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Not sure what to do....What Would You Do?


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#1 jnjplus6

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:25 AM

Hi!


I'm new to EMTCity and so far I'm loving what I see.  It's so nice to have a place for us to come and "hang out" with others that understand.

 

Let me first mention, that I was an EMT-B for several years and let my certification expire in 2006, thinking I wasn't going to miss what I do as much as I have. So I am retaking EMT-B again and the oldest student in the class! lol I'm enjoying it for the most part and the other part, I wanted to get your words of wisdom about. Or like the Friday night show on ABC, "What Would You Do?" I'm looking forward to getting to know y'all!
 

I had been rolling a couple of things around in my head since we did our Pre-Clinical Skills day on February 2nd, then after class Thursday night, I thought maybe if I just wrote everything down, maybe I'd feel better. Since the event that occurred Thursday night is really what pushed me to write this, I'll start there.
 

We were given a quiz to take over the heart valves and vital signs. Several times when our instructor left the classroom, there were a couple of people cheating and one of them even asked me for an answer to a question. I simply shrugged my shoulders as a reply to this person. The cheating also happened on Skills Saturday on the "I'm a drop of blood" quiz, with the same people. In my opinion, the person is taking the answers from another that seems to put an effort into their work. Is that person allowing the other to take the answers? It's a good possibility, since they were talking to one another, but "does it take two to tango"? Maybe it's because I'm the oldest in our class, maybe I'm old school, maybe I'm a snitch...But, I just don't understand how anyone can do this to themselves and their classmates. In my eyes, cheating is showing total disrespect to their classmates, the instructor and themselves and is a form of lying. If a person is going to lie or cheat on something like a quiz, what does that say about their moral character in the long run? Honestly, it angers and frustrates me to know that the grades were better for the dishonest, then for those who did what they were supposed to do.
 

Another thing I have that's eating at me, is over our skills testing. On my first testing on the one person CPR/AED, I was told I failed due to being off the chest too long to give my first breathes to the patient after my 30 compressions. I was having a problem with the plastic barrier film that we were given to use for the mouth to mask and getting the chest to rise. As I continued through my test and got to the point where I am to tell someone to continue compressions while I set up the AED, that person was "out in left field" and didn't jump in to assist. So instead of setting up the AED, I immediately went back to my chest compressions while I got my "bystander's" attention and asked them to continue chest compressions while I set up the AED, while setting up the AED, I was asked to stop because I had already failed due the 10 seconds off the chest and the plastic barrier device.
 

When it came to retesting, I was asked to be the "bystander" for another classmate that was needing to retest on the one person CPR/AED with a different instructor. While I was watching and waiting to assist with "bringing the AED and compressions", I saw things that I thought may have been a problem with passing that skill. Incomplete compressions (no clicking noise on the manekin) at least 3 times in each set of the 5 sets of 30 compressions in the one person CPR, "bystander" went through 2 sets of 30 compressions and had to grab the BVM, put the mask on it to give 2 breathes while the tester was setting up the AED, and after shock was administered, the tester did not advise to go right back to doing chest compressions, but instead waited on AED to analyze the patient, advising all to stand clear, at that point instructor states "no shock advised", then the tester stated "you do compressions". I was surpised when this person told me that they had passed this skill.
 

I have been thinking about these things over the past week and even asked another classmate about their opinion on the AED skills test issue, since I honestly didn't think the cheating was going to end up happening again. Their opinion was to just let it go and see what happens.


This past Thursday night I was truly angry over the cheating issue and I just kept thinking about everything that has happened. Wondering if my instructor or any of the other instructors running the program, that may read this would think I'm just a snitch, crybaby, poor sport, or worse, by being told that I can't continue through EMT-B and ask me not to come back for any further EMS courses because I rock the boat. I'm not writing this to get anyone in trouble, make waves or for personal gain. I am writing this for my classmates and others that may take these courses in the future.


Throughout my writing this, I am worried that if I turn this letter in, that the rules may change on skills testing. I loved that it was kept casual, stress free and I'm almost positive my classmates enjoyed it that way as well. It was a major change compared to what I remembered when I had tested in the past. I can still feel the stress of lining up in a hallway behind a closed door, studying each skill sheet, waiting for my turn to test. Then going into the room with one or two instructors to preform a particular skill, not knowing until a few hours later if I had passed each skill. I am also not writing this for the person for whom I was a bystander for, because I "feel" they did poor on that particular test. While the cheating in the class truly inferiates me, the skills issue is a minor concern more than anything else. The concern is the inconsistancy of the testing instructors. What may fail you with one instructor (ie plastic barrier film) on a particular skill, another instructor may believe that you know what you're doing and allow you to pass on skill.
 

