This critical writing analyzes the article, “Gender and the experience of moral distress in critical care nurses,” whose author is O’Connell (2015). The author conducted the quantitative research to create understanding of moral distress in intensive care nurses and how it influences male and female nurses differently. This critique offers analysis of the weaknesses and strengths of the entire article.
The author employed a relatively long title, which suitably expressed the purpose of the study. The introduction strongly draws the curiosity of the reader through the articulation that nurses experience moral distress in a different way dependent on different aspects, for instance, gender, race, or the environment where they operate. The issues recognized as aspects or conditions that result in moral distress in nurses encompass end-of-life care, ineptitude of caregivers, insufficient communication, and observing the suffering of patients in pain (O’Connell, 2015). Moreover, moral distress has been linked to the style of leadership and ethical ambiance and has been identified to affect job satisfaction and staff turnover, intention to depart their present position, and grievous physical and emotional signs unconstructively, encompassing abandonment of patients, depression, and drug abuse.
Statement of Purpose
The article does not contain an evident statement of purpose since it appears that the author chose to combine it with the introduction. After reading the introduction, the reader grasps the intended statement of purpose as understanding gender differences with respect to the influence of moral distress in intensive care nurses (O’Connell, 2015). The readers only realize the assertions upon which the author supports the statement of purpose through extensively understanding the introduction. In this regard, the article employs a poor approach to articulating the statement of purpose as it is supposed to be separate and clear.
The article employs one research question. The question chosen is poor as it fails to include addressing moral distress to enhance the quality of care. Moreover, the author employs a misguided heading as instead of the research question, the heading applied is “objective,” and incorporates the hypothesis, which ought to be in a separate section.
Though the article has a long introduction and an additional background section, it does not have a literature review part. On this note, one is forced to suppose that the background section represents the review of the literature section. Though the background section is long and comprehensive enough to represent the literature review, it makes no justification for the lack of a literature review section as it ought to be an evident and unmistakable section. As a way of representing the literature review section excellently, the background outstandingly documents different studies that have been carried out in this field, which acts as a way of sourcing knowledge for greater understanding and handling of the problem under consideration.
The article employs a quantitative and descriptive design where participants were engaged through an Internet nursing society (O’Connell, 2015). To ensure that only the most suitable nurses took part, the researcher employed an inclusion criterion, which selected the nurses that were presently employed permanently as registered nurses in an adult intensive care unit, with at least one year of intensive care practice.
Presentation and Analysis of Data
The study used a Moral Distress Scale-Revised (MDS-R), which was a questionnaire with twenty-one items rated with regard to incidence and strength on a five-point scale. Out of the 93 nurses invited to participate, sixty-two were excluded because of either not meeting the established criterion or unfinished surveys. This left just 31 nurses to take part in the study, which represented a thirty-three percent response rate; it included twenty-four female and seven male nurses (O’Connell, 2015). The used sample was small and cannot result in a generalizable outcome. Moreover, the sample was uneven with an overrepresentation of female nurses, which could affect the accuracy of the study. Female nurses reported a higher average moral distress score as compared to their male counterparts with end-of-life concerns being the most distressful.
Discussion and Conclusion
Moral distress represents a permeating and detrimental occurrence in nursing that has serious effects on nurses, patients, health institutions, and the quality of care (O’Connell, 2015). Though it might not be eliminated, its foundations and impacts could be assuaged. Although this study does not offer a suitable solution for the alleviation of the effects of moral distress, it offers excellent recommendations for future studies. For instance, with nurses progressively handling a diverse population, future studies should focus on the aspects that influence moral distress in nurses and seek to decrease biases that occurred in previous nursing education, performance, and studies.
The contributions of the article are inconsequential regarding the enlightenment of the means of alleviating the effects on moral distress. This signifies that although it is significant to realize the impact of moral distress in nurses, since when not addressed it might negatively affect the quality of care; the article is nonessential because it does not present any generalizable resolutions. Hence, instead of just dwelling on the problem, the author would as well have sought the solution to enhance the significance of the article.
O’Connell, C. B. (2015). Gender and the experience of moral distress in critical care nurses. Nursing ethics, 22(1), 32-42.