Ethics Violation-Would you remain silent or challenge the system? - page 5

Today I was labeled a "whistleblower and tattletail because I, along with numerous other students, witnessed a table of individuals cheating on an exam in our Anatomy and Physiology class which is a... Read More

  1. by   UM Review RN
    I would only like to add that yes, you will use the information in your pre-reqs in your nursing career. Yes, pre-reqs ARE that important.

    So please do us all a favor and KNOW YOUR STUFF.
  2. by   NurseCard
    Quote from reebok
    Could it be that the purpose of you reporting the cheating was b/c there is a limited amount of space for acceptance into the nursing school and you wanted to increase the odds of you entering by expelling others.

    Human Anatomy&physiology is a pre-requisite course. I would be sympathetic about your situation if the severity of them cheating could eventually cause harm to the college's reputation and future risk for patient problems. For ex: Cheating in an actual NURSING COURSE w/ a clinical is much more important. Dont waste your time worrying about others. As long as you make sure that you are doing the right thing you will be okay. If the professor doesn't care why should you.

    Im not saying that cheating is okay. But I will say that reporting them makes you no better. Ask these questions first.

    Prioritize: Is someone's life at stake? Will they eventually harm a patient?
    Could the college's reputation suffer from this?
    You have GOT to be kidding me.

    Well, SOMEONE always has to play devil's advocate in every thread.
  3. by   NurseCard
    Quote from reebok
    I know someone out there still disagrees with me. So here goes my last attempt to try to get you all to understand. Let's think of a possible real life situation.

    For ex: Sally, an only child, has just experience the 1rst death in her family. Sally lost her only parent who was her father. She remembers her father being extremely proud of her for going back to College. She's going through the grieving process as well as experiencing financial problems. Sally has 3 kids and the kids' father doesn't help to support them. Two of three kids she have are experiencing trouble at school academically. The reason why she didn't study was b/c she was busy helping them with their homework. Although Sally is currently working full-time to meet ends-meet, she has recently received threat of an eviction and 3 red letters saying some utility will get cut off or car repossessed. She cheated but after she got the answers she went back over the test to understand the material. She cant justify the cheating but right now shes at a time in her life when she could loose everything. She could loose her car, house, fuure, kids and mind.

    Let's say the cheaters were expelled b/c you reported that incident. She was expelled and lost her Faith. Was it worth that woman's children quality of life. Was it worth her living the rest of her life struggling to take care of herself.
    Prioritize: Is reporting the cheaters for a pre-req test that important?
    You know, that's actually an interesting point of view. And I would be hard pressed not to feel rather badly for that woman and her situation, really.

    But rules are rules, dude. Furthermore... again, I'm sorry about her life situation... but furthermore, if she's going to try to make her life easier for herself and her children by not flunking out of nursing school by way of cheating in order to pass an exam...

    Who is to say that, once she is hired as a nurse... she won't cheat in order to not lose her job???? Who's to say that she won't cover up major mistakes in order to not get fired?

    I'm not trying to be judgemental here... I am truly sorry for anyone in that type of situation... but it's still a flawed argument. That woman could choose not to cheat on ONE exam that she didn't have time to study for, receive a failing grade, and then she could choose to approach her professor, explain her home situation, and attempt to see what kinds of solutions could be reached to make it easier for her to get through and pass the class.
  4. by   gauge14iv
    It's pretty simple to explain reeboks point of view -

    A person who doesn't take responsibility for his or her own actions (in HIS mind) doesn't have to take the blame either. Everybody else can take the blame. "It's the professors fault I failed" "It's my ex husband's fault I hate men" "It's the judge's fault I got thrown in jail" "It's my bosses fault I got fired".

    Responsibility does not equal blame - it equals power. When you have the ability to respond to something or a situation and YOU (and ONLY YOU) choose your actions and your response, then YOU are the one who determines the outcome. You choose to cheat, you get booted from school; You choose to kill, you get put in jail (and in some states put to death); You choose to Follow the rules and play along with everyone else then you get what you want. The prisons are full of people who A) refuse to take responsibility for their actions and B) blame everyone else for what and where they are. Go figure.

