Moral Distress and You: Supporting Ethical Practice and Moral Resilience in Nursing
This YOU! series publication provides hands-on guidance and tools needed to recognize and effectively address situations that create moral distress.
Moral distress among nurses is often the result of knowing the right course to follow, but not being able to act due to institutional constraints. The frequency and intensity of moral distress for nurses can vary based on many factors, including the practice setting and the nurse’s perception of the ethical climate (Pauly, Varcoe, Storch & Newton, 2009).
As a nurse, you must know how to recognize and effectively address situations that create moral distress. Arming yourself with the knowledge, skills and tools to effectively support moral environment and resilience can help you overcome issues of moral distress and enable you to provide better patient care.
Moral Distress and You, the latest YOU! series publication, provides hands-on guidance and tools needed to do just that, including:
- Categorizing the moral issues for better understanding of the ethical concerns.
- Preventing incidents by helping to recognize the consequences of moral distress for you, your team and your patient.
- Identifying the key factors that contribute to moral distress.
- Building the necessary capacities to deal with moral distress.
- Learning how to utilize the Moral Distress Thermometer to track and assess moral distress.
- And much more.
Nurses no longer need to adopt the pervasive narrative of disempowerment, despair and fear that surrounds morally distressing situations. Your experience with moral distress as a nurse is not a sign of failure but rather a signal of your commitments to your patients and the values of your profession.
This booklet is an excellent resource to help you face the ethical challenges of moral distress. Order your copy today.
Dr. Cynda H. Rushton
PhD, RN, FAAN
Dr. Rushton is the Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics and holds a joint appointment at The Johns Hopkins University Berman Institute of Bioethics and School of Nursing with an appointment in the School of Medicine (Department of Pediatrics). She is co-chair of The Johns Hopkins Hospital Ethics Consultation Service. Her scholarship focuses on moral distress, palliative care, caregiver suffering, and conceptual foundations of integrity, respect, trust and compassion.
Melissa J. Kurtz
MSN, MA, RN
Ms. Kurtz is a practicing nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit and a doctoral student at The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, where her scholarship focuses on the decision-making processes of parents of children with critical illnesses. She is particularly interested in exploring how parents’ spiritual and/or religious beliefs impact their functioning in the health care environment. Ms. Kurtz completed a two-year bioethics fellowship at the Montefiore-Einstein Center for Bioethics in 2013.
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