Ethics center programs

Providence Center for Health Care Ethics offers a variety of programs for physicians, residents, nurses and other Providence caregivers, providing participants an opportunity to explore and examine the challenges in health care ethics.

The basic philosophy toward ethics education can be summarized as follows: ethics education helps to transform the technical skill and knowledge caregivers possess into therapeutic relationships and professional practices. In our educational opportunities, we aim to enhance the ethical components of each profession’s competencies.

Core Program

The Core Program is designed for physicians, nurses and all other Providence caregivers. Modules cover ethical principles and explore key topics encountered in clinical practice.

Core IA: Provides the ethical infrastructure and Providence approach to understanding ethics in health care, and introduces participants to the Providence model for ethical decision-making. It also includes a discussion of case studies on topics such as clinical conflicts, patient decision-making and professionalism.

Core IB: Explores the principle of respect for autonomy and its application in health care decision-making.

Core IC: Provides communication guidelines to help resolve conflicts and improve patient care across culture. This module is taught in two sessions: Discussing a Serious Illness and Discussing Advanced Care Planning.

Core IIA: Builds on IA and focuses on harm reduction and how to balance these principles and arrive at a care plan that can be ethically justified.

Core IID: Explores several unique situations that face clinicians and families in the care of aging patients.

Core IIE: Builds on IA and focuses on ethical issues in end of life care; emphasizes key ethical principles across a variety of clinical scenarios.

Targeted professional-in-training education

We provide ethics education for the medical residencies, pharmacy residency, and clinical pastoral education program at Providence. The learning opportunities occur across a variety of settings and formats including, but not limited to the following:

Ethics conferences: Cover a broad range of themes and topics from professionalism issues such as truth-telling, confidentiality, moral distress, and clinical empathy to elements of decisional capacity, end-of-life decision-making, difficult encounters with patients and more. For the medicine residencies, topics for ethics-related conferences follow a 3-year cycle, which offers residents the full scope of ethics across all six physician competency domains.

Ethics Elective rotations: Offer participants an immersive experience in the work of ethics at Providence. This exposes residents to the broad range of settings and questions encountered by ethicists in ethics consultation, discernment, and leadership meetings.

Rounding: Ethicists round routinely to provide real-time support as well as to prepare for focused teaching sessions or ‘ethics rounds.’ These are opportunities for caregivers to explore questions or issues that they may not have a chance to discuss otherwise.

Other Collaborative Programs: Ethicists are available for as needed in-services and presentations for targeted audiences including specific nursing units, departmental meetings, etc. Additionally, we work with Providence Medical Education to host scholars for medical grand rounds several times a year. These presentations may be viewed in-person or online.

Funded Lectureships
The Ethics Center has three funded lectureships: one addressing ethical issues in health care, the second speaking to issues in palliative care, and the third designated to humanities in health care. These lectureships are named in honor of exemplary physicians from Providence.