Morality in Perioperative Staff Nurses: Relationships Among Moral Motivation, Moral Character, Moral Action, and Nurse and Patient Outcomes

Dissertation, Boston College (1998)

Little information is available about morality in the nursing role. The purpose of this study was to identify: the role of motivation, character, and action in a model of morality for perioperative nurses , selected influences on perioperative nurses' moral actions, and selected outcomes of nurses' moral actions on both patients and perioperative nurses. The theoretical framework was the Four Component Model of Morality . ;The sample consisted of 791 perioperative nurses who responded to a survey questionnaire containing measures of moral motivation, moral character, moral action, contextual variables, perceived work-related stress, and ethical ideology. ;The results indicated that moral motivation and moral character are directly related to the moral actions of the perioperative nurse . Fourteen percent of the variance in moral action was explained by moral motivation , moral character , self-perceived level of nursing practice and ethics education. ;Moral action was not related to nurse outcomes or patient outcomes as predicted in the original model. Therefore an alternative measure of moral action was constructed from the data using factor analysis techniques. The alternative measure of moral action was related to outcomes in both patients and perioperative nurses . ;The results of this study suggest that the Four Component Model of Morality may not be adequate to describe the moral behavior of practicing nurses. Future research should focus on instrument development for a variety of constructs that may be important to the moral behavior of nurses
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