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Making ethical decisions in the face of uncertainty

The Handoff

Making ethical decisions in the face of uncertainty

When it comes to ethics in nursing, easy answers are hard to come by. Bioethicist says that the questions she helps nurses tackle are rarely a case of “wrong vs.…
August 31, 2020
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Making ethical decisions in the face of uncertainty

When it comes to ethics in nursing, easy answers are hard to come by. ANA’s Bioethicist Liz Stokes says that the questions she helps nurses tackle are rarely a case of “wrong vs. right,” but rather “right vs. right,” and her job is to help ANA’s members think through those issues in a constructive and ethical way. Between COVID-19 and increasing urgency on conversations around health equity, Liz is fielding more ethical questions than ever these days, and in this episode of The Handoff, she speaks with Dan about what she’s hearing. 

Liz shares insights into the kinds of ethical dilemmas she’s seeing nurses struggle with as a result of COVID-19 and how they are weighing their professional obligations to deliver care against a lack of PPE and other resources. She recommends several resources for nurses working on the frontlines of the pandemic. 

Liz and Dan also discuss the intersection of racial justice and the nursing profession, and the tools for nurses who want to avoid health disparities in their own organizations. One surprising insight? While we often talk about the intersection of racism and healthcare as it relates to patients, Liz says she is often asked by ANA members about the racism that they experience from their patients. 

You can reach Liz at ethics(at)ana(dot)org

Links to recommended reading: 

https://asbh.org/

https://www.healthynursehealthynation.org/ 

https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/work-environment/health-safety/disaster-preparedness/coronavirus/what-you-need-to-know/the-well-being-initiative/

https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/nursing-excellence/ethics/code-of-ethics-for-nurses/

https://www.trustedhealth.com/mental-health 

https://www.trustedhealth.com/blog/the-burden-of-caring-the-moral-injury-of-covid-19 

The full transcript for this episode can be found here: www.trustedhealth.com/the-handoff-podcast/liz-stokes

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