241392 Public Health Ethics for public health workforce : An emerging need

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Amar Kanekar, MPH, CHES, CPH, PhD , Health Studies, East Stroudsburg University, East Stroudsburg, PA
Adenike Bitto, MD, DrPH, MCHES, FRSPH , Department of Health Studies, ESU, East Stroudsburg, PA
Public health workforce training is moving quickly towards competency-based academic curriculums and competency-based public health practice training. Ethics related courses in schools and programs of public health are rarely found across the nation. The ethics of relying on a non-competent and untrained public health workforce needs to be questioned. Furthermore ethical practices need to be deeply ingrained as an integral part of public health competencies at the local, state and national level. The purpose of the current review is to address the role of ethics in public health workforce training primarily competency–based training at the national level. A comprehensive database search of MEDLINE, EBSCO HOST, CINAHL, and SCOPUS was carried out for the years 2000-2010 using Boolean search criteria and key words such as ‘ ethics', ‘ public health', ‘ workforce' and ‘ competency'. Results indicated that majority of the public health workforce is severely deficient of competency-based public health training. Furthermore whether this workforce follows any ethical standards or practice was unclear. In the current age of public health challenges faced nationally and globally, to have an untrained public health force is immoral and unethical. Public health ethics need to be a part of academic curriculums across schools and programs of public health. Ethical public health practices should be implemented and accounted for in emerging health workforce. Recommendations are provided for competency-based training along with inclusion of ethical standards in academic public health curriculums and translation of these standards to public health practice, locally and nationally.

Learning Areas:
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the process of literature search to retrieve published peer-reviewed literature on studies concerned with public health workforce training and ethics in public health training. Discuss the importance and need of public health ethics or ethical training of emerging public health workforce. Explain the recommendations to conduct competency-based training including training in ethical standards as a part of academic public health curriculums across nation.

Keywords: Ethics, Workforce

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Assistant Professor in Health Studies.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.