Explaining Ethical Sensitivity from the Social Representations of Nursing Students and Professors

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Bertha Alicia Alonso Castillo, RN1
Maria Magdalena Alonso-Castillo, RN2
María Teresa de Jesús Alonso Castillo, RN3
Nora Nelly Oliva Rodríguez, RN3
Nora Angélica Armendáriz-García, RN3
Karla Selene López García, RN3
(1)Facultad de Enfermería, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Léon, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
(2)Facultad de Enfermería, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León, Monterrey Monterrey, Mexico
(3)Facultad de Enfermería, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico

Nursing education requires development of awareness and ethical sensitivity in appropriate decision making for quality care of the patient, helping professionals to understand their role and responsibilities. However, in México were not located studies about factors that influence ethical sensitivity in nursing students and professors. Social representations of nurses may be a factor explaining ethical sensitivity. Since beliefs, attitudes, emotions, knowledge and values give a particular way in the acting of the nurses with their patients. Objectives: Explain ethical sensitivity from social representations constructed during patient care provided by nursing students and professors. Define the meaning and modeling of ethical sensitivity from the perspective of nursing students and professors.Methodology: A qualitative method was used with social representations approach (Moscovici; 1983; Jodelet, 2002. A theoretical sampling, considering data saturation criteria was used.Sample:  23 students and 10 professors of nursing from Monterrey, México participated. Results: The main categories of the meaning of ethical sensitivity emerged: Beliefs, Attitudes, Emotions and Values of ideal models of behavior and ultimate goals. Beliefs factors that obstruct quality care were reported: Human and material resources, professional competence, work routines and behavior of the patient for their disease condition. Factors that promote quality care; Confidence given by the patient, ethical sensitivity of nurses. Ethical sensitivity was defined as an ability to listen and attend the needs of the patients, a skill that one is born with but also can be developed. It was also mentioned that ethical sensitivity was essential for a holistic care. Empathy was identified as essential component of ethical sensitivity. Positive attitudes were identified: Be more accepted by the patient, and a faster recovery of the patients, negative attitudes as envy or competence with colleagues. They identified emotions as feeling the anguish or sadness of the patients. They also narrated the important values in quality care as responsibility, respect, equity as well as the consequences of ignorance of Bioethics and values in nursing practice. Conclusions: The main category was ethical sensitivity that derives from beliefs, attitudes, emotions and values. All of them, give a meaning to ethical sensitivity according to the social representations of nursing students and professors.