    A person who can't make the connection between personal responsibility, actions and culpability shouldn't be in nursing.
  5. by   tddowney
    "You could look at it in a different way. That cheater may be more likely to double, triple check when administering meds or often seek help from other nurses to avoid certain mistakes. "

    The reason students cheat is usually because they are trying to get the benefit without the work.......grades without studying, or in other words, shortcutting.

    It strains credibility, to say the least, to believe these same folks are going to have a Road-To-Damascus experience and suddenly become the most by-the-book, take-the-extra-effort practitioners out there.

    Having gotten away with cheating, indeed advanced by it, due in part to the attitudes rebok portrays here, the overwhelming tendency for the cheaters would be to keep it up.....after all, they've been rewarded for it.
  6. by   firstyearstudent
    Why coulldn't the instructor grade the tests while he proctored the exam? Why didn't he want to hear about the cheating and address it? I think the only conclusion you can draw is that he wants students to cheat. He is a poor and lazy instructor who does not want to lose his job when all or most of his students fail.

    Given this scenario, I'm not so sure the students are behaving unethically -- or it is at least a gray area. The instructor is setting the rules and being intentionally ambivalent about the expectations. We've all been in work and other situations where they have an official policy and anoher unwritten one (for reasonable or unethical reasons).

    I don't think I would have cheated even under these circumstances but I have done similar things. For instance, we had a dosage calculation test at one facility that the clinical instructor chose to have us all do together, giving us the correct answers. Did I tell her this was unethical and that I wanted to do the test on my own and live with the consequences of failing. No. It's her class, not mine.

    The A&P instructor is the bad guy here. The students are just following his lead. He is the one who should be confronted and reported and disciplined.
    Last edit by firstyearstudent on Nov 12, '06
  7. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from firstyearstudent
    The A&P instructor is the bad guy here. The students are just following his lead. He is the one who should be confronted and reported and disciplined.
    The instructor is the bad guy? As in, he made students cheat? If that's the case, why did his inaction make the non-cheating students refrain from cheating?

    Ergo, the students who cheated are wrong. The instructor who neglected to properly monitor and grade the test is also wrong.

    Both the students who cheated and the instructor are the bad guys. Neither of them followed the rules.
  8. by   firstyearstudent
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    The instructor is the bad guy? As in, he made students cheat? If that's the case, why did his inaction make the non-cheating students refrain from cheating?

    Ergo, the students who cheated are wrong. The instructor who neglected to properly monitor and grade the test is also wrong.

    Both the students who cheated and the instructor are the bad guys. Neither of them followed the rules.
    I'm mostly playing devil's advocate here. I think the students are probably more wrong than right. If there was confusion, they could have asked. "Can we discuss our answers with each other?" Which is what I probably would have done to make things crystal clear wot everyone. But I also think that the instructor is creating a situation where some might get the impression that he is giving his tacit approval to sharing answers. That he's saying "no cheating" with a wink.
  9. by   ortess1971
    Look, what it comes down to is these cheaters 1)can't pass a pre-requisite A&P test without cheating so they're either dumb or lazy-2 qualities we don't need in future nurses. 2) They're dishonest. I have made mistakes and have admitted to them. I may be a "newbie" nurse, but I've been in healthcare for 5 years as a surg tech and 2 years as a pharmacy tech...3) They threatened the person who called them on their behavior. No guilt, no remorse, so they may have sociopathic tendencies as well. Reebok, I'm hoping that your posts have been more to play devil's adcocate, because the fact that your slamming the OP for being honest while patting the cheaters on the back, scares me. And she was nicer than I would have been-I would have pointed it out right then and there, so the professor couldn't have used the "I didn't see anything" excuse..To the OP, you did NOTHING wrong. Hopefully, these people will be expelled and the professor discilplined. Now, I'm not necessarily pointing the "troll" finger at anyone, but I think the tone of a certain persons posts and the fact that he/she only has 10 posts to his or her name speakes volumes. Also, the fact that they mentioned that all the premium members are wrong kind of makes me think that either they started posting just to stir up stuff or they were a previous member who got banned and is now posting under a different name. Whatever. I find it hard to believe that anyone actually thinks cheating is a good idea. Good people of allnurses, I think we've been had!
    Last edit by ortess1971 on Nov 12, '06
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    Dishonest people should not be entrusted with protecting patients lives. Wrong is not right.

