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Nurse explaining the method of treatment

Moral injury is the sequela of distressing, psychological, behavioral, social, and spiritual aftermath of these tough decisions.

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant challenges for healthcare providers, especially nurses. Many clinical documentation improvement specialists (CDISs) were called upon to provide direct patient care during the daunting and extreme challenges presented by an acutely ill patient population that overwhelmed the healthcare system.

Since the apex of the pandemic, these CDI professionals may have experienced moral injury after facing complex decisions triaging the care provided for their patients. Moral injury is the sequela of distressing, psychological, behavioral, social, and spiritual aftermath of these tough decisions.

For some, a return to the bedside may not have been feasible, adding a moral dilemma to the CDI team members working from the safety of their homes. The moral injury/dilemma faced by these CDI professionals, and the resulting anxiety, anger, sadness, guilt, frustration, and fatigue remain palpable as CDI team members settled into the new norm of remote documentation management and its unique challenges.

This brief article is a “shout-out” to those CDI professionals who worked diligently at the bedside and the CDI nurses who concurrently managed clinical documentation to ensure the appropriate capture and reporting of the devastating effects of COVID-19.

The care you provided and the documentation you managed mattered.

We see you. We thank you. We honor you.

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