As the semester comes to a close, I have reflected upon the material covered in this course. We have discussed various risk factors for birth, birth location, and cultural beliefs. Through our discussions, we have recognized the lack of resources in many regions of the world which contributes to the aforementioned topics. Furthermore, we have examined how inadequate supplies and resources affects the birth outcomes of the patients. However, we have not fully explored the idea of the relationship between the lack of resources and the healthcare workers.
According to “Moral distress in nursing practice in Malawi”, nurses experience high rates of moral distress from a variety of sources. For example, the moral distress stems from a shortage of staff members and a lack of resources, as well as mismanagement by superiors, behavior of colleagues, patients’ disrespect, and regulation violations. Furthermore, the article states, “Shortages of these resources meant that nurses cannot provide quality care thereby leading to frustration and demoralization,” (Maluwa 203). Therefore, the inadequate supplies affects not only the pregnant mothers but the healthcare workers as well.
As students in a “Birth and Global Health” course, I assume that many of us desire to pursue a career in a global context. Thus, we, as healthcare workers, will likely encounter situations in which the clinics, if one exists, do not have sufficient supplies. As a result, we may struggle with moral distress as well. Therefore, I pose the following questions to you all: How do you think the lack of resources will affect you? How would you cope with such effects, such as moral distress?
I aspire to pursue a career in humanitarian medicine. Thus, I anticipate that I will have to develop strategies to cope with the moral distress. For instance, perhaps physical activity or mediation may help me shift my focus onto what I can do rather than on the multitude of problems.
Maluwa, Veronica Mary, et al. “Moral Distress In Nursing Practice In Malawi.” Nursing Ethics 19.2 (2012): 196-207. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.