Title : Moral distress in the NICU
Background & significance: The need for an educational session was indicated by the current evidence supporting the idea that term “moral distress” is receiving more and more attention. As nurses are being faced with an increased number of ethical dilemmas in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), moral distress in nursing is more frequently being related to burn out within the profession and job dissatisfaction, which ultimately increases the burden of the current nursing shortage.
Purpose for the session: The intent of the educational session is to increase the awareness of the phenomenon of moral distress and its effects on the nurses in the NICU.
Description of what will be covered: Research evidence in the current literature that supports the idea that moral distress in the NICU has negative effects on the nurses.
Future directions: It is recommended that the focus should be on developing moral competence of nurses in the NICU with the goal of reducing the negative consequences of moral distress. Interventions will be studied, such as end-of-life care mentoring in the NICU along with formal and informal debriefing opportunities after infant deaths to help assist with the development of moral competence in distressing situations.