As a father and husband, the topic of ethics and morals has a deeper meaning for me. I need to make choices that will allow me to sleep at night. I can’t afford to be passive in my profession because I have multiple sets of eyes watching my every move. The best way to influence the future is through decisions that I am making today. My wife may not like that I am posting this picture, but it’s done with love so that should override all.
Enjoy today’s article.
Moral Distress is knowing the right thing to do but being unable to do them because of internal and external constraints.
Flood gates are opening now. This profession is full of good people that want to do what is right, but are torn between collecting a paycheck or doing what is right for the patients. This is a huge deal! I hear from therapists all over the country that after long conversations just shrug their shoulders and say, “what can you do?”
What you can do is stand up for what is right. In print, it doesn’t come across as well, but either stand up for what you believe in or bend over and take it. If you chose to bend over, just know that you have a choice! You are not forced to make the decisions that you are making! There are other places that offer a paycheck!
I walked out on a job at lunch, albeit not the most professional thing to do but the right thing for me, because I could never wrap myself around to performing the acts that the corporation wanted me to perform.
The meek shall inherit the land…don’t take this literally. Stand up for what is right for the patients! Stand up for what is right for the patients! Stand up for what is right for the patients!
The profession of physical therapy has the potential to be a great career choice, but unfortunately so many are experiencing burnout, helplessness, and exhaustion because of this moral distress. Can we stop doing this to ourselves?
33% of nurses will consider leaving their profession because of moral distress
I’ve already read about PT’s leaving the profession and spoke with PT’s that left because of this issue. I don’t feel bad for them. They stood up and walked out. That was right for them. I feel sorry for the people that don’t have the ability or internal strength to make that decision, but instead struggle in silence.
“When students encounter microethical dilemmas, the risk for moral distress is present because they are confronted with making a decision between two choices: speak up and advocate for quality patient care or remain quiet and permit the substandard practice to occur.”
I left this in as a quote because it goes well beyond schooling. If you are a member of the public and reading this…I apologize for what I will say. If you are in healthcare, you already know this. Shady stuff is happening in healthcare. People are asked to do things that aren’t ethical.
I got tired of copying and pasting, but I could do this all day
Those choices never go away. If anything, the chasm between the choices grows with each decision made. For instance, standing up for one thing, in my opinion, will allow you to find your voice and draw your line in the sand. It will be easier to draw that line and that line will become deeper each time it is drawn. You learn more about yourself from standing up, which makes your ethical radar stronger over time. It will become more apparent when your ethical button gets pushed and again you will have to make a decision. Long story short, it never gets easier.
Top two reasons for having ethical dilemmas among nursing students was 1. I wasn’t in charge and 2. I didn’t have enough information
Unless you are the founder or an executive, I got news for you YOU AIN’T IN CHARGE! This feeling of being subordinate never goes away until you reach the top of the mountain and there is only so much room at the top.
I get that some people don’t want to make decisions because they feel that they don’t have enough information, but there is a solution to that…go get the information needed in order to make a decision.
It’s not hard people…it takes a little more work. As a PT, we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to enter this profession. We study for 7 years to become doctors. No one is afraid of work. We may be afraid of learning the information because then it will force us to make a decision that makes us uncomfortable.
It’s my opinion, based on multiple conversations with other professionals, that there are a lot of PT’s that are comfortable. Unfortunately, those that are comfortable also have a lot to complain about.
Thanks for reading. I appreciate that you took time out of your day to read my rants and hear my thoughts.
Excerpts for this blog were taken from:
Krautsched L, DeMeester DA, Orton V et al. Moral distress and Associated Factors Among Baccalaureate Nursing Students: A Multisite Descriptive Study. Nursing Education Perspectives. 2017;38(6):313-319.