N108: Transition to the Registered Professional Nurse Role Study Guide Value characteristics include the following: • Human dignity: Respect for the worth and value of individuals and populations; can be used as a moral concept or as a legal term. • Loyalty: The act of binding yourself, intellectually or emotionally, to a course of action. • Fidelity: Refers to the obligation to be faithful to the agreements, commitments, and responsibilities that one has made to oneself and others, both implicitly and explicitly. Questions to ask in assessing values: • How would you describe your current health status? • What are your plans for the future? • What are your hopes for the future? • What do you fear? • What is most important in your life? • How would you improve your life? • What might make your life not worth living? • If you knew you were dying, what would be most important to you? • Where would you want to die? • How do you feel about life-sustaining procedures? • How important is your work to you? • How important are your family and friends to you? • How do you make decisions about your life? • What is your religion? • How do you make decisions about healthcare? • How does your religion affect your beliefs about death and illness? • Who would you want to make decisions for you if you were incapacitated? • Are your family, friends, and practitioner aware of your values? • Have you made an advance directive? • What would you do if you won the lottery? In the nursing profession making ethical decisions is based on a scientific method, including gathering data, analyzing the data, formulating a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis, and evaluating the results and the process. Unlike scientific research, ethical decisions in the nursing profession cannot be tested or evaluated, nor can one go back and make a different decision, for example, withdrawing life support.