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7 Tips for Addressing Moral Injury in Nurses

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M
oral injury has been described as a “deep soul wound” that occurs when a person feels they must take actions, or witness actions, that violate their deeply held moral beliefs. Nurses have an inherent calling to care for others, and may experience moral injury when they are unable to ensure that patients receive the care they need or when they feel their teams are not meeting high standards of care. Here are tips that can help.
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Start the Conversation
Introduce the concept of moral injury to your team so that it can become a lens through which nurses think about their own experiences.
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Make Psychological Safety a Priority
Exploring moral injury entails personal vulnerability. Make sure nurses feel supported and respected.
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Build Relationship-Focused Leadership Skills
Nurses feel a stronger sense of professional well-being when they see their leaders as empathetic, relationship-focused, and empowering.
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Empower Nurses To Lead Change
Ask your nurses to identify barriers to providing high-quality care and then design and test solutions.
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Promote Communication Across Your Organization
Adopt a shared governance model in which nurses have input on organizational policies that affect patient care.
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Establish Meaningful Recognition Programs
Rituals of recognition support nurses who are making tremendous efforts to honor their calling to provide the best possible care to their patients.
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Foster Career Development
By creating a personal career path, nurses renew their commitment to their calling and discover new capabilities for creating innovative change in their workplace.
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