Instructor lecturing on ethics...

  1. wow, i know it. let me share something with you.

    i am a 4 year nursing student.
    one of the instructors was lecturing on Ethics, and then had the class split into groups and work on a senario of a nurse student who cheated on an exam and her friend who sat by her-the one she cheated from-knew that she cheated, because after the exam the student who cheated mentioned it to her friend-the one she cheated from, and her friend told her that she needed to be honest about it and that it was not her problem, she was not the one that cheated......anyway you get the gest....that if cheating if found out the cheater gets kicked out of the program, and possibly the friend too........so....

    some groups said that they would cover their own butt and report the cheater, some said that the honest friend should remain quiet (oh yea one more detail, the friend knew her friend was cheating from her during the exam, but only knew it at a certain time during the exam when she was almost completed) and tell her friend that she has to deal with it one her own, and that she was not going to report her...

    now....this will blow you away..........the class asked the instructor what would she do....get this......this PhD of nursing said.....personally, I would have not told on her........and in my group we said well it is the Universities policy that both parties are responsible, and if the one being cheated from knows it and does not report it then that student is just as guilty.........get ready for this......the instuctor said, I still would not report it..........really hold on.......then the instructor told about a story where she was working in a hospital, and something happened, but she would not say, she said that there are only two people who know what happened in the hospital where she and another nurse worked..........all the groups just looked at each other and thought what the H***!!!!...

    we all thought that did she cause someone to die, did she overdose a patient, what the crap did she do????

    Now, you are an experienced nurse tell me your thoughts on this.

    I believe in honesty, and owning up to my mistakes. It is not beyond me to say that Iwas wrong, and face the consequences, everybody has consequences to face, that is fact of life........but now I quesiton this instructor teaching this aspect for years.....

    is this wrong?
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    About doesanyoneknowwhy

    Joined: May '09; Posts: 46; Likes: 18

    23 Comments

  3. by   BabyLady
    I think the point that the instructor was trying to illustrate, is that it is almost impossible that you knew someone was cheating off of you...unless you TOLD someone that you knew...and if you were that person, and denied it, then it becomes a he said/she said...which is impossible to prove.

    When it comes down to things like this...instructors have to tread lightly...this gets into a major legal issue very quickly if you unjustly accuse a student...the school has to have the same level of proof as a court would...b/c if it goes that far, it has to be able to hold up.

    We had this happen at our school a year ago. One very bright student was trying to help a slacker..and the slacker copied some information from the bright student (unknown to the bright student) and turned it in as her own work....but the bright student only sent the slacker an example of a project we were doing...never, ever dreaming that she would copy it WORD FOR WORD.

    The bright student had NO control over that issue.

    End result: The bright student that never cheated and had a very high GPA now has on her permanent transcript that she is a cheater...and has had a very difficult time trying to find a job, she feels, because of it.

    This issue was decided among the instructors....our school doesn't have an honors committee.

    As students, when one of us was stuck on a project, many of us have traded papers back and forth so we can get an idea of what we were supposed to do if one of us were ahead.....to me that isn't cheating....that is just showing an example...because in our program, sometimes the directions we received were not clear and our instructors were not very good at helping us.

    No one ever copied anything word for word....but because of ONE slacker, the reputation of another student was ruined.

    I told her, if that was me, I would go through every court system in this state to get that removed from my transcript.
  4. by   leslie :-D
    i sorta admire your ethics professor for being so honest.
    there is ethics, and then there is real life.
    while it is noble to boast the honorable solution, real life is filled w/so many snags that produce permanent and damaging results...
    the crime doesn't always match the punishment.

    had i found out that someone copied from me, i know i wouldn't report the student.
    yes, i would give her lots of grief about it but knowing the fight and subsequent repercussions ahead:
    and, it being the first time...
    nope, wouldn't report it.

    even though most of us know the correct answer, it doesn't mean it always makes it the right answer.
    many things to take into consideration.
    after weighing all options, then the solution/answer you pick, is the ethical one...
    for you.

    enjoy your class, op.
    and appreciate all the different perspectives you'll hear.
    it's the only way to learn and flourish.

    leslie
  5. by   caliotter3
    If the instructor prefaced her comments by saying that this was her personal opinion derived from working in the real world and made it clear what the school policy is on the subject, and that it was her job to support the school policy, I see nothing wrong.
  6. by   Whispera
    There's ethics (what we think is "right" because of the way we've been raised) and ethics according to the philosophical study of it. One could look at this example as a search to learn what is most philosophically correct in the ethical sense. Greatest good for greatest number? above all do no harm?

