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Lessons from a Hospital Chaplain: Nursing, Moral Injury, and Culture  - CFAR

March 21, 2024
In the article "Lessons from a Hospital Chaplain: Nursing, Moral Injury, and Culture," the experience of ICU nurses and the broader implications of moral injury in healthcare are explored. Moral injury, as defined, occurs when healthcare providers undertake actions, or fail to prevent actions, that conflict with their core values, often leading to significant psychological stress. This concept is highlighted through a narrative involving a hospital chaplain's intervention, allowing a care team to pause and reflect after a patient’s death, emphasizing the importance of acknowledging loss to mitigate burnout. Rabbi Rebecca Kamil’s insights underscore the systemic nature of moral injury, suggesting that solutions require a cultural and organizational shift rather than merely individual coping strategies. The discussion extends to how healthcare systems and culture contribute to or mitigate moral injury, with the call for leadership at all levels to adopt systemic solutions that empower healthcare professionals, thereby addressing the root causes of burnout and moral injury.
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