The aim of this study was to explore relationships between organizational factors and moral injury among healthcare workers and the impact of perceptions of their leaders and organizations during COVID-19.
COVID-19 placed healthcare workers at risk for moral injury, which often involves feeling betrayed by people with authority and can impact workplace culture.
Secondary data from a Web-based survey of mid-Atlantic healthcare workers were analyzed using mixed methods. Data were synthesized using the Reina Trust & Betrayal Model.
Fifty-five percent (n = 328/595) of respondents wrote comments. Forty-one percent (n = 134/328) of commenters had moral injury scores of 36 or higher. Three themes emerged: organizational infrastructure, support from leaders, and palliative care involvement. Respondents outlined organizational remedies, which were organized into 5 domains.
Findings suggest healthcare workers feel trust was breached by their organizations' leaders during COVID-19. Further study is needed to understand intersections between organizational factors and moral injury to enhance trust within healthcare organizations.