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The facility I work at is currently seeing an increase in contraband, lighters, drugs weapons. We are looking for ways to keep everyone safe and maintain dignity. Any ideas, thoughts...Thanks cfaith.
we lock it in a closet that the patients can't access during their stay, then it's given to them upon d/c. Illegal drugs are given to the med nurse and then the police come and collect it to dispose of it, but with no identifying information. The police collect the guns as well, and the person can get it after d/c from the police dept.
I have worked in settings that have done it both ways: #1 no searches # 2 searches prior to admission. Lock it up and return upon discharge. Also they should not be going out into the community for NA and AA meetings because contraband is also gathered there. And visitors should either be limited and asked to leave their purses in the car, special lockers to lock their personal belongings up, or no visitors at all. I ascribe to the no visitors at all because it seems counterproductive to their Rehab. They need to be focused on getting clean and not on the dynamics that often go along with their addictions to begin with.
My two cents
I MISS addictions nursing! Worked in the field for 10 yrs. before State Budget cuts shut one of our units down and we were all given wage freezes! I hope to get back into it again! Right now working on an Inpatient Psych unit...get alot of addictions related problems here! Best of luck to all who are still in the trenches!
Thorough search of all belongings including searching seams in clothing for possible sewn in contraband, checking for tears in soles of shoes for hidden items. Inpt unit gets a body search (not cavity) and we go through all clothing they are wearing too.
All the facilities I've worked inpatient at did searches (though they all called them by different specific names). Basically, we'd search them down to the skin and go through their clothing and belongings. No body cavities. Some places wouldn't make patients remove undergarments, others would. If I'm doing the searching, I do: we once had a patient smuggle in Suboxone in their underwear.
Since I'm essentially making them get undressed for a complete stranger, I do my best to preserve their dignity. I'll offer a gown, or we'll do it in stages (e.g., shirt and chest first, then recover and do pants and legs next).
Contraband gets locked up and returned after discharge. Same with OTC meds.
Prescription and especially controlled substances are returned only to the patient who can produce a valid script for them; otherwise they are wasted.