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URMC / Clinical Ethics / Educational Programs


Educational Programs

We are excited to announce that we will soon be registering students for our Advanced Certificate in Clinical Ethics.

More information

Overview:  This 9 month program was initiated as a pilot  in September 2021.  The premise for the program is that Nursing is a profession rooted in ethics, thus knowledge about how to address ethical concerns is imperative. Inadequately addressed ethical concerns may result in feelings of moral distress.  Moral distress (MD) is an emotional and psychological response to morally challenging dilemmas that are not addressed to the nurse’s satisfaction.  Opportunities to discuss ethically challenging situations may lessen MD and its associated sequela.  Additionally, ethics is the responsibility of all, and those who are at the front lines of health care need to feel able to speak up and explore concerns of an ethical nature.

The purpose of this program is to further knowledge of ethics at URMC and develop the ability of a core group of nurses to be a supportive resource for peers who are struggling with ethical dilemmas and moral distress .

Participants:  Experienced staff nurses who meet the criteria noted will be invited to participate in this program.  This program may provide an opportunity for those who are planning to stay in patient care settings for a few years and are looking to expand and improve their practice and provide support to peers.

One or two representatives from each service will be identified who:

  1. Have demonstrated interest in ethics and ethical reasoning.
  2. Are confident in their ability to have a professional conversation about difficult situations.
  3. Are open minded and willing to consider other points of view.
  4. Willing to be the go-to person on their service for ethical concerns and consult the Ethics team as indicated for help and support.
  5. Will have the flexibility in their schedule to attend the liaison meetings, as well as several Hospital Ethics Committee meetings and other ethics-related educational offerings at URMC over the course of the program.

Expectations of Participants: All will attend half-day meetings monthly during the academic year (September through May).  Time will be spent at each meeting talking about current nursing concerns.  Attendance at 2 Hospital Ethic Committee meetings as well as Schwartz Rounds and other ethics-content related talks will be encouraged in order to understand and contribute to the broad nature of Ethics work at URMC.  Finally, the liaisons will develop a project related to a perceived need on their unit or service.

Ethics Liason Program Application

For information regarding the nurse liaison program, please call the Department of Health Humanities and Bioethics at (585) 275-5800.

The Clinical Ethics Fellowship is a competitive program open to all faculty and staff at UR Medicine who are committed to clinical ethics. Based on the prospective fellow’s prior clinical ethics experience (formal ethics education/training, clinical ethics consultation experience), the duration of the fellowship (12-24 months) and evaluation of core competencies will be individualized and modified, within the suggested framework of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) Core Competencies.

The goal of the clinical ethics fellowship is to train UR Medicine employees to perform ethics consultations and increase the number of employees with a background in clinical ethics who can teach bioethics principles in the hospital units, nursing school, medical school, and community. This fellowship teaches knowledge and skills that align with the mission and values of the institution, including the goal of the Clinical Ethics Consultation Service to reinforce and expand the diversity of professional and practice experiences on the clinical ethics team.

In this program fellows work closely bioethics faculty and clinical consultants to develop knowledge and skills necessary:

  • “to identify and analyze the nature of [specific] value uncertainty or conflict”;
  • “to facilitate resolution of conflict in a respectful atmosphere with attention to the interests, rights, and responsibilities of all those involved”; and
  • promote practices consistent with the values of the institution. 

For information regarding the nurse liaison program, please call the Department of Health Humanities and Bioethics at (585) 275-5800.

Interdisciplinary Clinical Ethics conferences are offered monthly during the academic year. They are held on the first Wednesday of each month from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., and are open to the Medical Center community. If you have a suggestion of a topic for ethics rounds, or wish to present a case, please contact Dr. Marjorie Shaw at (585) 275-5800.

Information about upcoming Interdisciplinary Clinical Ethics Rounds

The Clinical Ethics Consult Service offers case discussion rounds on a regular basis in the NICU, PICU, Adult Intensive Care Units, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, Transplant and Oncology Units. For information regarding these rounds, please call the Department of Health Humanities and Bioethics at (585) 275-5800.