Virtual Visitation and Microethical Decisionmaking in the Intensive Care Unit During COVID-19

Author(s): Dianna Jo Copley, DNP, APRN-CNS, ACCNS-AG, CCRN, Georgina Morley, PhD, MSc, RN

Contact Hours 1.00

CERP B 1.00

Expires Dec 01, 2023

Topics: COVID-19, Family-Centered Care, Moral Distress

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Activity Summary

Required reading for all learners: Implicit Bias impacts patient outcomes

Using a case-based approach, this article explores the ethical complexity of virtual visitation and the moral distress generated by limits on physical visitation. The relationship between restricted visitation and health care workplace violence is also described. The authors also note that virtual visitation can generate concerns related to allocation of scare resources, and respect for patient autonomy in selecting or refusing virtual visitation.


  • Analyze the ethical considerations when using virtual technology for visitation
  • Describe the impact of virtual technology on relationships between nurses, patients, and families
  • The authors describe the ethical considerations of using virtual technology for visitation, and the impact on nurses, patients and families

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


This activity has been reviewed by the Nurse Planner. It has been determined that the material presented here shows no bias. No conflicts of interest have been identified for any individual with the ability to influence the content of this activity. Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing education only and does not imply AACN or ANCC approval or endorsement of any commercial products discussed or displayed in conjunction with this educational activity.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC's) Commission on Accreditation, ANCC Provider Number 0012. AACN has been approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the California State Board of Nursing (CBRN), California Provider number CEP 1036. This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hours.

AACN programming meets the standards for most states that require mandatory continuing education contact hours for license and/or certification renewal. AACN recommends consulting with your state board of nursing or credentialing organization before submitting CE to fulfill continuing education requirements.

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