Case Analysis : Moral Distress Essay

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Case Narrative
“Moral distress has been defined as physical and/or emotional suffering that is experienced when internal or external constraints prevent a person from taking the action that one believes is right” (LaSala, 2010). When staff members encounter an ethical dilemma, it can cause considerable moral distress when providing care to their patients (LaSala, 2010). When nurses can practice using moral courage in decision making they are using beneficence by doing good for others (LaSala, 2010). In addition, they also act on their own values and standards, even when there is personal risk (LaSala, 2010). Moral distress is also a sign that ethical dilemmas are not a focus of attention and can eventually lead nurses to leave their jobs and nursing profession (Epstein & Delgado, 2012).
One way healthcare workers can encounter moral distress, is when they face violence in the workplace, which can come from coworkers or patients. Violence in the United States, particularly in the workplace, has been publicized frequently and has given the U.S. a less than stellar reputation as being a safe place to work (Nelson, 2014). Physical violence against healthcare workers has, in fact, become a prevalent issue (Nelson, 2014) Hospitals were once thought of as a safe haven, but are now seeing an increase in violent crimes such as assault, rape and homicides (Longo, 2016). As many as 30 states in the U.S. has varying laws that protect health care workers from violence (American Nurses…

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