Moral Breakdowns and Ethical Dilemmas of Perioperative Nurses during COVID-19: COREQ-Compliant Study.

Publication date: Jul 04, 2023

(1) Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the complexity of caregiving, resulting in challenging situations for perioperative nurses. These situations have prompted nurses to assess their personal and professional lives. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of perioperative nurses during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a specific focus on analyzing moral breakdowns and ethical dilemmas triggered by this situation. (2) Methods: A qualitative design guided by a hermeneutical approach was employed. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 24 perioperative nurses. The interviews were transcribed and thematically analysed following the Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ) guidelines. (3) Results: The findings revealed three main categories and ten subcategories. These categories included the context in which moral breakdowns emerged, the ethical dilemmas triggered by these breakdowns, and the consequences of facing these dilemmas. (4) Conclusions: During the first wave of COVID-19, perioperative nurses encountered moral and ethical challenges, referred to as moral breakdowns, in critical settings. These challenges presented significant obstacles and negatively impacted professional responsibility and well-being. Future studies should focus on identifying ethical dilemmas during critical periods and developing strategies to enhance collaboration among colleagues and provide comprehensive support.

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Concepts Keywords
Caregiving COVID-19 pandemic
Future ethical dilemmas
Interviews moral dilemmas
Nurses nurses
Pandemic nursing
qualitative study


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
drug DRUGBANK Pentaerythritol tetranitrate
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
disease MESH end of life
disease MESH emotional distress
disease VO time
disease IDO quality
drug DRUGBANK Trestolone
disease IDO entity
disease IDO process
disease IDO site
drug DRUGBANK Methionine
disease VO frequency
disease VO age
disease VO organization
disease VO Thing
disease MESH uncertainty
disease MESH sweating
drug DRUGBANK Oxygen
disease MESH heart disease
disease MESH sleep disorders
drug DRUGBANK Tropicamide
disease MESH infections
drug DRUGBANK Isoxaflutole
disease MESH compassion fatigue
disease VO population
drug DRUGBANK Etoperidone
drug DRUGBANK Haloperidol
drug DRUGBANK Serine
disease VO USA
disease MESH Loneliness
disease IDO symptom
drug DRUGBANK Water
disease MESH moral injury
disease MESH burnout
disease MESH psychosocial functioning

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