Crucial ethical problem for Japanese nursing students at clinical settings

Mari Tsuruwaka


Background: Nursing students encounter ethical problems in their interactions with various people in clinical practice. In Japan, few studies have examined ethical problems between students and nursing educators in clinical practice. The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristics of ethical problems encountered by Japanese nursing students from the perspectives of patients and the students themselves.

Methods: A descriptive, exploratory study was employed in this research. Questionnaires were distributed to 274 third-year students who had completed 6 months of clinical practice in 2012, 2013, or 2014. The situations in which students described ethical problems were classified into those involving patients and their family members and those involving the students themselves and other trainees.

Results: A total of 58 students described 198 situations involving ethical problems (89 toward patients, 102 toward students, 7 other). Students expressed concern in terms of their basic attitudes toward nurses and respect for patient individuality. The largest number of unethical teaching behaviors involved violations of the principles of benevolence and respect for students.

Conclusions: The results suggest the need for student assistance in understanding ethical problems, for strengthening of links with intramural ethics education, for the establishment of a consultation system, and for leveraging of faculty development education.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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