Course Description

Professional Ethical Reasoning

  Professional reasoning describes the reasoning process used by therapists as they plan, direct, perform and evaluate client care. Professional reasoning also can include reasoning conducted at a supervisory, managerial or educational level regarding occupational therapy service delivery. In the current complex practice setting, not only do therapist require high levels of professional reasoning but are also challenged with many situations that require ethical reasoning and face changing expectations of clients also require therapists to use shared decision making. This course will explore literature that examines and evaluates potential models for decision making by occupational therapists. Multiple case examples will be used to apply different types of professional and ethical reasoning and demonstrate methods for supporting professional development and ethical practice.  


This course focuses on analysis of models and case examples of professional and ethical reasoning in occupational therapy.


Upon successful completion of this course, the student will:

  • Analyze different models of professional reasoning and identifying similarities and differences.
  • Illustrate the relationship between clinical reasoning and evidence-based practice.
  • Apply professional reasoning models to clinical situations and evaluate how this model supports therapists’ decisions in this setting.
  • Document clinical practice to reflect the underlying clinical reasoning in the case situation.
  • Evaluate different strategies for development of higher-level competence and professional reasoning.
  • Design potential models for developing professional reasoning in various practice settings.
  • Analyze potential methods for overcoming barriers to professional and ethical reasoning development.
  • Diagram potential models for shared decision making and outline their applicability to occupational therapy.
  • Analyze the relationship between shared decision making and professional reasoning.
  • Propose strategies and solutions to current challenges to ethical practice in occupational therapy.