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Unmet need for clinical ethics support services in nurses in clinical settings: Based on focus group interviews

 Sanghee Kim  ;  Minjeong Seo  ;  Doo Ree Kim 
 NURSING ETHICS, Vol.25(4) : 505-519, 2018 
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Adult ; Clinical Competence ; Ethics, Nursing* ; Female ; Focus Groups ; Health Services Needs and Demand* ; Hospital Units ; Humans ; Male ; Nursing Staff, Hospital/psychology* ; Nursing Staff, Hospital/statistics & numerical data ; Qualitative Research ; Social Support*
Content analysis ; clinical ethics support ; ethical competency ; focus group
BACKGROUND: As nurses' ethical competence in their own fields is essential, clinical ethics support services help nurses improve ethical competence.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to identify the unmet needs of ethical support for nurses in clinical settings and explore the differences by nursing units.

RESEARCH DESIGN: Focus group interview design was applied. Participants and research context: Data were collected via four rounds of focus group interviews with 37 nurses at intensive care units, medical-surgical units, emergency departments and oncology units. Major questions were as follows: 'What is nurses' experience of ethical difficulties while working as a clinical nurse?' and 'What kinds of clinical ethics support services do nurses require in different clinical settings?' Inductive content analysis was performed to analyse the data. Ethical considerations: Ethical approval was obtained from the institutional review of board at the College of Nursing.

FINDINGS: Five categories (with 14 subcategories) were identified: difficulty providing evidence-based care, lack of support in maintaining patients' and family members' dignity, insufficient education regarding clinical ethics, loss of professional self-esteem and expectations concerning organizational support. Nurses' desire for ethical support varied according to department.

CONCLUSION: Nurses face both practical and existential ethical issues that require rapid solution each day. There is a need for ethical counselling to prevent compassion fatigue and identify means via which nurses reflect on their daily lives in their own fields. In-house training should be provided for each unit, to improve ethical competence and facilitate the development of pragmatic, sensible solutions.
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3. College of Nursing (간호대학) > Dept. of Nursing (간호학과) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Sanghee(김상희) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9806-2757
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