It doesn’t make the news as one of the “Top 10” most stressful jobs, and yet research consistently shows just how stressful the profession of nursing really is. So much so that 24 percent of ICU nurses and 14 percent of general nurses have shown symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
So what’s the cause?
Cynda Rushton, PhD, RN, FAAN, Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics, says it stems from nurses knowing what they should be doing for their patients but not being able to act on it. It’s the idea of “moral distress.” It emerges when a nurse sees a patient suffering from a treatment, but doesn’t believe that the treatment will actually give any medical benefit.
Having long studied this topic of moral distress and the ethics of nursing, Rushton has recently launched a program called the “Mindful Ethical Practice and Resiliency Academy” to better equip nurses to communicate with their colleagues when they feel a treatment is compromising the integrity of a patient or their responsibility as a nurse.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DANIELLE KRESS
As Media Relations Coordinator/Writer, Danielle connects media with the faculty and students of the school of nursing. She writes press releases, magazine articles, blog posts, and more.