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Help. Is my outrage justified?

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by fairandbalanced fairandbalanced (New Member) New Member

645 Visitors; 14 Posts

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Is my rage justified. My friend just flunked out of her first semester at Charity with a 76 average. 77 is the cut. The failing question (and I don't know it word for word, but here is the general gist of it): An african woman who lives in Africa has an intestinal bug. She believes that by eating pumpkin seeds, the bug will be eliminated. Is this a : religious belief, a cultural belief, is she correct, and few other choices. My friend answered, a cultural belief. As per the teacher: WRONG. First of all, regardless of the question or answer, how is this question even relevant to Nursing? Upon doing her homework and research, she could prove it very much IS a cultural thing. She appealed the question. The woman who wrote the question refused to budge and the committee sided with her. So boom. My freind is out. Never mind she is an excellent student. I am outraged. 44 people apparently missed that stupid, trick, unfair, irrelevant question. When teachers result to trickery on exams, it is so unfair and the students will never win. What can be done about this? This is a power issue and the teacher is getting off on it. People like that have got to go. I am beginning Charity in January. If I wasn't sufficiently terrified before, I certainly am now. Feedback, please.

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645 Visitors; 14 Posts

Is my rage justified. My friend just flunked out of her first semester of Nursing School with a 76 average. 77 is the cut. The failing question (and I don't know it word for word, but here is the general gist of it): An african woman who lives in Africa has an intestinal bug. She believes that by eating pumpkin seeds, the bug will be eliminated. Is this a : religious belief, a cultural belief, is she correct, and few other choices. My friend answered, a cultural belief. As per the teacher: WRONG. First of all, regardless of the question or answer, how is this question even relevant to Nursing? Upon doing her homework and research, my friend could argue it very much IS a cultural thing. She appealed the question. The woman who wrote the question refused to budge and the appeals committee sided with her. So boom. My freind is out. Never mind she is an excellent student. I am outraged. 44 people apparently missed this question. When teachers result to trickery on exams, it is so unfair and the students will never win. What can be done about this? This is, no doubt, a power issue and the teacher is getting off on it. People like that have got to go. BTW, she is a mean and unhappy woman who has been teaching at the school forever. I am beginning in January at the same institution. If I wasn't sufficiently terrified before, I certainly am now. Feedback, please.

Edited by fairandbalanced
less inflammatory

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34,434 Visitors; 6,372 Posts

There is nothing wrong with being outraged, but please respond gracefully to your emotions.

Your friend did not fail because of 1 question. She failed because of a semester-long pattern of marginal performance.

It is up to her to appeal this further, if she so chooses. I don't believe that it is your battle.

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16,474 Visitors; 2,438 Posts

Obviously she's not as excellent of a student as you claim to be if 77 would have caused her to pass the class but she scored a 76. She didn't make the cut.

Regardless of the question you won't get anywhere with this. All she can do is suck it up and retake the class or go to a different program.

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13,298 Visitors; 2,801 Posts

Some test questions are 'tricky' like that. I personally detest such questions, but sometimes you just have to live with them. I figure that when I get a dumb question like that 'wrong', chances are I also got some other dumb question 'right' just by lucky chance! I think it's lousy way to draw the line between passing and failing, but even as flawed as it is, it is likely that it was more than just this one question made the difference.

Sometimes, just the way the student approaches the dilemma can make or break it with some instructors. Coming at the instructor with the attitude of trying to argue for a point is less likely to help no matter how well reasoned and supported the argument about the given question is.

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walk6miles specializes in ICU of all kinds, CVICU, Cath Lab, ER..

2 Articles; 6,626 Visitors; 308 Posts

There is nothing wrong with being outraged, but please respond gracefully to your emotions.

Your friend did not fail because of 1 question. She failed because of a semester-long pattern of marginal performance.

I feel very sorry for the student who is caught up in this problem - but more than her problem, I am astonished at the judgement of members without the input of this student. What gives??

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roser13 has 17 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC.

50,703 Visitors; 6,504 Posts

a) Yes, you are right to be outraged.

b) That doesn't matter because this type of issue is prevalent in the nursing school community.

I could tell you hair-raising stories about inep, incorrect and outrageous questions on past nursing exams. I'm sure most nurses could. My personal opinion is that due to the nature of the NCLEX questions, nursing instructors do their best to obfuscate their questions and answers. That would be fine if all nursing instructors were smart enough to carry that off. But they're not and some downright questions and answers are the result.

I always knew that I was grateful that my community college had a very fair and balanced review committee who passed judgment on disputed questions. Not everyone is so lucky.

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53,633 Visitors; 11,191 Posts

oh gawd, this brings back memories...

of my 1st semester in nsg, and how the majority of our class, would all become extremely 'vocal' in challenging these type of questions.

the bottom line is, your friend won't win.

if anything, and if it's a bad question, they won't use it on future exams.

and so, i understand your indignation...

since it is par for the journey of nsg school.

i agree w/the poster who said it wasn't just this exam, that failed your friend out of school.

leslie

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lifelearningrn has 4 years experience as a RN and specializes in School Nursing.

24,525 Visitors; 2,263 Posts

One question didn't cause your friend to fail.. obviously she had got some others wrong as well that were probably very relevant. It's easy to say, "ONE QUESTION WOULD HAVE MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE" and if it was a 3 question test that determined an entire semester, it would have mattered. I'm bummed for your friend (as I fear things like this happening to me too) but this question was not do or die.

Having said that, I can't imagine any other answer unless you're studying cultures and religion... seems like a silly question.

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GHGoonette is a BSN, RN and specializes in PACU, OR.

24,428 Visitors; 1,249 Posts

Actually, while there may very well be African traditional healers who advocate chewing of pumpkin seeds for various ailments, it is a recognized health food, effective for gastro-intestinal ailments, and alternative health care practitioners do recommend it for expelling worms. So the student is wrong; it is not an African cultural thing.

I do agree, though; it is a bit of a catch question. I would be interested to know how much alternative medicine is being taught in nursing schools today.

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2 Followers; 103,227 Visitors; 14,620 Posts

I am not, by any means, defending the test question -- however; anyone who flunks out because of one question on one exam was a marginal student long before that particular exam. If it hadn't been that question (that was the final straw), it would have been another one.

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