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Moral injury for nurses: what is it and how does it affect staff?

When nurses find themselves forced to make care decisions that go against their values, this conflict of conscience takes an emotional toll

When nurses find themselves forced to make care decisions that go against their values, this conflict of conscience takes an emotional toll

What is moral injury and why have I only recently heard of it?

The concepts of moral injury and moral distress came to the fore in nursing during the COVID-19 pandemic when, says mental health nurse researcher Emily Wood , healthcare professionals were being placed in difficult circumstances. They were, for example, having to make decisions about which of the sickest patients could be admitted to a limited number of intensive care beds.

‘The number of ill people shot through the roof and people were having to make decisions and take actions they weren’t

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