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Moral Distress Part 3

Activity Details
  • Credit Amounts:
    • CME: 0.75
    • Other: 0.75
  • Cost: Free
  • Release: Jul 6, 2017
  • Expires: Jun 11, 2023
  • Estimated Time to Complete:
    45 Minutes
  • Average User Rating:
    (18 Ratings)


Maria C.  Clay Maria C. Clay, PhD
Chair and Professor, Bioethics and Interdisciplinary Studies
Brody School of Medicine
Adjunct Professor, Public Health
Director, Clinical Skills Assessment and Education
College of Education
East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina

Annette G.  Greer Annette G. Greer, PhD, MSN, RN
Associate Professor, Bioethics and Interdisciplinary Studies
East Carolina University School of Medicine
Greenville, North Carolina

M Sara Rosenthal M Sara Rosenthal, PhD, HEC-C
Professor and Founding Director, Program for Bioethics, 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.

Proper definitions of moral distress can improve inter-professional discussions about this phenomenon. Learn "what is moral distress", who is affected, and common situations that create it.

This activity has the same content as MORAL DISTRESS PART 3 that expired on June 30, 2017. If you participated in the original activity, please do not complete this release.

Target Audience

Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and 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, 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 claim only the 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
  • Interpersonal and communication skills

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. 

The material presented in this course represents information obtained from the scientific literature as well as the clinical experiences of the speakers. In some cases, the presentations might include discussion of investigational agents and/or off-label indications for various agents used in clinical practice. Speakers will inform the audience when they are discussing investigational and/or off-label uses.

Content review confirmed that the content was developed in a fair, balanced manner free from commercial bias. 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.


This activity is jointly provided by the University of Kentucky and East Carolina University.

In collaboration with UK Program for Bioethics.

Review Date