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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 8-13

Professional differences between dental and nursing students' views on conscience


1 Department of Medical Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey
2 Department of Nursery, Faculty of Health Sciences, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Funda Gulay Kadioglu
Department of Medical Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, Cukurova University, Adana
Turkey
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jeed.jeed_9_17

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Background: The conscience is an essential value in healthcare and has a central position in ethics education. In clinical practice, healthcare professionals including students can be involved in challenging situations when they had to make difficult choices between following rules and their conscience. Aim: The purposes of this study were to determine and to compare the views of healthcare (dental and nursing) students on conscience. Materials and Methods: This descriptive study was carried out at a dental school and a nursing school in Turkey. A sample of 564 students (264 were from a dental school and 300 were from a nursing school) completed a self-reported questionnaire consisted of Likert-6 type 16 items concerning conscience. Descriptive statistics and independent t-tests were used for data analysis (SPSS 20.0) with statistical significance set at P < 0.05. Spearman's rank-order correlation coefficients were employed to determine the correlation between the items and the age of responders. Results: While dental students were more likely to agree with the items of “our conscience can give us the wrong signals” and “our conscience expresses our social values;” nursing students were more likely to agree with the strong items “we cannot avoid the voice of conscience” and “when I follow my conscience, I develop as a human being,” and there were statistically significant differences between the groups (P < 0.001). Both groups tended to disagree with the statement, “I have to deaden my conscience to keep working in health care.” Conclusion: According to the results of this study, it can be concluded that conscience is important for both professional groups. However, there are statistically significant differences between the dental and nursing students' views on conscience. Since the dental students' lower level of conscience is unacceptable from an ethical point of view and nursing students' high levels of conscience may cause moral stress for themselves, dental and nursing ethics curriculum should be updated by adding lectures concerning conscience.


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