Moral distress in healthcare assistants: an overview with recommendations
Rodger, D (2018). Moral distress in healthcare assistants: an overview with recommendations. Nursing Ethics.
Moral distress can be broadly described as the psychological distress that can develop in response to a morally challenging event. In the context of healthcare, its effects are well documented in the nursing profession, but there is a paucity of research exploring its relevance to healthcare assistants. Here we draw together what limited research exists to argue that healthcare assistants are also likely to experience moral distress in certain contexts. We further strengthen our case by identifying certain factors that may be particularly applicable to HCAs, powerlessness and a lack of ethical knowledge, and demonstrate that these factors contribute to moral distress. Finally, we recommend preventative measures, including regular reflective debriefing sessions involving HCAs, nurses and other clinicians, joint workplace ethical training, and modifications to the Care Certificate. Implementation of these measures should be monitored carefully and the results published to augment our existing knowledge of moral distress in HCAs.
|Keywords||Moral Distress; Ethics Education; Moral Events; Moral Sensitivity; Psychological Distress; Healthcare Assistants; 2201 Applied Ethics; 1110 Nursing; Applied Ethics|
|24 Aug 2018|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||09 Aug 2018|
|Accepted||24 Jun 2018|
|Accepted author manuscript|
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