Moral injury signified by levels of moral distress and burnout in health science clinical educators

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Despite the importance of clinical education in the education of health science professionals, securing clinical placements and access to willing clinical educators has become increasing difficult in recent years. Clinicians are being asked to do more, with less resources and time, creating an overwhelming and demanding work environment that is discordant to providing quality student education. In this study, we examined the prevalence of moral injury in clinical educators to determine if a relationship exists between the moral distress, burnout, and their roles as clinical educators. Health science professionals, occupational and physical therapists, speech language pathologist, and social workers who serve in the role of clinical educator completed anonymous surveys, consisting of a demographics questionnaire, the Moral Distress Scale-Revised-Occupational Therapist Adult Setting (MDSR- OT[A]), and the Maslach Burnout Inventory Human Services Survey Medical Personal [MBI-HSS (MP)]. Descriptive statistics, Pearson correlations, post-hoc analyses using Bonferroni multiple comparison tests, and ANOVA were used to compare each dimension of the MBI-HSS (MP) to the MDSR- OT[A]. Data from 75 completed surveys revealed that clinical educators identify as having moral distress and burnout, with a strong relationship between emotional exhaustion and depersonalization (p<0.01). A statistically significant negative correlation was found when comparing the number of students per year and the MBI-HSS (MP) depersonalization dimension (p<0.01). These findings elucidate the need for strategies to minimize sources of moral distress and burnout of clinicians to allow for engagement in clinical education.

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Journal of Allied Health

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