Why do we do this? Why do we allow it?

Nurses General Nursing


Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC.

Why do we continue to feed nursing students the answers that they should be finding themselves?

Look at this thread:


Why are so many of us willing to provide answers to student questions, when providing the answer allows the student to avoid research and mathematic calcuation that is invaluable to a successful nursing career?

I have always thought that those who provide answers are simply feeding their own need to be valuable. Yet I often see responders arguing that we (as nurturing, experienced nurses) should be providing the answers. In fact (they say) we have an obligation to provide the up and coming nursing students with solutions to their homework problems, lest we be seen as "eating our young."

What is wrong with this picture?

Specializes in Developmental Disabilites,.

I have no problem helping if a student can't understand a concept and has worked on it. I do have a problem giving them an answer when they have not tried at all.

Specializes in adult ICU.

We do it because we are A. too nice or B. fulfilling some need of our own to have knowledge of something.

We allow it because it's a message board and it's not against the rules.

It's not really even worth debating, it's just worth an eye roll, IMO. I do have a hard time with this particular issue though...struggling through the Krebs cycle or the clotting cascade is one thing, but basic algebra? If nursing school these days is so hard to get in to, WHY can people not do math?

Specializes in Gerontology.

Because if we don't answer questions we are accussed of "eating our young".

Of course, if we offer to help the new grad on the floor, then we are accused of "not trusting them" or "intimidating" them.

So basically, as I figure it, we are damned if we do, damned if we don't.

Specializes in ER, Trauma.

Of course you're correct. Let's stop teaching alltogether and let everybody learn everything on their own. Afterall, we were all born knowing everything and never needed help.

Specializes in ED.

I'm not an RN yet, but I'm on my way. As a student, I understand the frustrations of not understanding a math problem or other concept but I also get frustrated when I see other students seeking help on this forum w/o even attempting to figure it out on his/her own.

I don't mind helping someone set up a math problem or pointing someone in the right direction but I refuse to spoon feed. I have a hard enough time doing my OWN homework! If that is eating my young, well, pass the salt and pepper.


i had to take dosage calcuation test on the first day of each nursing classes. if we dont pass the test,then we flunk the class. we can give them the answers but will they be able to pass the dosage calcuation test?

I agree. I don't mind helping someone who asks for clarification, but a question such as "What is [x] procedure/drug/medical term?" requires a VERY brief google search to answer the question. If the student in question is incapable of googling or consulting a drug book, the program that confers on them any sort of degree should be held liable for all their actions as a nurse.

Now someone who comes here and says "Here's what I know, here's what I understand, but here is where I'm getting confused" is obviously someone who has at least tried to understand and has at least read a sentence on the subject before asking.

I managed to successfully achieve two bachelors degrees without once, ever, asking for someone to do my homework for me. (Well, not seriously asked. ;) ) I also never once asked for someone to explain to me basic concepts without first putting in a serious attempt to locate and understand the information for myself. I certainly was not so stupid as to trust strangers on the internet for answers.

Specializes in LTC, Hospice, Case Management.
Of course you're correct. Let's stop teaching alltogether and let everybody learn everything on their own. Afterall, we were all born knowing everything and never needed help.

But, are we teaching?? or are we enabling??

The specific post mentioned did not ask for help understanding a concept...seems they just wanted an answer.

Specializes in Med/Surg, Academics.

There will always be students who ask for the answers, so it's not a question of "allowing" it. It will just always be.

So, there are three choices: 1) don't bother with the student forums, 2) give direction without giving the answers, or 3) stomp your feet/yell/scream that they dared ask it.

You chose door number three.

when you give someone the answers are you teaching or just helping someone who isnt cut out for the job? we all need help sometimes, and we all help each other sometimes. for some of us we help others more. nursing is about helping people, right? but sometimes you have to cut your losses and help a student find a place in the system where they can help, in order to to save lives. O yea, i am just a nursing student but i was a Scout-Sniper in the US ARMY and have treated sucking chest wounds with strips of duck tape and MRE wrappers ( makeshift flutter valve). have given IV's in the dark, while dragging my brothers to cover while being shot at. Now i am in nursing school with kids, but in my view most of them are worth helping. If not they will be weeded out or moved into suitable jobs. thats just my 2 cents at the moment.

Hey, I'm one of those new grads and I happen to agree!

One of the first times I had to give less than the full vial of Dialdad I went to do the math on the dosage and my preceptor just said "it's XYZ." I politely said "It's not that I don't trust you but I just want to figure it our on my own." Of course I got the same answer and I knew she was right all along just by quickly doing it in my head, but I think that's just a dangerous habit to get into ESPECIALLY now.

The other thing I always try to do is think through something first, come up with what I THINK should be the answer or the course of action, and THEN ask to verify if I'm correct. Sometimes I am, sometimes I'm not but at least I'm trying to think through it. Frankly I don't want someone to just give me an answer and not think through the question myself. It's my license on the line and I would be pretty ****** at myself it a situation went bad and all I had to defend my decision was "well, I did what Nurse Ratched told me to do..."

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