Unity of knowing and action- exploring moral courage in nursing practice
Hu li za zhi The journal of nursing 2011 Feb; 58(1): 102-7
Ethics is a core value of nursing, and hospital nurses will try, as much as possible, to be "good" in terms of established nursing ethics and values. Nurses learn the value of providing "patient centered care" in school and try to establish relationships of trust with their patients in clinical settings. However, the realities of working in the hospital teaches nurses that actual situations are complex to the point of inducing "ethical dilemmas" and "moral distress" because of the many factors that affect medical decisions regarding individual patients. If nurses could follow their conscience in managing difficult ethical situations with moral courage, they would promote the value of "good nurse" which is innate in both nurses and society. This article defines the parameters of conscience and moral courage, the conditions such should exhibit, strategies nurses should consider, and appropriate nursing training methods. The authors hope to help foster the development of moral courage and create positive practice environments for nursing staff.
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