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Ethical Conflicts Reported by Certified Registered Rehabilitation Nurses

Authors

  • Barbara K. Redman PhD RN FAAN,

    Corresponding author
      University of Connecticut School of Nursing, 231 Glenbrook Road, U-26, Room 113, Storrs, CT 06269-2026
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    • Barbara Redman is a dean and professor at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing in Storrs, CT.

  • Sara T. Fry PhD RN FAAN

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    • Sara T. Fry is the Henry R. Luce professor of nursing ethics at Boston College School of Nursing in Chestnut Hill, MA.


University of Connecticut School of Nursing, 231 Glenbrook Road, U-26, Room 113, Storrs, CT 06269-2026

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify the types of ethical conflict reported by certified registered rehabilitation nurses (CRRNs) and their relationship to demographic, educational, and practice-setting variables. Ethical conflicts expressed by CRRNs in active practice in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia were analyzed according to four themes. Disagreements about medical or institutional practice, patients' rights, and payment issues were the most frequent practice contexts for ethical conflicts, reflecting these nurses' considerable underlying concerns about resource allocation in rehabilitation practice. Participants believed that 60% of the ethical conflicts were resolved, frequently through discussions with other team members and patients' family members. Ethics committees and consultants were used infrequently. There were no statistically significant relationships between the kinds of conflicts or their resolution and the participants' demographic, educational, and practice-setting variables.

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