Ethics in Public Health Practice: A Survey of Public Health Nurses in Southern Louisiana

Julie Folmar, Steven Scott Coughlin, Ruth Bessinger, Donna Sacknoff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present study was designed to help learn more about the ethical interests and concerns of public health nurses employed in state and local health departments. Self-administered postal questionnaires were mailed to 41 public health nurses employed at health units in Region I of the Louisiana Office of Public Health. Basic demographic information was obtained along with information about the workers' previous instruction or training in ethics and the nature of ethical conflicts encountered in their public health practice. Only 38% (15 of 39) of the surveyed nurses had had formal instruction in ethics. Even fewer (7.3%) had received continuing education on ethics. Most of the nurses felt confident in their ability to recognize an ethical conflict or dilemma in the workplace; fewer felt confident in their ability to resolve an ethical conflict or dilemma. A high proportion of the nurses agreed that there is a need for continuing education courses on ethics for public health workers. Nurses who had received formal ethics instruction were more likely to feel confident in their ability to recognize an ethical conflict in their public health practice. Continuing education programs on ethics are needed that are designed to meet the specific needs of frontline public health workers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-160
Number of pages5
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

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Public Health Practice
Public Health Nurses
Ethics
Continuing Education
Nurses
Public Health
Health
Workplace
Surveys and Questionnaires
Demography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Ethics in Public Health Practice : A Survey of Public Health Nurses in Southern Louisiana. / Folmar, Julie; Coughlin, Steven Scott; Bessinger, Ruth; Sacknoff, Donna.

In: Public Health Nursing, Vol. 14, No. 3, 01.01.1997, p. 156-160.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Folmar, Julie ; Coughlin, Steven Scott ; Bessinger, Ruth ; Sacknoff, Donna. / Ethics in Public Health Practice : A Survey of Public Health Nurses in Southern Louisiana. In: Public Health Nursing. 1997 ; Vol. 14, No. 3. pp. 156-160.
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