|Introduction: Intensive care units are defined as clinics that aim to support and cure critically ill patients, have a priority with their allocation in terms of patient care, are equipped with advanced technology devices, follow patients’ vital signs for 24 hours and provide a multidisciplinary service. This study was conducted for examining the moral sensitivity of intensive care nurses in moral decision-making.
Method: The sample of this descriptive and cross-sectional study consisted of 84 nurses who worked in intensive care units of university and public hospitals in the province of Malatya between February - March 2015 and accepted to participate in the study. The data were collected using Socio-Demographic Data Form and Moral Sensitivity Questionnaire. Statistical analyses of the data were evaluated using computer-aided SPSS program, descriptive statistics (frequency, mean, minimum and maximum values, standard deviation), Anova variance analysis and Student t test.
Findings: 70,2% intensive care nurses who were included in the study were in the age group of 18-34, 54,8% were married, 91,7% had bachelor's degree and 53,6% had studied ethics. While the total moral sensitivity score of intensive care nurses ranged from minimum 51 to maximum 131; the average score was 87,30±17,03. Average scores obtained by intensive care nurses from the lower dimensions of moral sensitivity were as; 18.32±5,84 (autonomy), 11.41±4.40 (benefit), 10,67±2,97 (integrative approach), 13,46±4,78 (conflict), 11,05±3,08 (application) and 8,47±3,33 (orientation). It was determined that there was no difference between the total scores obtained by nurses from moral sensitivity and their educational background, duration of working in intensive care units, the unit where they worked and the state of studying ethics before and after graduation (respectively p:0,265, p:0,555, p:0,299 and p:0,439), however, there was a significant difference between the scores of some lower dimensions of moral sensitivity according to their age and marital status (respectively p:0,036, p:0,037).
Conclusion: It was determined that intensive care nurses had a moderate level of moral sensitivity. Thus, it is recommended to plan and conduct continuous curriculums containing information and personal development aimed at increasing the moral sensitivity of intensive care nurses. Besides, it is considered important to conduct studies in larger groups for the moral sensitivity of intensive care nurses.