What is moral injury and how do you deal with it?
Working in healthcare or the emergency services, it’s likely you have to make difficult decisions that affect other people’s lives on a daily basis. While there may be some very positive and rewarding aspects to your role, it’s likely that the coronavirus pandemic has made things even harder than usual, and you may find yourself exposed to more challenging circumstances, deaths or emotionally tolling situations. This could put you at risk of a moral injury.
A moral injury is the ethical and moral suffering that arises from experiences which strongly clash with your moral code. It can cause feelings of guilt, remorse, shame, and anger. You might also experience persistent self-criticism, feelings of unworthiness, thoughts of being unforgivable, and feeling like you are permanently damaged.
This web page explores what a moral injury is, how it occurs, and some steps you can take to protect yourself. It also includes some signs that those you work with might be starting to experiencing this, so that you can step in to help them.
It’s aimed primarily at those in the healthcare industry, but it might be especially useful for those in the emergency services to consider too.