Practice Blog

To share practice related stories, create connections and engage readers in the amazing diversity of dietitian experiences.


3 simple ways to upgrade your ethical decision-making skills

Sarah Hewko, dietitian and doctoral candidate, discusses how investing in your moral development can enhance clinical performance.

SHHS1.JPGSarah Hewko, RD, MHA, PhD(c) is a health services researcher with a particular interest in health human resources and performance management. For her doctoral research, she is seeking to better understand retirement decisions among health care professionals. Sarah is currently on the Dietitians of Canada Board of Directors and is chair-elect for the Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research Board of Directors. She recently published a paper in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior titled, “Strengthening Moral Reasoning Through Dedicated Ethics Training in Dietetic Preparatory Programs.” Sarah lives in Edmonton with her husband and two children. You can reach her at or on Twitter @Sarah_Hewko.

In my experience, registered dietitians are ethical, conscientious, and patient-centered health care professionals. However, as is true of all skills – the skills required to effectively negotiate ethical problems can be sharpened and honed to enhance effectiveness and minimize work-related stress.
For me, dedicating time to enhancing my ethical problem-solving skills has led to me feeling more confident as I approach ethical decision-making in my practice. As a result, I am less likely to carry around residual stress in the days and weeks following a particularly difficult decision or case.
The importance of honing these skills first became clear to me ... continue reading

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