Nursing and midwifery students’ perceptions of instructors’ unethical behaviors

Ghazanfar Rafiee, Marzieh Moattari


Background: Although nursing faculties may believe that they possess a core of knowledge about ethical interactions with students, they may unwittingly risk crossing an ethical boundary in the learning environment. The ethical dimension in education exists because the instructor has authority to contribute to or impede the students’ acquisition of knowledge. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the views of Iranian baccalaureate nursing and midwifery students regarding the occurrence rate of their faculties’ unethical behaviors.

Materials and Methods: In this study, 115 subjects, including 61 nursing and 54 midwifery students, completed a questionnaire (response rate = 67.6%). The questionnaire consisted of demographic data and 27 short statements which described the faculties’ unethical behaviors. Reliability of instrument was confirmed (0.92) using Cronbach‑Alpha.

Results: Delaying in announcing the exam results (40%), lack of a positive learning environment (35.7%), failure to keep regularly scheduled office appointments (35.7%), and failure to update lecture notes when teaching a course (31.3%) were reported by the students as the main faculties’ unethical behaviors. Data analysis confirmed that there were no statistically significant differences between nursing and midwifery students’ responses (the two‑tailed t‑test was not significant at alpha 0.05 levels; P > 0.05).

Conclusion: The study findings suggest that more emphasis should be put on faculties being accessible for consultation out of class time, announcing the exam results in a timely manner, and creating a positive learning environment.

Key words: Ethics, nursing faculty, nursing student, perception

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