Oncology Nursing Case Study

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Moral distress occurs is defined by Jameton as, occurring when one knows the right thing to do, but institutional constraints make it nearly impossible to pursue the right course of action. Oncology nurses find themselves struggling with moral distress in an oncology unit, which is where cancer patients are cared for and educated by the nurse. An oncology nurse suffers moral distress when they know the right course of action, but feel powerless to act out the choice because of the institution or its policies, lack of resources, lack of support, or legal limits. Oncology nurses provide care over an extended period of time and often administer aggressive treatments. Oncology nurses witness the implications of life-prolonging interventions that…show more content…
There are things that a leader or manger can do to help with the burden of moral distress. Leaders should use a democratic approach, encouraging oncology nurses to talk about their moral distress and try to come to a solution because if it is not solved it can lead to lower quality of care and decreased patient satisfaction. An example of decreased quality care is a nurse withdrawing from the patient and thus creating a barrier in the communication between the patient and oncology nurse. By having a democratic leader, the oncology nurse is more likely not fear being punished or alienated for questioning interventions done. The oncology nurse feels that they have support and has a say in the decision of the intervention. A manager in an oncology unit can create a system of rotation where nurses are rotated in difficult assignment, thus decreasing the burden of moral distress. Leaders or experienced nurses should serve as role models to novice nurses and encourage them to speak out if any sort of moral distress affects them. Leaders can help out their oncology nurses with moral distress by creating education plans in where nurse are taught how to deal with ethics, learn coping strategies, and having them receive the adequate training. Moral distress in oncology unit affects nurses a lot and more studies should be done to consider how to prevent moral distress in an oncology
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