Critical care nurses, ethical decision-making and stress

Authors


Judith A. Erlen, School of Nursing, University of pittsburgh 440 Victoria Building. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. This study was supported with funds made available through the Center for Research in Critical Care Nursing, funded by the National Center for Research in Critical Care Nursing, funded by the National Center for Nursing Research (#1 P20 NR02334), J Dunbar-Jacob PhD RN FAAN, Principal Investigator.

Abstract

Considerable attention has focused on describing ethical issues that critical care nurses face in their practice; however, less attention has been directed at describing the process of ethical decision-making. Systematic research linking aspects of ethical-decision making and stress is lacking. This cross-sectional study examines the relationship between selected aspects of ethical decision-making, stress and selected nurse characteristics. Sixty-one critical care nurses completed the Nurse's Ethical Decision Making—ICU Questionnaire and the Health Professions Stress Inventory. Findings revealed that nurses who selected the patient advocacy model had significantly higher nurse autonomy scores, that perceived anxiety had a negative association with nurse autonomy, and that workplace restrictions and stress were related.

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