I. General Rights and Responsibilities
College of Pharmacy students are members of the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) academic community. As such, they have, along with all other members of the UNMC community, the responsibility to create and support a learning environment that will provide the best possible educational and professional outcomes. Each member of the community should be treated with dignity and respect. Each has the right to learn, and this right imposes a duty not to infringe on the rights of others. The College of Pharmacy faculty and administration are obligated to assure that the members of the community have the opportunities, protections, and privileges that will provide the best climate for learning.
II. Professional Conduct
In addition to being members of the UNMC academic community, College of Pharmacy students are also members of the professional community of pharmacy. As members of that community, it is important for students to build and reinforce a professional identity founded on the principles of integrity, ethical behavior, honesty, and fairness. Additional professional standards include appropriate dress and proper attention to personal hygiene. Adherence to these principles is vital to the assurance of the development of a professional relationship between the pharmacist and society. These principles must become part of a student’s everyday life.
To accomplish the goals of professional development, students must:1
- Develop a sense of loyalty and duty to the profession of pharmacy by contributing to the well-being of others and by enthusiastically accepting the responsibility and accountability for membership in the profession.
- Foster professional competency through life-long learning, and strive for high ideals, teamwork, and unity within the profession in order to provide optimal patient care.
- Support professional colleagues by actively encouraging personal commitment to the Oath of a Pharmacist and Code of Ethics for Pharmacists as set forth by the profession.
- Dedicate their lives and practice to excellence. This will require an ongoing reassessment of personal and professional values.
- Maintain the highest ideals and professional attributes to insure and facilitate the covenantal relationship required of the pharmaceutical care giver.
III. Professional Conduct in the Classroom
The maintenance of the classroom as a proper environment for teaching and learning is the responsibility of both the faculty and the students. Student behavior in the classroom is expected to adhere to professional standards and contribute in a positive way to the learning process. Behavior that may be interpreted by the faculty or other students as rude, disruptive, or that infringes on the rights of faculty or other students to effectively engage in the teaching/learning process will not be tolerated. At their discretion, faculty will take appropriate disciplinary action when such acts of inappropriate behavior are encountered.
IV. Professional Conduct in Other Instructional Settings
A major component of the College of Pharmacy curriculum involves experiential education in various practice settings or clerkship sites. Preceptors in those settings are appointed as full-time, courtesy, or adjunct faculty members of the College, and are members of the academic community. The clerkship site, then, is a classroom, and students are expected to adhere to the behavioral standards put forth in Section III. Attention to professional, ethical, legal, and hygienic standards is even more critical as students interact with patients, preceptors, and other health professionals. At their discretion, faculty will take appropriate disciplinary action when students do not adhere to these standards.
V. Professional Conduct and Academic Integrity
Maintaining academic integrity is a vital concern of the College of Pharmacy and the UNMC academic community at large. Without strict adherence to the standards of academic integrity, the teaching and learning environment loses validity. Honesty and integrity are a major part of the fabric of professional and ethical standards. An individual claiming to follow professional and ethical codes of conduct would also be expected to adhere to the standards of academic integrity.
Academic dishonesty is described in the UNMC Student Handbook. It includes, but is not limited to, actions under the following categories:
- Cheating — the use or attempted use of unauthorized materials or information for an examination, quiz, written assignment, or other academic exercise.
- Academic Misconduct — the falsification of official documents and/or obtaining records, examinations or documents without authorization.
- Fabrication — the making up of data or results and recording or reporting them.
- Falsification – changing or omitting data or results such that performance is not accurately represented.
- Plagiarism – the appropriation of another person’s words or ideas without including an appropriate citation.
VI. Professional Conduct and Substance Abuse
As future health care professionals, students enrolled in the College of Pharmacy have unique responsibilities regarding issues and matters pertaining to substance abuse. Therefore, they are expected to be familiar with the UNMC policies and standards of conduct concerning the physical, psychosocial, and legal consequences of substance abuse and chemical dependency as presented in the UNMC Student Handbook and the Substance Abuse or Dependency Standards of Conduct – Alcohol & Drugs. College of Pharmacy students who violate state or federal drug laws and/or abuse chemical substances will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the “Procedural Rules Relating to Student Discipline” in the UNMC Student Handbook. Students who are found to have problems associated with chemical dependency will be offered the opportunity for evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation in accordance with the policies and procedures presented in the Nebraska Pharmacy Student Recovery Program.
VII. Professional Conduct and Other Unlawful Acts
As students preparing to enter the profession of pharmacy, professional conduct extends into all aspects of daily life. College of Pharmacy students convicted of violations of local, state, or federal laws or ordinances may be deemed in violation of this Code and subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the “Procedural Rules Relating to Student Discipline” in the UNMC Student Handbook.
VIII. Disciplinary Procedures
The “Procedural Rules Relating to Student Discipline” are contained in the UNMC Student Handbook. These procedural rules will be applied to all aspects of misconduct under this code whether involving general violations of professional conduct or specific violations of academic integrity. Disciplinary sanctions that may be administered under these rules are:
- Written Reprimand
- Grade Adjustment
- Disciplinary Probation
- Misconduct away from campus, in settings not related to the University’s educational mission, that brings students under the sanctions of local judiciary systems or the Department of Health & Human Services will not generally be brought into a duplicative UNMC disciplinary process. However, when the interests of the College of Pharmacy or the University of Nebraska Medical Center are involved, the authority of the University of Nebraska will be asserted. The fact that a violation occurs off campus does not preclude the interest and involvement of the University of Nebraska Medical Center or the College of Pharmacy.
Adapted from the “Pledge of Professionalism” adopted by the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists/American Association of College of Pharmacy Council of Deans Task Force on Professionalism.