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Nurses Must Have Moral Courage

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, December 22nd, 2015

“Moral courage is the ability to overcome your fear and stand up for your core values and your ethical obligations as a nurse,” said Vicki Lachman, PhD, APRN, MBE, FAAN, a member of the American Nurses Association Center for Ethics and Human Rights Advisory Board. Understanding of the ANA’s Code of Ethics is an important first step.

nurse courageLachman described five values common to moral courage. Honesty, respect, responsibility, fairness and compassion are universal traits held by morally courageous individuals. This includes respect of oneself as well; not allowing another person to treat you disrespectfully.

It’s important to reflect on one’s own personal and professional values to fulfill our moral obligations to do the right thing for those we serve. This means speaking up when an unethical situation occurs that could jeopardize patient safety.

This isn’t easy. Nurses might endure adversity when they confront and address unethical behavior. Lachman advises nurses to learn self-calming techniques and positive affirmations. Tell yourself, ‘I can manage this.’”

To learn positive affirmations and relaxation techniques that help manage the day-to-day stress of nursing, visit SelfCare for HealthCare.

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