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Episode 7: How Do I Cope When Things Feel Wrong?

Host: Maddy Pearson, DNP, RN, NEA-BC
Erin Borland, BSN, RN, and Aimee Milliken, PhD, RN

“Although the experience of moral distress is something that we will all go through at some point in our careers as clinicians, it’s not something we have to go through alone.” – Aimee Milliken, PhD, RN

Nearly every nurse will experience moral distress at some point in their careers, and a recent study found that one in five nurses considers leaving the profession for this reason.

Erin Borland, BSN, RN, and Aimee Milliken, PhD, RN, join Maddy to talk about how to identify moral distress, prevent “moral residue” from building up and develop coping strategies that benefit individuals and care teams.

Show Notes

For more information about the topics discussed in this episode, visit:

About Our Guests

Erin Borland, BSN, RN

Erin headshotErin is a nurse in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CCU), where she cares for patients and serves as a member of both the Nursing Practice Council and the Ethics Committee. She previously worked as a clinical nurse in the intermediate cardiology step-down unit.

Erin and members of the Nursing Practice Council presented a poster on moral distress and resilience in ICU nurses during the hospital-wide Discover Brigham event in November 2019. The council planned to reevaluate CCU staff to determine if moral distress scores decreased after interventions. The work was paused due to the pandemic.

Erin is a second-generation nurse. Prior to entering the nursing profession, she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in marketing.

Aimee Milliken, PhD, RN

Aimee headshotAimee is the interim director of the Ethics Service at the Brigham and formerly practiced as a critical care nurse for over a decade.

She received her PhD from Boston College in May 2017. Her dissertation involved the development and psychometric evaluation of the Ethical Awareness Scale, an instrument to measure ethical awareness in critical care nurses.

Subsequently, she completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in clinical ethics and was awarded funding to study trends in ethics consultation requests.

Her current research focuses on fostering ethical awareness in clinicians and developing preventive ethics strategies. She teaches at Harvard Medical School and has published and presented nationally and internationally on the topics of nursing ethics and clinical ethics.

Episode length: 30:25
Episode air date: May 5, 2021


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