    Where I've gone to school there was a strict plagiarism and anti-cheating policy. It was made quite clear, up front, that if someone knew about cheating and did nothing about it, he or she was considered part of the problem and would be disciplined. I wonder what your school policy is?
  7. by   Goingthere
    let's be honest...(no pun intended) but the right thing is not always righteous. I believed in doing the right thing, then I got called out as a whistle blower and got cut off the schedule at the group home I work at as a counselor....so will I never do the right thing again? No, but I now consider how the right thing can hurt me.
  8. by   chevyv
    I agree with leslie. I feel sorry for the person cheating off of me! I was usually taking educated guesses; LOL . Honestly, if my bud was cheating off of me I would not have said anything but he/she would never do it again! I think your ethics instructor is just letting you all see the world in 'real' color. Rarely is anything black and white.
  9. by   CrufflerJJ
    I had an interesting thing happen when I was doing my first undergrad degree Waaaaaaay back in the dark ages (1979-1983). In one of the computer science classes I took as an engineering student, we'd write programs (on the IBM 370 mainframe) for weekly assignments. I found that a fellow student was waiting till a day or two before the programs were due, copying my programs, & turning them in as his own work. I didn't report him.

    Instead, I "managed" to access his diskspace & just overwrote "his" program with "naughty, naughty - you shouldn't copy from others."

    All it took was one time, and he took the hint.

    No, it wasn't the official approach to solving the problem, but it worked for me.

    Of course, nowadays I'd probably be busted by the FBI & crucified for illegally accessing another person's computer account. How times change!
  10. by   coffee4metech
    yeah I agree the instructor was being honest and giving you her real world opinion I believe it was correct of her to be honest with you as a student.
  11. by   doesanyoneknowwhy
    I really appreciate all the feedback. I do understand that the real world is different than nursing class, but in class is where I will get the preparation. I just wondered either way real world / hospital situation involving a patient-which is what the instructor claimed-or class room setting-cheating students-could lead to incompetent students in the field of nursing-and people could die as a result of-so either way, in a court of law, before a jury, and a Judge, and God above (who seen what happened) the the truth is to be told because I feel that either way it involves a human beings well being.

    I understand the real world issues, the instructor made it clear to ignore the universities policy of knowing about cheating, and not tell.

    I also agree, one has to prove it.

    I would have to then tell that person that cheated off of me, we were no longer friends.

    I do feel that the person who cheats and the person they are cheating off of did not know it until after the exam becuase the cheating person told them, then I would have to say for me I would not feel obligated to report anything, becuase what the cheater would be saying would have to be proved first of all. That would be the extent of it, that someone told me they cheated from me. If the instructors suspect anything becuase of papers with same answers, and the two were sitting beside each other, then let them conduct a full investigation, more power to them.

    I was just a concerned that perhaps the instructor gave a poor example of not telling on another nurse, and her situaiton was in the real world, that involved a patient, she never went into detail, but she did not say it was a good situation either, but dear Jesus, if it involved the life and dealth of a patient, God have mercy on her soul. :zzzzz
  12. by   Cul2
    The responses on this thread are incredible. Doing the right thing isn't always easy. It's
    easy to rationalize. Of course, most on this thread would probably criticize the bankers
    and politicians who got us into this financial mess, and the people who borrowed money
    they had little chance of repaying. Should those who knew what was really going on in
    the financial word have turned them in?

