Moral Problems and Moral Courage in Nursing Practice of Nursing Students in Nursing Colleges, Southern Thailand: Critical Incident Technique

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Onanong Rongsawat
Aranya Chaowalit
Tasanee Nasae
Martin Woods


The purpose of this study was to explore critical incidents of moral problem in nursing practice and
the actions of moral courage which were demonstrated in dealing with those moral problems. In this study,
fifty participants were selected to be interviewed. The interviews were transcribed to develop relevant themes
using the critical incident analysis technique. Trustworthiness was established following Lincoln and Guba’s
criteria. The results included five themes of moral problems of critical incidents in nursing practice 1)
Compromised patient safety, 2) Substandard quality of care, 3) Lack of adequate information, 4) Lack of
concern for the patient’s needs, and 5) Privacy and confidentiality violation. The participants demonstrated
their moral courage in various ways; 1) Providing information in respecting patient’s rights, 2) Intervening to
prevent further harm to the patients, 3) Declaring own mistake, 4) Encouraging quality of care, 5) Notifying
health care team about patient’s needs, 6) Responding to the patient’s need in accordance with patient’s rights
and 7) Taking action to maintain patient privacy and confidentiality. The results of this study will increase
awareness of the importance of teaching moral courage in nursing education.


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Rongsawat, O., Chaowalit, A., Nasae, T., & Woods, M. (2018). Moral Problems and Moral Courage in Nursing Practice of Nursing Students in Nursing Colleges, Southern Thailand: Critical Incident Technique. Songklanagarind Journal of Nursing, 38(3), 116–126. Retrieved from
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