Moral dilemma? Or should I mind my own business?

  1. Ok here's my dilemma: There are 3 students in my class that smoke pot nearly every day. They don't come to school high, but they talk about it a lot. We're starting clinicals soon and all the paperwork for that is due next week. All 3 of them are planning on using someone else's "clean" urine for their drug tests next week. How do I know this? They nonchalantly told me.

    I'm conflicted with what to do with this information. On one hand, it's none of my business. They don't come to class high, so I'd assume they're not dumb enough to go to clinicals or work high either. And I don't really care what they choose to do on their personal time.

    But on the other hand... I think it's wrong for them to be deceitful like this. If they're willing to lie about their drug usage, what else might they lie about? If you want to get technical, it's cheating on a test, and if I saw someone cheating on a written test in class I would speak up.

    ... But then I remind myself that it's not really my business and that they might be found out eventually. But will that "eventually" come after they get licensed, when they have patients in their care?

    I'm not a smoker myself, but I'm also not against smoking. So do I speak up and tell someone (and potentially get a student kicked out of school over some mostly benign pot smoking), or should I just keep my mouth shut?

    Thanks for any advice.
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    About sasera

    Joined: Jan '18; Posts: 37; Likes: 53

    16 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    If they were stupid enough to tell someone about their plans shouldn't they be stupid enough to deal with the consequences? I would provide the information to the director of the program, anonymously if you must, and then be done with them.
  4. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from sasera
    All 3 of them are planning on using someone else's "clean" urine for their drug tests next week. How do I know this? They nonchalantly told me.
    They might not find this as easy to accomplish as they think. Still, I think I would be inclined to alert someone and I would steer clear of them for the remainder of your schooling.
  5. by   KeeperMom
    I understand your dilemma.

    My first thought is, "How do they intend to use someone else's urine when part of the test includes checking for temperature?" I'm sure there are ways around a drug screen these days but I've taken my fair share of drug tests and cannot fathom how it could be done.

    I cannot tell you what to do but I can tell you what I didn't do back in undergrad because it "wasn't my business."

    There was this dude in our class that was a slob, always late, always sweaty... he was just GROSS! We had an OB clinical one day and he was on the schedule to be the "charge nurse" for our group. He was late. Showed up all disheveled and flushed. He was a mess. About 45 mins into him being there, it becomes obvious to me that he was still drunk from the night before. He smelled like a stale beer and a dirty ashtray. I never said anything to our teacher because it wasn't any of my business. To this day, I regret not saying anything. Despite his appearance, he was very book smart. He was terrible in other clinicals I had with him but somehow he made it through school. He then went on NP school but I think he eventually lost his NP license. I can't help but wonder if he ever caused any harm to a patient. I didn't even want for him to get in trouble. He was a genuinely nice guy but just could not get his sh!t together with the drinking. I sincerely hope he's gotten help.

    Again, I can't tell you what to do but I would probably say something. I agree that the idea of them being deceitful is the bigger issue here. I hope they get some help before they carry the responsibility of providing patient care.
  6. by   tanwonsaur
    I think saying something is the way to go. When it comes down to it, they are going to be in charge of a patient's well-being, and someone could get seriously hurt if they're under the influence of anything. I'm sure there are plenty of people who would be more serious about being in your program who would love the opportunity.
  7. by   caliotter3
    I worked with a CNA who reeked of pot and would disappear to smoke in storage rooms instead of doing his work. The employer fired him multiple times, all the supervisors knew how worthless he was, nobody wanted to team with him, and to this day I remember him in a negative light. I don't apologize for the opinion that certain types of behavior don't mesh with performing patient care.
  8. by   WanderingWilder
    I think that i would wait until after the drug test and if they do manage to pass it, then maybe mention to an instructor that they talk about smoking pot all the time. chances are they are not going to fool the lab. When i did my urine test one of the things they checked was the temperature of the urine. I doubt they will be able to make the urine warm enough. Plus there are other safety measures in place. That way if they fail you don't need to say anything and if they pass you are just in the same place you are now.
  9. by   sasera
    Thank you all for your insights! The temperature issue is apparently taken care of by using hand warmers wrapped around a Ziploc bag of pee, like what you would put in your gloves in the winter. One of the girls (women, actually-- they are all women in their 30s! Two of them have kids!) told me she used this trick to get her last job as a CNA and it worked. (On a side note, I spent 6 years in the Navy and was astounded at how lax the civilian drug test was. In the military, someone must watch your urine physically leave your body and enter the cup. To be able to pee in a private bathroom with the door closed, well, that was surprising to me)

    We have a student services coordinator, so I think I'll privately speak with her and let her decide whether or not to tell the program director. I know there's no way to prove that they're not using their own urine as the urinalysis is at Quest Diagnostics off-site, but maybe we'll get a surprise "everybody has to pee right now" test later in the program. At least that would keep everyone honest.
  10. by   OsceanSN2018
    Are these girls your friends? If so, i would just leave it alone. You're there to get through school and avoid unnecessary drama at all costs. If they get found out on their own then so be it, but as long as you are not put into the crossfire. Plus, how do you even know if these girl were being serious? I have a girl in my class who jokes a lot about drinking, smoking, sex (she was pretending to make out with our sim mannequin), and partying but no one takes her serious because she's so goofy.
  11. by   Ruixi13
    I do think there is a huge difference between smoking weed in your life responsibly vs showing up to work/school under the influence. In the latter situation I would say something. You have to consider we don't judge people who drink alcohol on weekends but of course would find it unacceptable and inappropriate to drive or show up to work drunk. I don't consider marijuana any different. I don't think recreational marijuana users should be excluded from nursing.. but that is just me and not an official opinion.
  12. by   OcMurse93
    I cant help but thinking... what if they get caught and then they find out that you knew they were going to do this and that you did not come forward. You could be liable.
  13. by   Guy in Babyland
    I would let the school know. Hopefully there is only one testing site that they can go to. If the testing site has their names, then they can ensure that they don't take anything into the restroom with them.
  14. by   KrCmommy522
    When I was in nursing school, I did a rotation at a occupational health clinic at a hospital for my community health course. They did a lot of urine drug screens there for employees of the hospital and other places they had contracts with. From that experience, I highly doubt they will be able to get past the drug screen. They made you leave everything outside - purse and coat and all that. They put some blue stuff in the toilet water, apparently so people couldn't try and use the toilet water as their sample? Though I still am unsure why anyone would think that would be a good idea lol. Then, they tested the sample for temperature and everything else. We had one person, they tested the sample for temp, and it was off just a tiny bit. She told the person he could redo the sample right then or could come back at another time. But they wouldn't use that sample because the temp was off. I asked why she did that since it was only a little bit off. She said because people try to fool it by using warmers and of course sometimes they can get the temp right but most times its a little off.

    I would do what WanderingWilder said. Wait to see if they are able to get past the test. If by some chance they are, then I would report it. Otherwise, I would just stay away from them.

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