Moral Distress among Jordanian Critical Care Nurse and their Perception of Hospital Ethical Climate

Rabia Allari, Fathieh Abu-Moghli


Moral distress is associated with perceptions of ethical climate, which has implications for nursing practice and patient outcomes. The purpose of this study was to describe nurses’ level of moral distress, their perception of the hospital ethical climate, and the relationship between their level of moral distress, and their perception of ethical climate and selected demographic variables. Moral Distress Scale, Hospital Ethical Climate Scale and a demographic data form were administered to a random sample of 150 critical care staff nurses at 12 hospitals in Jordan. As a result the registered nurses in critical care units reported moderate level of moral distress. No significant correlation was indicated between moral distress intensity and frequency and nurses' perception of hospital ethical climate except the mild negative correlation between moral distress frequency and the relationship with the physicians.

In conclusion moral distress is a common encounter for nurses regardless of age, gender, work experience, or the years of experience though they are not familiar with the term which implies that solutions to relieve their distress are unexplored. There is a pressing need for conceptual work to generate a more robust understanding of moral distress in nursing practice and the relationship between moral distress, ethical climate, decisions to leave positions or nursing, and the impact on patient care.

Key words: Moral distress, hospital ethical climate, Nursing ethics, Ethical dilemma, critical care unit.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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