Nurses and other professional caregivers are increasingly recognising the issue of moral distress and the deleterious effect it may have on professional work life, staff recruitment and staff retention. Although the nursing literature has begun to address the issue of moral distress and how to respond to it, much of this literature has typically focused on high acuity areas, such as intensive care nursing. However, with an ageing population and increasing demand for resources and services to meet the needs of older people, it is likely that nurses in long‐term care are going to be increasingly affected by moral distress in their work. This paper briefly reviews the literature pertaining to the concept of moral distress, explores the causes and effects of moral distress within the nursing profession and argues that many nurses and other healthcare professionals working with older persons may need to become increasingly proactive to safeguard against the possibility of moral distress.
Quality in Ageing and Older Adults – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2008
Keywords: Moral distress; Long‐term care; Ethics; Role conflict; Personnel turnover; Job satisfaction
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