Please don't think that I am writing this trying to be some sort of know it all or cause trouble, that's not what I'm about. I hope that you would take this as a concerned student that is a team player, willing to help anyone anytime she can, while trying to also be a sort of a role model with a positive attitude. While I may be a little too outspoken and probably should have just let all this roll off my back, sit down and shut up...something inside just tells me to say something, maybe it was just for me to say something by writing this down for myself and getting it off my chest.

 

I hope you understand & thanks for reading


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#2 Ruffmeister Paramedic

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:45 PM

Cheating is WRONG, no matter what so to allow that to happen is tacit approval that you approve right?  

 

I would go to your instructors behind closed doors and explain what you saw and let them take it from there.  

 

You take the high road and DO NOT cheat and you will be better for it.  

 

You can call the cheaters out in class during the test and let the chips fall where they may or you can let your instructors catch them. 

 

But if your instructors don't give a shit and leave the room during the test then they are giving the cheaters carte blanche to cheat.  That's wrong in itself.  

 

Keep your moral compass and just keep on doing what you are doing, don't give in to the cheaters, they will fall mightily at the national registry test or they won't .  You know that you passed fair and square.  

 

You can also let their departments know they are cheating if you are a vindictive sort of person which I don't think you are.  

 

I myself, called the cheaters out in the testing situations,  I just said to them during the test "Stop trying to cheat off my paper" and that stopped them.  It pissed em off but they weren't going to get to use my hard work to skate through class.  I didn't make friends in that class except the friends I already had.  

 

I HATE cheaters.  They do nothing but make those of us who actually try to learn, look bad.  

 

Keep the faith, it will be worth it in the long run. 

 

My true and honest opinion is to get a list of each of those you saw cheating and give that to your instructor and tell that instructor that these are the ones who shared answers to the quiz or test.  I'll bet that will be the last time an instructor is out of the room during a quiz or test.  But I could be wrong.  


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#3 chbare

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:51 PM

I don't know your institution, but where I work, we have to be very careful about academic dishonesty. I basically have to catch somebody in the act or have them confess before I can take direct action. This is probably for the best as everything else is simply hearsay. Unfortunately, you've probably done the worst possible thing. You waited and watched the cheating occur and only now are you going to say something in the form of a letter without any direct communication with the class instructors. The sooner I hear about possible problems, the sooner I can make changes and watch a bit closer. Unfortunately, there is little I can do when I receive a letter after the fact. Do not take this as a personal attack, only as the truth regarding this situation. Sometimes you have to speak up and go out of your comfort zone, otherwise you have your current situation where you have allowed students to cheat through the entire course. This is probably a good lesson to learn and it will apply to clinical practice as well. Many people will simply stand by and watch another person harm a patient because speaking up takes you out of your comfort zone. Instead of preventing a potential patient care disaster you could end up here talking about a situation where you watched somebody do something harmful. Again, take this post in the context I intended. Make this a learning experience.
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#4 jnjplus6

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:39 PM

Wow!  Thank you for the support guys!    I don't know why, but I am worried about people saying that I would be wrong for being a "tattle tale".  I usually don't give a flip on what others think about me, maybe I'm more like that when it comes to my opinions or my sense or lack of style.  lol    For the most part I am an outgoing, fun loving person, that is friendly to everyone.  Since we spend so much time together in our EMT-B class, friendships form and we end up going to lunch together, doing study groups together, etc.  This whole situation is even more upsetting because I was under the impression that we were new friends.   I would have never thought that either one of these folks would be the sort that would cheat or even make it seem like it was a dog eat dog world in class.  

 

chbare:  I believe that you thought that I should have gone and said something Thursday night about the situation.  We have a VERY small class of 10 people and I was so dumbfounded and beyond ticked off, I don't think the timing would be good.  However, they've done this twice now, so I'm pretty sure that it is going to be a common occurance until they are forced to stop one way or another.

 

What do y'all think about the skills testing issue I mentioned?   It was not one of the two that cheated that I was the bystander for during their test.   While it's a different concern than the cheating issue, it's still a concern.   Or maybe on the skills issue, I should just let that one roll off my back. 

 

Thank you again for your suggestions and opinions! 


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#5 Ruffmeister Paramedic

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:45 PM

Well here's a thought,  maybe confront the cheaters and tell them it's got to stop.  let them know that you won't tolerate it and the next time it happens you will nip it in the bud right then.  Tell them that you work very hard on being honest and you don't appreciate cheating and you just won't tolerate it.  put them on notice and say "if I see you doing it again I'm going to the instructors"  

 

That might be all that is needed.  

 

But I think you also need to go to the instructors anyway.  Even if you don't confront your friends(so called friends) you have done your part in keeping your academic environment clean and honest.  

 

In every class I've ever attended, cheating was grounds for removal from the class.

 

My thoughts are this, if you know about the cheating and you allow it to continue then you are just as guilty as the cheaters themselves.  


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