise concerns about patient care or safety at the earliest opportunity through internal processes. However, when all else fails, whistleblowing externally may need to be considered in the interests of patients and the public. But how do nurses and the public interpret the precise meaning of whistleblowing? What impact do such decisions have, and are attitudes now changing to support and protect those nurses who are compelled to blow the whistle to protect those in their care? This article explores these questions.

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> Difficulties of deciding whether to raise concerns

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> What “blowing the whistle” really means

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> Support mechanisms that should be in place

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When they see incidences of poor care or patient safety issues, nurses and other health professionals have a duty to raise concerns, but this may present personal risks

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