Ethical competence in a profession: healthcare professionals’ views

Jessica Hemberg*, Håkan Hemberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review



Ethical competence is a crucial component for enabling good quality care but there is insufficient qualitative research on healthcare professionals' views on ethical competence. The aim of this study was to investigate healthcare professionals' views on ethical competence in a student healthcare context.


A qualitative design and a hermeneutical approach were used.


The material consists of texts from interviews with healthcare professionals (N = 10) in a student healthcare context. The method was inspired by content analysis.


One main theme and four subthemes emerged. The main theme was as follows: safeguarding the vulnerability of the other. The subthemes were as follows: using sensitivity to establish a trustful relationship, acting in an objective and flexible manner, using a reflective process in decision‐making, and maintaining confidentiality and honesty. Future research should focus on investigating ethical competence from various perspectives in student health care, for example the student perspective or observational studies.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1249–1259
JournalNursing Open
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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