student nurse dreading outcome of misjudgement - page 3

Hello everyone. I'll make this short and to he point. My friend is in nursing school now and made a error in judgement. He was caught shoplifting at a department store. The item was a little over 100... Read More

  1. by   TNRNMAN
    Quote from chris_at_lucas_RN
    (Okay, I guess I am going to have to be the bad guy here.....)

    A $100 shoplift by a 22 year old (as opposed to a child) is not an "error in judgment." It is an indication of character.

    No prior criminal record does not mean no prior bad acts. It means he was never caught before this.

    Nursing is not a profession where it is OK to have fuzzy morals. Patients and coworkers depend upon each of us being the best that we can be, and that means doing the right thing automatically.

    "Errors in judgment" that are really just yielding to temptation are exactly what happens with nurses who steal patients' meds, who shortcut or avoid tasks they do not like even though the patient needs them, who may lie to avoid consequences of their own misdeeds, who (noting an event described on another thread) may well think it is OK to pick a syringe up off the floor and use it in a patient if no one sees.

    Of course I don't know your "friend," so this is not directed at him personally, but.....

    If he did not know what he was doing was wrong, he lacks the character to be in a profession where lives quite literally will depend on him.

    If he did know it was wrong, and still committed the act, he still lacks the character to be in a profession where lives quite literally will depend on him.

    Either way, the legal and licensing guidelines are there for a reason. Could you (or anyone) trust him if he were not being watched or, say, if the patient were unconscious?

    He can find some other profession where he can make good money, other than nursing, and he needs to go do that, not try to get around the rules yet again. He might also consider some long term psychotherapy for what could be a "character defect" (also known as a "personality disorder"), if he has any remorse for what he did/does and wishes to change.

    Seriously, though, thanks for starting this thread. The issue is an important one.
    Way to go Chris, you have stated the facts and you did it tactfully, you are dead on and I think that this is a huge problem in these United States we start early saying there young and its their first mistake,and before you know it they are in prison for there 28th offence, well I am sorry, theft is a criminal offence, and the young man if he has not lived in a bubble, knew this and he knew when he picked it up, that it wasnt his and that he wasnt going to pay for this, and that is a crime and he knew it. It was done, it may be easy to take money out of a wallet of John Does in room 237, and that is not what we need, I do not live in a glass house but I am saying we have to think about the patient we are going to place in this young mans hands. I only wish that if this was something he needed that he would have realize the friend he had in the OP that cares enough to post this and could have asked for help.
  2. by   cswain12000
    I tend to also agree with Chris and TNRNMAN. This person knew that to steal was wrong, and if he/she didn't know it was wrong, then they do not have any business being responsible for the lives and care of people. The question I have is this...
    If he/she had not been caught with the act, but would have actually gotten away with stealing the merchandise--would he/she be worried about how the act would affect their furure as a nurse? Would he/she have come forward at all and admitted what they did? I think not...
    and why would they have not come forward--because they knew that what they had done was wrong and dishonest. It's only now after the fact, that this person has been caught, so is now worried about how it may affect their career and their future.
  3. by   Paleobug
    At my school, you cannot have a felony conviction in order to get your license. If he can afford a decent lawyer, he should be able to have just a mistomeaner charge if any.
  4. by   colleennurse
    I have been reading this thread for the last couple of days and I cannot believe how judgemental some people are. I agree that at the age of 22, one should know better than to steal. But as others have stated we really do not know the circumstances and we are not judges in a court of law. We all make stupid mistakes in our lives. Making mistakes is what teaches you lessons in life, and those lessons build character. Hopefully this person will have learned something valuable just from realizing what damage he may have done by stealing something. And for his sake, hopefully what ever is coming to him will not be the worst case senario punishment. Maybe I am wrong, but maybe he wasn't even thinking about his nursing career when he made the decision to steal?? I am not condoning what he did, but obviously if you are going to try and get away with something, you aren't going to stand there and weigh out all of the consequences. I find it a little hard to believe that with all the nurses out there, that they all have perfectly clean records.
  5. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from button2cute
    Chris,
    I will not get offended by your thoughts and assumptions about my personal life. I do not know the young man at all and I never in my life had an encounter with the law like this gentleman. I only had one encounter and I revealed it. Therefore, do not make statements about the gentleman and myself.
    From your post, it appears you took my statements personally, and you were in fact offended. However, that was not my intention and when I review what I wrote, I see that I was calm, tactful, reasonable, objective and expressed my views about the issue at hand, whether someone who committed this act ought to be a nurse.... which is pretty close to "outcome of misjudgement."

