Guilt and Nursing Practice: Implications for Nurse Education and the Climate of Care
Pask, Elizabeth J.
Nursing Ethics. 1994 Jun; 1(2): 80-85.
This paper considers the influence of guilt within nursing practice. The author draws on her experience as a nurse tutor to show how guilt has implications for the well-being of both nurses and patients. It is suggested that nurses' experience of guilt, and the fear that they may be considered guilty, are indicative of a moral climate that rests predominantly upon rules. While rules fulfil a requirement for professional and organizational accountability, they need not be perceived as statements about the trustworthiness of nurses, or as a disciplinary threat. Nurses need to feel trusted to bring judgement to their practice.
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