Merging Ethical Principles in Pediatric Case Discussions with Both Nursing and Pharmacy Students
Students that participated in this interprofessional ethical principle and dilemma activity augmented their baseline knowledge of each other's roles and responsibilities. Establishing the importance of how medical ethics transverses settings that the pharmacy and nursing students will encounter each other in, bolsters their understanding of providing not just excellent patient care, but helps to expand on how to improve patient safety.
At the center of this activity, the goal is to help demonstrate to the nursing and pharmacy students, how going beyond their knowledge of medical ethical principles impacts patient care and safety. Refreshing student knowledge of not only their own Code of Ethics, but other health professions helps to foster relationship-building about how to apply and coordinate care and communication about a topic (ethics).
Topics that are not always as readily discussed in practice, particularly with the pediatric population patients and caregivers. To date, a total of 122 pharmacy and nursing students have participated in this activity. An average score of 4.2 out of 5 on a Likert scale with 5 being "Strongly Agree", was marked for "due to this activity, my confidence related to handling ethical dilemmas in the future has grown." An average of 4.5 out of 5 on a Likert scale with 5 being "Strongly Agree" was marked for "the ethics activity was an effective method at boosting my understanding of the application of ethical principles". One of the student's comments that stood out to the faculty coordinators as a remarkable take-away point from this activity was "pharmacists aren't alone; nurses aren't alone; we are all one."
Having students collaborate with each other on a topic, medical ethics is not always discussed as being an interprofessional topic, but it truly is one. If the effort in practice is to improve both the safety and outcomes of the patient, ethics is a common theme that brings professions together. Future expansion of this activity is to go beyond having just pharmacy and nursing students participate and incorporate medicine, occupational and physical therapy students.