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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337


DE WITT, Patricia Ann. Ethics and clinical education. S. Afr. j. occup. ther. [online]. 2016, vol.46, n.3, pp.4-9. ISSN 2310-3833.

This paper explores the ethical concerns which were identified in a mixed methods study to determine the facilitators and barriers to quality clinical education on the clinical training platform of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). Ethical and professional behaviour concerns were extracted and analysed from focus groups and questionnaires that were used to collect data for the study. The ethical and professional behaviour concerns and responsibilities are discussed in terms of the clinical educators in their role as both clinicians and educators. Ethical and professional concerns and responsibilities are also highlighted in respect of students in their role as developing learners and professionals. How students learn ethical and professional behaviour is discussed as well as how a clinical educator should encourage these important clinical competencies which students tend to learn in an overt rather than covert manner. The paper also considers how in a service delivery placement where the focus is on clients' right to care, and the students' right to education may be overlooked and their professional learning compromised. The importance of a sound clinical educator-student relationship is central to professional education and facilitation of reflective practice and clinical reasoning essential for the learning of ethical and professional behaviour.

Keywords : Clinical education; ethics; professional conduct.

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