Introduction: Moral distress is a problem in the healthcare environment that threatens the workforce and provision of quality patient care. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of moral distress and crescendo effect among providers practicing in intensive care units. Methods: The goal of the study was to describe the frequency and intensity of moral distress, overall moral distress, the crescendo effect and to identify situations antecedent to moral distress, and whether moral distress is a predictor of intention leave. A cross-sectional survey was used to gather data from a convenience sample of nurses, physicians and other healthcare providers in the ICU environment. Results: Other healthcare providers, as a group, had higher overall moral distress scores than both nurses and physicians. The correlation (R2 = 0.071) between overall moral distress scores and ICU years showed quadratic effect significance. In this sample, moral distress scores did not predict intention to leave. Qualitative statements describing providers' morally distressing situations were primarily related to patient families (55%) and futile care (40%). An exploratory factor analysis showed support for some moral distress antecedents to be categorized by the terms "un-optimized care" and "futile care." Conclusion: The only significant finding was the correlative quadratic effect between overall moral distress and years of ICU experience showing some support for the crescendo effect. This study revealed that there are three primary areas that contribute to moral distress among healthcare providers in the ICU's at this hospital: futile care, un-optimized care, and family-centered care.