Ethics are also different from values as values refer to what is good and desirable, while ethics are more concerned with how to act. In the Helping Relationship, Brammer (2003, p. 153) identifies a number of values that contribute to ethical conduct,
(1) Respect for authority, (2) an obligation not to harm others intentionally, (3) the attempt to prevent harm from coming to others, (4) justice, defined as equal distribution of burdens and benefits (but not defined as revenge), (5) fidelity or trustworthy relationships, and (6) truthfulness.
While these values are important foundational elements in develop professional ethics, for the helping professional ethical standards should be even more well-defined, so as to be adhered. This essay explores a number of essential ethical standards and demonstrates why they must be adhered by to by helping professionals.
While when most people consider ethics they immediately think about reprehensible behavior, it’s important to realize that ethical considerations extend to the way that the helper approaches their job. One is familiar with the phrase ‘worth ethic’ and this most definitely applies to the professional helper. When contemplating the issue of helper self-care and researching Brammer’s comments on the subject, I have identified a number of important considerations that should be adhered to as a helping professional. In situations such as nursing or teaching, perhaps the issue of physical exhaustion is more relevant than the typical counseling professional. Particularly among the more ambitious helping professionals is the issue of physical exhaustion a highly pertinent ethical standard. In many helping situations the chance that through an over-burdening workload the helper is not functioning at complete capacity is possible. In instances where the position requires high levels of alertness it’s necessary for the helper to alert superiors of their mental state, and to consciously