    What I'm reading on this thread illustrates the problems
    with ethics in this culture today. It's all situation ethics. There's really no right and wrong.
    Everything's relative. If you can justify it, rationalize it, it's okay, as long as it's your opinion.
    Because, remember, anyone's opinion is as good as anyone else's. This is the slippery slope
    people talk about. If you don't turn in this student, why turn in the fellow nurse who fudges
    on charting? How about the nurse who notes she checked in on a patient but didn't really?
    Why turn this nurse in? Once you start rationalizing what you know is wrong, it's quite easy
    to continue sliding down that slope. I hope this thread doesn't represent the status of ethics in
    nursing today. But if it's coming from nursing professors, perhaps it is.
  13. by   bagladyrn
    Quote from Cul2
    The responses on this thread are incredible. Doing the right thing isn't always easy. It's
    easy to rationalize. Of course, most on this thread would probably criticize the bankers
    and politicians who got us into this financial mess, and the people who borrowed money
    they had little chance of repaying. Should those who knew what was really going on in
    the financial word have turned them in?

    What I'm reading on this thread illustrates the problems
    with ethics in this culture today. It's all situation ethics. There's really no right and wrong.
    Everything's relative. If you can justify it, rationalize it, it's okay, as long as it's your opinion.
    Because, remember, anyone's opinion is as good as anyone else's. This is the slippery slope
    people talk about. If you don't turn in this student, why turn in the fellow nurse who fudges
    on charting? How about the nurse who notes she checked in on a patient but didn't really?
    Why turn this nurse in? Once you start rationalizing what you know is wrong, it's quite easy
    to continue sliding down that slope. I hope this thread doesn't represent the status of ethics in
    nursing today. But if it's coming from nursing professors, perhaps it is.
    Thanks for posting this! I was beginning to wonder as I read this thread if I was the only one who felt this way. I completely agree with the "slippery slope" reference. I've been in a work situation where something very inappropriate happened, could have been swept under the rug, but of all that knew two of us were bothered enough by the ethics of the situation to report it. Others did confirm it after we did so, but it ended up having significant work related consequences for both of us. I knew it would going in, but am still glad I did so.
    This attitude may be why so many younger people when polled say that cheating is acceptable in order to get ahead.
  14. by   doesanyoneknowwhy
    I know. I just know that in my training as a police officer we were expected to credible in our reports that were presented to the courts. Yes, I have seen a lot of dishonesty in the nursing profession, but to have a nursing instructor claim that she had part in what she suggested that she and her fellow nurse only know about makes a student wonder about such a nurse. One girl in our group had made a good point. She said that she would not want a C nurse taking care of her, the dishonest nursing student, but the A student that knew herself the confidence of taking excellent care of someone. I do have to agree with the girl in my group.

    Personally, I see false documentation as a reportable offense. We are taught when we do our nursing documentation we are to tell the truth, and not let someone else document for us. Now, if the nursing instuctor is going to say she and another nurse will always hide something then there was something wrong that they did, otherwise what would someone want to hide the truth?

    Fasle documentation is a no-no.

    I do not trust any one enough with my nursing career to know that I documented contrary to the benifit of the patient's well being. I am just to honest in that regard. Just imagine if the doctor found out that a nurse frauded any kind of reporting of the patient.

    i do not mean to be going on and on about how I feel about the way an instructor is representing herself as a professional in front of impressional freshman nursing students-because the nursing instuctor is good otherwise in her teachings, it is just that I see in my thoughts about how everybody was reacting to her telling this story about herself, and it was like everybody just looked at each other, and really wondered had she went to far in sharing this aspect of her professional career, and one student said, what was it that you are hiding, and she said she would never tell. We all just really looked at each other and though what the heck!!!

    So, enough of this. I will be honest in my profession, and I will not cover anyone in the wrong doing of any aspect of taking care of a human life. I will only be in favor and participate in doing the right thing right for a patient to the best of my ability. I have worked with many police officers who lost their jobs for being dishonest in their paper work/reports prepared and presented to a court of law. If I am not mistaking, falsifying patient records can be a form of assult on patients, or perhaps neglect.

    I just think that it is better not to hide things that could potentially hurt a patient, or lose credibility as a nurse.

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