Congratulations to Dr. Lynn Musto who received her PhD in Nursing from the University of British Columbia on November 29, 2018

Her dissertation discusses the enactment of moral agency by health professionals in mental health settings (see below for complete abstract). Lynn has been an Assistant Professor in the Trinity Western University School of Nursing since 2014. We are thrilled to have her as part of our faculty. Congratulations Dr. Musto!


Abstract for dissertation: Risking vulnerability: Enacting moral agency in the is/ought gap

The definition of moral distress (MD) was put forward 35 years ago to explain the distress nurses felt when they experienced moral compromise. Making a moral judgment, enacting moral agency, and having constraints on agency have been identified as central to the experience. The known consequences of MD for health care professionals (HCPs), health care organizations, and patient care, are significant. Yet, researchers have struggled to develop meaningful interventions. The enactment of moral agency and constraints on agency are linked together in the experience. Constraints have been identified as being internal to the HCP, or external to the HCP and rooted in the context in which HCPs work. I argue that constraints on agency are dynamic (Musto & Rodney, 2016) and that gaining clarity on MD requires exploring the experience at the intersection of structure and agency.

I engaged in this study to explore how HCPs navigated ethically challenging situations in complex acute mental health settings. I conducted this research using grounded theory (GT) methods. Grounded theory (GT) methodology allowed me to focus on the processes participants engaged in when they confronted ethical challenges. The study was multidisciplinary, conducted across two urban acute care mental health sites. I gathered data through semistructured interviews and observation.

The basic social problem participants attempted to negotiate was systemic inhumanity, or the inability of the health care system to consistently extend respect, compassion, and dignity to individuals struggling with mental health issues. The resulting model, Risking Vulnerability: Enacting Moral Agency in the Is/Ought Gap, explains how participants were able to act as moral agents in the particular context they were embedded in. Participants negotiated ethical challenges by risking vulnerability; that is, holding their professional obligations, clinical expertise, and organizational processes in tension with their own vulnerability in the system. This study highlights the importance for organizations to create a relational space where HCPs are safe to explore ethical questions about how policies and practices may dehumanize individuals struggling with mental health issues, thereby contributing to conflicts between care that is actually given (Is) and care that aligns with professional moral obligations (Ought).

TWU NOW

“Death could not hold You, the veil tore before You
You silenced the boast, of sin and grave
The heavens are roaring, the praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again!”
-What A Beautiful Name, Hillsong Worship

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave. (Revelation 1:17-18)

HE IS RISEN.

#Easter

14 hours ago

Jesus has conquered sin and death. HE IS RISEN. HE IS ALIVE! We are wishing our TWU community a blessed Easter Sunday. #Easter

: Joel Hansen https://t.co/pq7eaS6z7E

15 hours ago

Jesus has conquered sin and death. HE IS RISEN. HE IS ALIVE! We are wishing our TWU community a blessed Easter Sunday.
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When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave. (Revelation 1:17-18)
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: Joel Hansen

15 hours ago

Good Friday. We reflect on the significance of the cross and Christ's sacrifice. His death paid the cost so that we may experience eternal life in and through Him. Take a moment to reflect on the weight of Christ's life, His death, His unfathomable love for you. #GoodFriday https://t.co/LgqTN15J04

2 days ago

Good Friday | Today we reflect on the significance of the cross and Christ's sacrifice. We are reminded that His death paid the cost so that we may experience eternal life in and through Him. We encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the weight of Christ's life, His death, His unfathomable love for you.

MARK 15: 33-38
At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (meaning, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.” Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.

With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” #GoodFriday

2 days ago

GOOD FRIDAY | Today we reflect on the significance of the cross and Christ's sacrifice. We are reminded that His death paid the cost so that we may experience eternal life in and through Him. We encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the weight of Christ's life and His unfathomable love for you.

MARK 15: 33-38
At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

2 days ago