Incorporating Cultural Issues in Education for Ethical Practice
Nursing Ethics 2007 July; 14(4): 492-502
The population of most non-dominant ethnic groups in the USA is growing dramatically. Faculty members are challenged to develop curricula that adequately prepare our future nurses. An increased focus on clinical ethics has resulted from the use of sophisticated technology, changes in health care financing, an increasing elderly population and the shift of care from inpatient to outpatient settings. Nurses frequently face situations demanding resolution of ethical dilemmas involving cultural differences. Nursing curricula must include content on both ethics and cultural sensitivity. Active student participation is an important element providing a foundation for ethical practice. A proposed educational format was introduced with graduating baccalaureate students. In a pilot study, curricular content on cultural sensitivity and ethical practice was taught in separate modules. Students were then asked to identify and problem solve an ethical dilemma involving patients and professional caregivers from vastly different cultures. Course faculty members provided discussion questions to guide the students' thinking.
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