Comfort and nurses' moral choices.

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, USA.
Journal of Advanced Nursing (Impact Factor: 1.53). 09/1996; 24(2):260-4. DOI:10.1046/j.1365-2648.1996.01985.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Caring has been advocated as integral to nursing ethics, and much theorizing has suggested that it may be a partial or the entire foundation for nursing's ethic. Yet few research studies have examined the practical expression of caring in the clinical setting. The author describes the concept of comfort as an aspect of care experienced by long-term care nurses in their daily practice related to moral choices. The design of the study was descriptive and qualitative. The sample consisted of 15 registered nurses who were participants in the author's previous study of moral certainty and uncertainty. Their responses to interview questions during the previous study suggested the topic for the present study. A semi-structured interview consisting of eight neutral open-ended questions was conducted with each participant. The findings suggest that long-term-care nurses function in the roles of mediator and communicator. In these roles, they try to meet a mental ideal of "good nursing practice'. They use multiple criteria on which to base their moral choices including comfort, their own and their residents. The author examines the providing and feeling of comfort as related to the nurses' moral choices.

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M E Wurzbach