Ethical Reasoning for School Occupational Therapy Practitioners (Chapter 4)
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SKU: OL7004

Publisher: AOTA Continuing Education

Published: 2019

Basic Member Price
Non-Member Price: $34.95

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Kathlyn L. Reed, PhD, MLIS, OTR, FAOTA

Jean E. Polichino, OTR, MS, FAOTA

Earn: .1 AOTA CEU (1.25 NBCOT PDU; 1 contact hour)


Occupational therapy practitioners who work in schools must adhere to various federal and state education rules and regulations as well as state licensure rules and regulations. Ethical reasoning and practice constantly change in response to policy; political contexts, team structures, family and school demands, and workloads.  The changes produce a complex environment with various challenges, including maintaining quality services with time and money constraints. Creating an ethical climate is critical.  A positive and acceptable ethical climate increases employee morale, commitment to the school district, and career engagement, and encourages staff retention. The occupational therapy profession’s official code of conduct provides further guidance (American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2015a, 2015b) and is described in this chapter.

Learning Objectives:

1.      Describe the 6 Principles delineated in the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics and apply them to school-based occupational therapy practice.

2.      Identify potential areas of conflict in school-based settings.

3.      Describe an ethical reasoning process that can be used in occupational therapy practice to resolve ethical dilemmas.

4.      Discuss best practices for ethical reasoning and behavior for school-based occupational therapy practice.

Key Terms and Concepts: