Competency in ethical decision making is a criterion for ethical practice, and it is expected to advance with ongoing professional development. However, research exploring continuing competency needs of occupational therapists regarding ethical decision making is limited.
The purpose of this study was to explore potential gaps and directions for development related to continuing competency in ethical decision making from the perspective of practicing occupational therapists.
Interpretive description informed secondary data analysis of professional narratives from a grounded theory study regarding ethical decision making. In-depth interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 18 occupational therapists. Data analyses focused on identifying gaps and future directions regarding continuing competency.
Two main themes regarding gaps were identified: “I didn’t have the knowledge” and “I don’t have anybody.” Education, tool development, and ethics mentorship were identified directions for development.
Findings advance understanding of continuing competency needs of occupational therapists regarding ethical decision making.