    However, you stated that you would allow this person into your home without your being there, and then seemed offended when I responded to that in a caring and instructive manner. So I'm a little confused about your statements about what I wrote, but okay.
    Quote from button2cute
    Well, there is no point of arguing over what should happen to this young man. He will face his jury and judge at the criminal hearing as well as the board of nursing soon. I would love to hear the outcome of this case. I bet you ten dollars that he will get probation in criminal court with community services. Would you like to take a guess?
    You can bet all you want, and you may well be right. In fact, I'm more inclined to agree that this will be the outcome of this case. Doesn't mean it is a right decision, doesn't mean the individual ought to be a nurse, doesn't mean he has good character. I once had students whose friend delivered an infant which she placed in a dempsey dumptster, where it died. She was charged with murder and she got off because she said she did the dumpster thing on impulse and panic. My students told me that she had told them weeks before the birth that she was considering that as a "way out." So much for the impulse and panic of the moment, what she did is called "malice aforethought" (planning a bad deed before doing it). She was acquitted, and that didn't make her "innocent," it just meant she wasn't punished for her act.

    That's the way it works in America. Judge Learned Hand said, better that ten guilty men go free than one innocent one falsely convicted, or words to that effect. But that doesn't mean those guilty guys that went free were "innocent." Let's hope they don't get licensed as nurses! LOL
    Quote from button2cute
    PS You would be a great debator and especially against me. I think they would have to give us ativan to stop us.
    I am a very good debator, thanks, but I pick my opponents carefully. There seem to be a lot of ad hominem arguments in your posts (ad hominem means you are "attacking the man," in other words, you criticize me rather than responding on topic to statements I have made). I don't think I'd need to be stopped, and I sure would wonder about somebody who would give a person Ativan because they were debating or even arguing.

    I stand by my statements. I admit I have strong morals and strong personal standards. I hold myself to a higher standard, I don't expect others to meet the same standards, but I'm not willing to look the other way when I see that something is wrong.

    Very cool country song says, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything." I can't think of a better expression.

    By the way, thanks for the posts of support, you all who wrote :kiss --(and I'm a girl, but am often taken--sight unseen--for male, probably because I am a strong writer, but a clue to my gender would be the length of my posts--females are more verbal.... )
  6. by   sbic56
    Wow. Judgemental bunch here. We know little about this friend of the OP except that he did something illegal that needs to be addressed before he puts alot of effort in nursing school. We know nothing about him other than that. It amazes me that with only the knowledge of his shoplifting arrest, some can make the determination that this person should never be a nurse? Like some others have recommended, this guy needs to speak to a lawyer to be sure he is represented fairly. The need to do that is made ever so more clear by reading the knee jerk judgements of some of the posters here!
  7. by   speedykicks
    Quote from sbic56
    Wow. Judgemental bunch here. We know little about this friend of the OP except that he did something illegal that needs to be addressed before he puts alot of effort in nursing school. We know nothing about him other than that. It amazes me that with only the knowledge of his shoplifting arrest, some can make the determination that this person should never be a nurse? Like some others have recommended, this guy needs to speak to a lawyer to be sure he is represented fairly. The need to do that is made ever so more clear by reading the knee jerk judgements of some of the posters here!
    You know - I don't see it as an issue of being judgmental, but rather having strong opinions that people who are convicted of felonies may not be suitable for nursing. I am not suggesting he is a bad person, many, many people convicted of crimes are not "bad" people, but I am ok with standards that prevent convicted felons from being licensed to care for vulnerable people in life and death situations. That doesn't mean some good folks won't lose out on a nursing career because of mistakes they made, or some dishonest nurses still won't get licensed because they don't get caught. But it just seems like a reasonable standard, even if not a perfect one.
  8. by   LPN2BinOK
    There is a reason there are such things as petit larceny and grand larceny. They are based upon the value of item stolen.

    I'd have to say that 22 years old is old enough to have the wherewithall to know right from wrong, especially along the lines of theft. The OP's friend should have known better, plain and simple. I will go without before I will steal something. I will ask my parents, friends, or coworkers for assistance before I will steal something. Which, therefore, means I will not steal something. Not because of the consequences, or potential loss or prevention of earning my nursing license....but BECAUSE IT IS MORALLY WRONG! Is that really so hard to understand?

    If this person can make the "error in judgement" (sic) to steal something from a business establishment, then who is to say he can make the proper judgement call when it comes to saving someone's life?

    I agree with Chris. In fact, I think she and I were separated at birth.

    Character and ethics are everything in nursing. Anyone who tells you otherwise is in denial.
  9. by   Helen46
    Time to change this thread.

    With so many active participants, all of impeccable character (giggles), I wanted to initiate the 'naughty nurses' challenge.