    For the record I have been nursing in five decades. I have made med errors, called the physician with the facts so the error could be mitigated. Then wrote the true facts on the chart and filled out an incident report with the facts.
    I have accidentally run red lights three times (to my knowledge) in 47 years of driving. Once I was ticketed so I admitted it and went to traffic school.

    I work with fine ethical people. Great nurses, caregivers, clerks, and housekeepers. Our patients get the finest care we can give.

    As was said no one who would cheat and then threaten a fellow student for telling the truth should be a nurse.
    Lie and cheat when caring for patients and, if proven, your license is revoked. Rightly so!
  11. by   NurseCard
    Quote from firstyearstudent
    Why coulldn't the instructor grade the tests while he proctored the exam? Why didn't he want to hear about the cheating and address it? I think the only conclusion you can draw is that he wants students to cheat. He is a poor and lazy instructor who does not want to lose his job when all or most of his students fail.

    Given this scenario, I'm not so sure the students are behaving unethically -- or it is at least a gray area. The instructor is setting the rules and being intentionally ambivalent about the expectations. We've all been in work and other situations where they have an official policy and anoher unwritten one (for reasonable or unethical reasons).

    I don't think I would have cheated even under these circumstances but I have done similar things. For instance, we had a dosage calculation test at one facility that the clinical instructor chose to have us all do together, giving us the correct answers. Did I tell her this was unethical and that I wanted to do the test on my own and live with the consequences of failing. No. It's her class, not mine.

    The A&P instructor is the bad guy here. The students are just following his lead. He is the one who should be confronted and reported and disciplined.
    Yeah, but in many cases a teacher WILL let the class know, pretty much, that a test is "open book" and that they may use whatever resources necessary. If the students "cheat" in this case, it certainly isn't non-ethical, since the expectations and the rules were made pretty clear in advance.

    In the OP's case, I'm seeing that the professor, while he didn't proctor the exam like he should have, did NOT expect nor allow the students to cheat.
  12. by   kukukajoo
    So because the teacher left the room is it okay to cheat? Does that also mean that when on the job and nobody is looking it is okay to bend the rules, not follow sterile procedure, reuse needles, divert narcs, etc.??
  13. by   colleennurse
    To the OP, I had a smiliar situation when I took Anatomy. We had lab practical exams (bones/muscles and such where we had to name what was tagged). These kind of exams are probably hard to watch what everyone is doing as there is a lot of movement going on, but absolutely no talking. Anyway I saw a student (who had failed Anatomy previously and was already a nursing student) cheating by having a kleenex in her hand with words/pictures on it. I knew that the professor wouldn't be able to do much without witnessing it, but I sure as heck told her. There are way too many people who studied there butts off to pass those exams. The person who cheated found out that I said something and ended up confronting me about it in the middle of lab, several weeks later, in a very immature way. She put her hand in my face and was talking to me very snotty in front of my lab partners. I then put my hand in her face and asked her how she liked it and then she actually punched me! It was ridiculous, I left the class (crying
    Anyway not much came out of it, The school asked me if I wanted to press charges against her and I declined as it was not worth my time to have to go to court. Do I regret telling, NO WAY! Come to find out that was not the 1st time she became physical with someone at school. Would you want someone like that being your nurse? Not me. I have no idea what became of her, but someone who acts like that is not going to make it very far. Anyways...just thought you might like to know that you are not the only one who has come forward when witnessing something like that. Good for you

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