“Moral distress arises when one knows the right thing to do, but institutional constraints make it nearly impossible to pursue the right course of action” (Jameton, 1984).“
Within the health and social care sector, we place huge emphasis on doing our job well and doing the right thing. However, increased pressures sometimes mean this is difficult or impossible to achieve. This can compromise our moral integrity and result in experiences of moral distress. Whilst moral distress can occur at any time, it is more likely to occur during times of crisis, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. You may experience a range of feelings when in a state of moral distress, including anger, a sense of meaninglessness, guilt and isolation. You may also experience various physical symptoms or notice yourself behaving differently.