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Virginia Henderson International Nursing e-Repository > Registry of Nursing Research Conference Abstracts > MNRS - Midwest Nursing Research Society > Ethical dilemmas and moral distress: Nursing Students Experiences

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Type: Presentation
Title: Ethical dilemmas and moral distress: Nursing Students Experiences
Ethical dilemmas and moral distress: Nursing Students Experiences
Conference Sponsor:Midwest Nursing Research Society
Conference Year:2010
Author:Comrie, Rhonda, M.S.N., Ph.D.
P.I. Institution Name:Southern Illinois University
Title:Primary Care and Systems Nursing
Contact Address:Box 1066, AH 3330, Edwardsville, IL, 62026, USA
Contact Telephone:618-650-3935
Co-Authors:R.W. Comrie, Primary Care & Health Systems, SIU Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL;
In daily practice nurses are challenged by complex patient care situations which need to be balanced against ethical issues that arise. When nurses deal with situations during which they are conscious of the morally appropriate action that a patient situation requires, but cannot perform that action because of obstacles in the health care setting, moral distress occurs (Jameton, 1993). While in clinical practice settings, nursing students also experience ethical dilemmas which can lead to moral distress. The purpose of this exploratory study was to identify the types of ethical dilemmas that baccalaureate program students encounter in clinical practice settings and to identify how nursing students experienced moral distress. Both traditional undergraduate and accelerated student cohorts participated in an ethics seminars as part of a required senior level clinical course. Organized by clinical groups, students reported ethical dilemmas that they encountered during the course of clinical practice in their junior and/or senior years. Using an ethical decision-making model, student groups identified and analyzed ethical dilemmas from clinical situations. Each student group mapped out a self-selected ethical dilemma and recorded it on flip-chart paper. As student groups presented very difficult and stressful situations, moral distress was identified among the group members as well as among the rest of the participants. Human subjects' approval was obtained from the University Internal Review Board to perform a content analysis of the written ethical dilemmas. Themes were identified and specific causes for moral distress were analyzed as they were embedded in their stories. Moral distress and moral residue was apparent among several of the dilemmas. To best prepare nurses for the complexities of clinical practice and promote retention, nursing students must be made aware of and learn to analyze situations that result in moral distress.
Repository Posting Date: 26-Oct-2011
Date of Publication: 17-Oct-2011
Sponsors: Midwest Nursing Research Society
Appears in Collections: MNRS - Midwest Nursing Research Society

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