Thursday, March 9, 2017

Ethics Training in Healthcare

Having no ethics training within the organization, will put any healthcare professional at risk!

I received a call from a client who was attempting to dispute an Unemployment Claim stating that the employee was terminated for an unethical situation. I asked if the employee ever received documented ethics training, specifically in the particular situation at hand. The client's response was no. As many healthcare professionals do, this client assumed that ethical situations should be understood by all without documented training being necessary. With the requested documented training, this healthcare professional will most likely loose their Unemployment Claim dispute. This entire situation could have been avoided by having ethics training in place.

Ethics is defined as: moral principles that govern a person's behavior or the conducting of an activity.

In the past, moral principles were assumed to be standard among most people. In today's ever changing social world, this is no longer the case. It can no longer be assumed that all employees have the same, or at least, similar moral principles and standards.

There are two major factors that are creating this new dynamic for employers:

  • New Principles/Standards For a New Generation - Baby Boomers and Generation X's have, for the most part, bring a similar set of principles and standards to the workplace. This is not always the case with Millennial's. Many of the Millennial Generation have similar principles as the the previous two generations, however, there is a significant number of the Millennial Generation who do not hold to the same principles and standards as the Baby Boomers or Generation X's. These particular Millennial's have their own set of ethic principles as they see the old ones as "dated" or "behind the times". When they act outside of the assumed principles that have been recognized by previous generations, they do not understand why what they did was wrong. Their actions follow their own set of principles and standards.
  • Dramatic Influx of Unique Cultures - With the recent influx of refugees and immigrants from places that have cultures most people are not familiar with, new challenges will arise within the workplace. Some assumed principles and standards could be unfamiliar with people of various backgrounds and cultures.
Due to the two major factors listed above, and the other factors not listed, it is strongly recommended that all healthcare professionals have established and documented ethics training within their organization. Do not assume anything is "just understood" without formal and documented training. Ethics training should be created based on the culture the organization is attempting to establish or has already established. In addition, having ethics training as part of an organizations' already established compliance training, will only strengthen the employees understanding and desire to follow compliance regulations.

Some employees may feel that ethics training is unnecessary and is a silly waste of time. However, by not having established and documented ethics training in place, an owner is putting him or herself at risk of monetary loss, a damaged reputation, and a decrease in employee moral.

It is the simple things that make a big difference in the success of an organization. Ethics training is one of those simple things that will make a big difference.

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