The ethical and pedagogical effects of modeling "not-so-universal" precautions.


The ethical and pedagogical effects of modeling "not-so-universal" precautions.


Aultman Julie M; Borges Nicole J


Medical teacher




AIM: We sought to understand current medical students' levels of training and knowledge, and their attitudes regarding universal precautions practices and underlying professional and ethical issues. METHOD: A total of 54 US medical students at two schools were interviewed to determine the level of understanding and training students receive about universal precautions, their feelings about the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of universal precautions, the frequency and kinds of universal precautions used by healthcare professionals as observed by medical students, and students' perspectives about the lack of or inconsistent use of universal precautions. RESULTS: Pre-clinical students focused on safe-sex practices among students and professionals, as well as simple, important acts to protect oneself against infection and disease, such as hand-washing. Clinical students, on the other hand, had more exposure to observing and practicing universal precautions, thus presented us with more, in-depth responses pertaining to inconsistent and ineffective use of universal precautions among peers and role models. Several themes were noted from students' responses. CONCLUSION: This study confirms previously acquired data that universal precautions are not consistently or appropriately used by healthcare professionals, it is a significant and novel study in that it reveals a hidden, ethical, and clinical problem in medical education.


Female; Humans; Male; Adolescent; Young Adult; United States; Focus Groups; Curriculum; Patient Safety; Students; Education; Professional; Internship and Residency; *Universal Precautions; Self Care; Human; Thematic Analysis; Student Attitudes; Ethics; Audiorecording; Practice; *Ethics; Medical; *Health Knowledge; Attitudes; Practice Patterns; Organizational; *Models; Medical/psychology; Preventive Health Care; Role Models


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Aultman Julie M; Borges Nicole J, “The ethical and pedagogical effects of modeling "not-so-universal" precautions.,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed July 20, 2024,