Moral Distress in Healthcare: A First-Hand Examination of What It Looks Like & a Discussion of What the Current Research Reveals, Including Support for Psychological Self-Care

Published on January 19, 2023

The challenges of working in healthcare are well-documented and undeniable. From the emotional and mental demands of caring for patients and their families, to grappling with complex ethical dilemmas, healthcare professionals are constantly exposed to difficult and potentially traumatic situations. The current healthcare crisis in Canada, with increased demands on our health system and a shortage of healthcare professionals, has only exacerbated these challenges.

In this episode, we delve into the serious issue and its impact on the moral distress and psychological well-being of healthcare professionals. We are joined by two experts who have contributed to a report published by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, which explores the barriers and facilitators that healthcare workers, teams, and organizations face when trying to support psychological self-care and protect workers from moral distress.

Listen in as we discuss the findings of this important report and learn from a first-hand account about the dire reality healthcare professionals in Canada are facing today. We will examine the steps that need to be taken to address this crisis and support the mental and emotional well-being of those who dedicate their lives to caring for others.


About Madi Sutton

Madi Sutton is a nurse who has worked throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. She graduated from Dalhousie nursing school in 2019 and went onto work at camp hill Veterans Memorial, a long-term care facility for veterans. She then went on to work at 4.1 Halifax Infirmary Vascular and General surgery, working directly with patients undergoing surgery.

Madi now works at the medial day unit in the Victoria General. This facility provides treatments such as blood product transfusions, IV antibiotics, iron infusions, and various types of chemotherapy.

Although Madi has not worked on a unit designated for COVID-19 patients exclusively, every unit she has worked on has experienced the impacts of working directly with COVID-19 positive patients, navigating COVID policy changes, and struggling through staffing shortages.


About Colleen Grady

Dr. Grady is a researcher focused on physician leadership development, psychological health and safety in the workplace, and functional healthcare organizations.

She holds master and doctoral degrees in business administration and her current work supports the post-graduate program in the Department of Family Medicine (DFM), the evaluation of Ontario Health Teams, Indigenous health, and collaboration among family physicians to inform system integration.


Helpful Links

Colleen Grady | Twitter: Click Here

Madi Sutton | LinkedIn: Click Here

Mental Health Commission of Canada | Website: Click Here

Mental Health Commission of Canada | LinkedIn: Click Here

Report: Exploring Two Psychosocial Factors for Health-Care Workers | Website: Click Here


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About this Episode