Simon is a nurse in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU). The unit’s census has been steadily increasing, and the unit has been short-staffed because many nurses have decided to resign, citing burnout. During shift report, he notices that vaccination status is usually mentioned in the one-liners nurses use while presenting their patients (eg, “This 56-year-old unvaccinated patient was admitted with COVID-19 pneumonia …”). He has also noticed an increase in frustration among his peers, especially toward patients who are admitted with COVID-19 and are not vaccinated. At the nurses’ station, he has heard his colleagues speaking negatively about unvaccinated patients and their families, expressing dismay over the patients’ “choice” not to get vaccinated, and the burden the nurses believe this choice is placing on the health care system. Simon is concerned that the quality of care received by unvaccinated individuals may be worse than, or different from, the...
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Ethics in Critical Care| June 15 2022
Nurses’ Ethical Obligations Toward Unvaccinated Individuals
Aimee Milliken, PhD, RN;
Aimee Milliken, PhD, RN
Aimee Milliken is formerly Executive Director, Clinical Ethics, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and currently Clinical Associate Professor, Connell School of Nursing, Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Ave, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 (email@example.com).
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AACN Adv Crit Care (2022) 33 (2): 220–226.
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Aimee Milliken, Melissa Kurtz Uveges; Nurses’ Ethical Obligations Toward Unvaccinated Individuals. AACN Adv Crit Care 15 June 2022; 33 (2): 220–226. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/aacnacc2022491
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