This video on YouTube was helpful in explaining the differences between morals and ethics. Also, how ethics play such a tremendous role in nursing, especially in this day and age. The most important information extracted from this exercise is how nurses are often placed in situations where they need to strictly adhere to an ethical code in order to remain as professional as possible and provide the best possible care for their patients. Implemented this ethical code, however, can at times create moral distress for nurses.

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What I mean by moral distress is when there is a conflict between what a nurse feels he or she should do internally, based on their own thought processes, feelings and emotions, versus what the ethical code outlines the fashion they should behave in. This can create considerable conflict. For example, a nurse is working in the emergency room and sees one her co-workers with a considerably high case load. As her patients are all cared for appropriately, she offers to lend a hand, but her colleague refuses by saying she is fine. So should this nurse go report the situation to her manager in order to provide her patients with the best possible care or should she remain silent so as not to cause a situation with her colleague?

This is only one example of an extremely important decision nurses have to make every day. Certainly the ethical code is essential in a plethora of ways. Honestly, I realized this was key component to becoming a successful nurse, but I don’t think I actually knew the depth of how ethics play such a paramount role. It is an immense responsibility for a nurse is often in situations where they have a patient’s life in their hands and if they make the wrong choice, there could be a tremendously awful result.