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J Educ Eval Health Prof > Epub ahead of print
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2020; 17: 34.
Published online November 17, 2020.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3352/jeehp.2020.17.34
[Epub ahead of print]
Level of professional ethics awareness and medical ethics competency of dental hygienists and dental hygiene students to add ethics items in the Korean dental hygienist licensing examination
Yoon-Sook Hwang1  , Jong-Hwa Jang2  , Kyung-Hee Kang3  , Minji Kim4  , Jeong-Ran Park5  , Sohyun Son1  , Sun-Mi Lee6  , Da-Yee Jeung1  , Jung-Eun Ha5  , Su-Min Hong5  , Young-Eun Jang5 
1Department of Dental Hygiene, Hanyang Women’s University, Seoul, Korea
2Department of Dental Hygiene, College of Health Science, Dankook University, Cheonan, Korea
3Department of Dental Hygiene, Konyang University, Daejeon, Korea
4Dongjak-gu Community Health Center, Seoul, Korea
5Department of Dental Hygiene, Baekseok University, Cheonan, Korea
6Department of Dental Hygiene, Dongnam Health University, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do
Correspondence  Jong-Hwa Jang ,Email: jhj@dankook.ac.kr
Submitted: October 5, 2020  Accepted after revision: November 17, 2020
Abstract
Purpose
This study aimed to evaluate the level of professional ethics awareness and medical ethics competency in order to grasp the criteria of ethics items for the Korean dental hygienist licensing examination.
Methods
Using a structured questionnaire, 358 clinical dental hygienists and e dental hygiene students were evaluated for their level of ethical awareness and medical ethics competency. The sub-factors of medical ethics were measured by classifying them into relationship with patients, medical and social relationships, and individual specialized fields.
Results
As a result of the survey, the vocational ethics completion rate in the university curriculum was 32.1%, but 95.2% of respondents said that vocational ethics is important. Medical ethics competency was average, with a score of 3.37 out of 5, followed by ‘relationships with patients (3.75 points)’, ‘health and social relations (3.19 points)’, and ‘individual specialties (3.16 points).’ The level of vocational ethics awareness was higher in the group who completed the vocational ethics curriculum than the group who did not complete the course or the group who did not know whether to complete it.
Conclusion
Dental hygienists are aware of the importance of occupational ethics, but medical ethics competency has been found to be at a mid-level. Therefore, medical ethics should be treated as a required subject in university curriculum, and medical ethics competency evaluation should be strengthened through adding ethics items to the Korean dental hygienist licensing examination.
Keywords: Dental hygienists; Licensure; Medical Ethics; Professional ethics; Republic of Korea
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