The characteristics of ethical problems experienced by ward nurses in nursing practice, their experiences and responses to these problems, and the associated underlying factors
- MIZUSAWA Hisae
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The purpose of this study is to clarify the characteristics of ethical problems experienced by ward nurses in nursing practice, their experiences and responses to these problems, and associated underlying factors. In this study, a self-administered questionnaire survey was issued to 1,746 ward nurses in October and November 2007 in Japan. Responses were obtained from 1,144 ward nurses (recovery rate: 65.5%). The results show that they often experienced ethical problems one to three times a month. The average resolution rate of the ethical problems reported by them was low at 40%. The most frequent problems they experienced were "Use / nonuse of physical / chemical restraints", "Staffing patterns that limit patient access to nursing care", and "Conflict in nurse / doctor relationships (or other professional relationships)", but most of the problems were not solved. Variables such as the nurses' sex, size of institutions, wards the nurses worked on, and chances for the nurses to study ethical problems were indicated as the associated underlying factors which affect both experiences of ethical problems and the resolution rate of ethical problems. The occurrence rate of experiencing problems was correlated with moral sensitivity to the associated underlying factors. This study suggests that it is necessary for nurses to have opportunities to study ethics for nursing in order to develop greater ability to solve the ethical problems and improve organizational systems in the hospitals.
Bioethics 19 (1), 87-97, 2009
Japan Association for Bioethics