    This challenge (given we are all anonymous) involves you telling us the story of the most devious naughty thing you have done (or at least you feel you can talk about - though not something really horrible and nasty),and preferably involving a bit of humour. For example, did you ever attend a kinky sex party, tell a whoppa about why you were late for work, or sleep with your girlfriend's mother.

    It will be interested to see who are the bravest people here (or perhaps the biggest story tellers *grin*)

    By the way, if anyone checked out 'Buttons' profile, which was updated two years ago, they would find out that she is already a registered nurse in her 40s and probably has been for decades.

    But my last word on this topic is for your friend to get the best lawyer he can.

    This thread has been done to death, l'd like a little bit of naughty fun please

    Helen (my real name)
  10. by   speedykicks
    Quote from Helen46
    Time to change this thread.

    With so many active participants, all of impeccable character (giggles), I wanted to initiate the 'naughty nurses' challenge.

    This challenge (given we are all anonymous) involves you telling us the story of the most devious naughty thing you have done (or at least you feel you can talk about - though not something really horrible and nasty),and preferably involving a bit of humour. For example, did you ever attend a kinky sex party, tell a whoppa about why you were late for work, or sleep with your girlfriend's mother.

    It will be interested to see who are the bravest people here (or perhaps the biggest story tellers *grin*)

    By the way, if anyone checked out 'Buttons' profile, which was updated two years ago, they would find out that she is already a registered nurse in her 40s and probably has been for decades.

    But my last word on this topic is for your friend to get the best lawyer he can.

    This thread has been done to death, l'd like a little bit of naughty fun please

    Helen (my real name)
    I think there is a good discussion going here about ethics and nursing - and I am enjoying reading people's opinions. Helen, why don't you start a separate thread for your naughty stories solicitation? People who may have good contributions to that topic wouldn't know to look for it burried in this thread anyway.
  11. by   sbic56
    Quote from speedykicks
    You know - I don't see it as an issue of being judgmental, but rather having strong opinions that people who are convicted of felonies may not be suitable for nursing. I am not suggesting he is a bad person, many, many people convicted of crimes are not "bad" people, but I am ok with standards that prevent convicted felons from being licensed to care for vulnerable people in life and death situations. That doesn't mean some good folks won't lose out on a nursing career because of mistakes they made, or some dishonest nurses still won't get licensed because they don't get caught. But it just seems like a reasonable standard, even if not a perfect one.
    I hear what you are saying, but I don't like blanket judgements that determine a person's fate, especially where one indiscretion is involved. I think it is terribly naive and counterproductive to have such a standard. Naive, because it is arguably not making patients safer; the most devious offenders may never get caught. Counterproductive because it may be eliminating a potentially great nurse from ever being. Would this same strict standard hold true for those persuing other professions where they may come in close enough contact to potentially do harm to someone? Accountants? Waiters? Priests? Stewardesses? Social workers?
  12. by   Catys_With_Me
    Quote from sbic56
    I don't like blanket judgements that determine a person's fate...
    It's not about judging a person's character or worth, but about the consequences a person experiences due to their behavior. As I am attempting to teach my teenager: behavior has consequences and many times those consequences are fixed and long lasting. If you don't want to suffer those consequences you may want to think once, twice, thrice before indulging in the behavior. That's life folks.

    I had my license suspended for a month 10 years ago d/t too many speeding tickets in a short time. As a result of my past behavior I would have a VERY difficult time today obtaining a position that requires I drive for my employer. Does this mean I'm a bad person? Not at all. Does it mean I'm a potential liability (at least on paper) and that another person might be a better 'risk' for my employer when attempting to fill such a position? Absolutely. I will never be a police officer for example because of this behavior, even though it's 10 years past. If I'm mature I accept that, I own it as being a direct result of life choices I have made, and I look for another career.

    No one is judging this person's character. Of course everyone makes mistakes. And yes, sometimes misdemeanors and felonies are mistakes that are really a one time thing from which people learn and move on. However... in the adult world certain behaviors have serious consequences. And what others are attempting to get across is that that's just not a bad thing.
  13. by   sbic56
    Catys

    I am not talking about this persons character. I am talking about people who judge others based on one indiscretion. Not right, IMO. The punishment should fit the crime. There is no indication this person would not make a great nurse based on one arrest. I'd need to know much more to have an opinion on whether he would be a good person to be around vulnerable people. It's not so black and white to me. Your dangerous driving habits didn't affect your entire life and you learned from your mistake. I don't like that his one bad move could mean he can never be a nurse. That's just totally wrong.
    Last edit by sbic56 on Oct 9, '05

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