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Moral Distress Part 3

Activity Details
  • Credit Amounts:
    • CME: 0.75
    • Other: 0.75
  • Cost: Free
  • Release: Jul 1, 2014
  • Expires: Jun 30, 2017
  • Estimated Time to Complete:
    45 Minutes
  • System Requirements:
  • Average User Rating:
    (6 Ratings)


Maria C.  Clay Maria C. Clay, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Bioethics and Interdisciplinary Studies
Adjunct Professor, Department of Public Health and the College of Education
Director of Clinical Skills Assessment and Education
Co-Director of the Office of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Education
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC

Annette G.  Greer Annette G. Greer, Ph.D., MSN, RN
Assistant Professor
Department of Bioethics and Interdisciplinary Studies
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC

M Sara Rosenthal M Sara Rosenthal, PhD
Professor and Director, Program for Bioethics
Departments of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Behavioral Science
University of Kentucky College of Medicine
Chair, UK Healthcare Ethics Committee
Lexington, Kentucky

Needs Statement

Moral Distress is an "occupational hazard" for healthcare providers. It describes a situation in which the healthcare provider knows what the ethical/moral course of action is, but is constrained from acting on it. There may be legal, institutional or social constraints, including patient/surrogate decisions. Moral distress is an integrity-compromising situation, and if unresolved, leads to moral residue, which can cause healthcare providers to have both physical and emotional symptoms. It is a leading cause of retention problems and workplace bullying in certain healthcare professions. This novel educational module and site  will review the definitions, causes, and consequences of moral distress, as well as offer some solutions.

Target Audience

Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Social Workers


Upon completion of this educational activity, the participant will be able to:

1. Determine whether moral distress has been the root cause in a retention or workplace bullying issue;
2. Suggest preventative ethics practice for your institution to reduce moral distress;
3. Describe ways to deal with moral distress to reduce moral residue.


This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, UK Program for Bioethics, and East Carolina University. The University of Kentucky College of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 0.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine presents this activity for educational purposes only. Participants are expected to utilize their own expertise and judgment while engaged in the practice of medicine. The content of the presentations is provided solely by presenters who have been selected for presentations because of recognized expertise in their field.

ACGME Competencies

  • Patient care

UK Healthcare CECentral certifies this activity for 0.75 hours of participation.

Faculty Disclosure

No speakers or planners have any relevant financial relationships to disclose and will not discuss off-label use of a product.

Disclosure of a relationship is not intended to suggest or condone commercial bias in any presentation, but it is made to provide participants with information that might be of potential importance to their evaluation of a presentation.



Faculty are listed in alphabetical order.

Sara Rosenthal is the Project Leader.
Maria Clay is Associate Project Faculty.
Annette Greer is Nursing Faculty.


This activity is jointly provided by the University of Kentucky, UK Program for Bioethics, and East Carolina University.