Aim. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ethical sensitivity and its relationship with demographic characteristics in critical care nurses of Shahid Rajaee Heart Center in Tehran.
Background. Nurses are the largest group of service providers in the health care system, and must be aware of and sensitive to ethical issues related to their profession. Ethical sensitivity is the basis of ethics in nursing enabling nurses to take care of their patients effectively and ethically.
Method. In this descriptive-analytical study, 181 nurses working in the intensive care units of Shahid Rajaee Heart Center hospital were randomly selected. Data were collected through demographic questionnaire and standard questionnaire of the nurses’ moral sensitivity. Moral sensitivity has six aspects: respecting the patient independence, awareness of how to communicate with patients, professional knowledge, experiencing the ethical problems, using moral concepts in decision-making ethics, integrity and benevolence. The data were analyzed based on SPSS version 19, using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Findings. The mean score of nurses’ ethical sensitivity was 70.85±7.73 with the highest scores in the domain knowledge of how to communicate with patients and the lowest score was related to the domain the level of professional knowledge. Among the demographic variables, there was a statistically significant correlation of age, average weekly work hours, and years of working with ethically sensitive nurses; with the increase of age and experience, the moral sensitivity was also increased, while the ethical sensitivity decreased as a result of the increase of average weekly work hours.
Conclusion. Considering that moral sensitivity in this study was moderate, it is recommended that nurse managers standardize the weekly working hours of the nurses in intensive care units in order to increase the ethical sensitivity in nurses.