Summary of “What Is Moral Distress?” by Rash and Vo

Topic: Healthcare Research
Words: 520 Pages: 2


Overcoming challenges in nursing practice is associated with frequent stress and psychological pressure, which explains the need to assess the phenomenon of moral distress and its impacts. This paper is a summary of the article “What Is Moral Distress?” by Rash and Vo (2021). The content of this study includes topical considerations that may be useful for future nursing practice as valuable recommendations for avoiding negative psychological conditions.

Assigned Article Summary

The article in question includes several subtopics relating to moral distress. Along with information about the causes of this condition, the corresponding manifestations are given. According to Rash and Vo (2021), “moral distress can be noted in several ways, such as affective signs of anger, frustration, or anxiety” (p. 19). In addition to behavioral factors, physical symptoms are also listed, including fatigue, poor sleep, and rapid pulse.

The manifestations of moral distress are also evaluated from the perspective of potentially effective algorithms for overcoming them. As Rash and Vo (2021) note, this condition is difficult to overcome on one’s own without proper knowledge of mitigation methods and useful tools for this work. However, a clarification is offered that moral distress is addressed primarily at the individual level, and independent analysis of a personal state is an integral factor in overcoming the issue. At the same time, the example with a nursing student shows that the involvement of third parties can help resolve negative situations if they are competently assessed. Convenient relaxation practices, open dialogue with stakeholders, and handy stress reduction tools are potentially powerful techniques for nurses to deal with moral distress successfully.

Impact of Assigned Article Content on Future Practice

Learning from the article under consideration may positively impact my future professional nursing practice. Firstly, since the relevant causes of moral distress are given, I will be able to control my psychological state to prevent the negative impact of specific factors, for instance, conflict in the team. Secondly, by having an understanding of the techniques for overcoming the problem, I will be able to effectively use the available resources to solve the issue. Thirdly, by following the discussed approaches to improving the psychological state, I will be able to work more efficiently and productively, which, in turn, will have a positive effect on patient outcomes. Finally, I will manage to act as a consultant to my colleagues and encourage open communication within the team, which is a potentially effective strategy for mitigating moral distress among employees. These positive implications are valuable perspectives for my future nursing practice.


The analysis of the factors associated with moral distress among the nursing staff and the ways of overcoming it are the key points of the analyzed article. The causes of the problem are described from the perspective of various negative drivers, and much attention is paid to individual work. Engaging third parties is acceptable for competent assistance and support. The findings of the article may be valuable for professional nursing practice since relevant steps are listed to take in the case of manifestations of moral distress. This psychological issue is surmountable if adequate techniques are applied as mitigation tools.


Rash, S., & Vo, E. (2021). What is moral distress? Nursing2021, 51(11), 19-21. Web.

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