Archive for the ‘Ethics in Nursing’ Category

Addressing Moral Distress in Nursing

August 25, 2016
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Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner leads a panel discussion at the
Transforming Moral Distress to Moral Resilience Symposium

Nurses at the Journal of Christian Nursing editorial think tank at the 2012 Innovations in Faith-Based Nursing conference at Indiana Wesleyan University didn’t know their ideas would impact the future of healthcare. The idea of addressing ethical concerns of nurses was big at the 2012 meeting. Afterwards, Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, JCN Editor-in-Chief and now, Nurses Christian Fellowship National Director, and Anne Dabrow Woods, Chief Nursing Officer at Wolters Kluwer Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, started meeting with Shawn Kennedy, Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Nursing. The team grew to involve Johns Hopkins University, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, and the American Nurses Association.

August 11-12, 2016 the State of the Science Symposium: Transforming Moral Distress to Moral Resiliency in Nursing was held in Baltimore, Maryland. Ethicists, clinicians, organization representatives and other key stakeholders convened to focus on how to best address moral distress at the individual to system levels. The 46 participants heard from experts on promising practices for dealing with moral distress and building moral resiliency. They then brainstormed to identify essential elements needed for addressing moral distress, and make specific recommendations for practice, education, research, and policy to address moral distress and build moral resilience. The papers and proceedings will be collated into a report and widely disseminated throughout the country.

The program was a four-year collaborative effort of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and Berman Institute of Ethics, the American Journal of Nursing, and the Journal of Christian Nursing, along with the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and the American Nurses Association. Funding support came from Johnson & Johnson, the Heilbrunn Family Foundation, and Nurses Christian Fellowship/USA, with in kind support from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and the AJN.

Learn more about moral distress and moral resiliency in the free article, “Moral Distress: A Catalyst for Building Moral Resilience” in the July issue of AJN by nurse ethicist Cynda Hylton Rushton. Look for a full report of the proceedings in February in AJN, and in April in JCN!

Bioethics and Nursing

May 12, 2016

682015cbhdWhere can nurses and students go to get help in understanding the questions and answers that surround challenging healthcare issues?

We need help to explore pressing contemporary bioethical issues and to see how a biblical, theological view compares with other influential perspectives.

It’s important for us to develop a biblical view of reproductive technologies, stem cell research, genetics, human enhancement, end-of-life issues, and more.

Nurses and students must be equipped with knowledge and strategies to engage with these issues. NCF partners with the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity (CBHD) at their annual summer conference, held at Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL. At the conference, nurses, physicians, other healthcare professionals, ethicists, theologians, and scientists engage with pressing bioethical issues.

InterVarsity alumnus John Kilner, author of Dignity and Destiny: Humanity in the Image of God, directs the graduate degree programs in bioethics at Trinity International University. TIU’s Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity offers valuable resources and other educational opportunities for nurses to invest more deeply in the study of bioethics.

To connect to a host of free bioethics resources, check out the latest issue of TIU’s Bioethics Brief e-letter.

Our hope is that students and nurses will take advantage of these resources and opportunities when encountering the challenging bioethical issues in today’s healthcare arena.

~by Jane Hall, RN, MS
Director, Nurses Christian Fellowship

The Ethics of Informed Consent

May 8, 2015

Informed ConsentTo celebrate Nurses Week and this year’s theme of Ethics in Nursing, NursingCenter.com invited Kathy Schoonover Shoffner, editor of the Journal of Christian Nursing, to write a blog post on the ethics of informed consent. Here is an abridged version.

As nurses, we are typically assigned the task of obtaining and witnessing written consent for healthcare treatment, so it’s important to understand what is involved in informed consent and what nurses can do to improve the process as a collaborative activity.

I’ll never forget admitting a young mother to our busy psychiatric unit after a drug overdose. She was terrified to sign the consent form for admission and treatment, afraid for herself and her child who was put in protective custody.

I repeatedly explained what I knew about her child, treatment plan, consent process, and her options. I knew it was in her best interest to sign but understood it was her decision to be admitted voluntarily or involuntarily. I felt ethically compelled to preserve that choice.

After almost an hour, I stepped out of the room to give her time to settle down and process. Then I updated my supervisor. She hastily went to the patient, stuck the form and a pen in front of her, and said, “You need to sign this NOW!”

My patient complied, tears streaming down her face.

I’ve since thought a lot about informed consent and preserving patient autonomy. In all settings, nurses are on the front lines of assuring patients truly are giving informed consent.

A patient’s informed consent should also be assured when giving spiritual care, though not written. How do we assess for spiritual needs and appropriately respond? What ethical guidelines must be followed when offering spiritual care? A comprehensive article discussing informed, ethical, and non-coercive spiritual care that could be applied to other holistic nursing interventions is, “Spiritual Care: Evangelism at the Bedside?,” by nurse researcher and spiritual care expert, Elizabeth Johnston Taylor. Take a look at this free article and discover principles for ethical nursing interventions.

This Nurses Week, remember that informed consent is a way of nursing each of us needs to live out as we offer our patients ethical practice and quality nursing care!

Read Kathy’s complete blog post and more of the Ethics in Nursing blog series covering advance directives, moral distress, horizontal violence, pain management, elder abuse, and end-of-life issues.