Nurses' Workplace Distress and Ethical Dilemmas in Tanzanian Health Care

Nursing Ethics 15 (4):478-491 (2008)
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The aim of this study was to describe Tanzanian nurses' meaning of and experiences with ethical dilemmas and workplace distress in different care settings. An open question guide was used and the study focused on the answers that 29 registered nurses supplied. The theme, `Tanzanian registered nurses' invisible and visible expressions about existential conditions in care', emerged from several subthemes as: suffering from (1) workplace distress; (2) ethical dilemmas; (3) trying to maintaining good quality nursing care; (4) lack of respect, appreciation and influence; and (5) a heavy workload that did not prevent registered nurses from struggling for better care for their patients. The analysis shows that, on a daily basis, nurses find themselves working on the edge of life and death, while they have few opportunities for doing anything about this situation. Nurses need professional guidance to gain insight and be able to reflect on their situations, so that they do not become overloaded with ethical dilemmas and workplace distress



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