Tips on how NOT to appear like a Drug seeker - page 10

by WillowBrook 69,265 Views | 150 Comments

Having read through some of the threads regarding Drug seekers in the Emergency Department I must admit I now feel quite nervous of being misperceived in this way. I take medication which causes some urinary retention and... Read More


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    The nurse that didn't have time to talk to you or your husband about your "pain" was probably doing the documentation and paperwork from her last 10-15 patients that was required by JCAHO. This paperwork had also probably prevented her from getting a meal break or a bathroom break for the last six hours. I'd like to see if you are of the same opinion after you have been a nurse for several years and you see how in the real world doing all that REDUNDANT paperwork prevents you from giving the quality of patient care that you would like to be able to give.
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    Quote from WillowBrook
    Yes, which is exactly why I identified myself as a former Heroin addict in my initial post ....don't you think if I was trying to get information on how to appear legit so I could scam drugs I would have left that particular piece of history out of the equation

    Willow, you need to ignore the idiocy of some of the posts. It seems like most are truely responding in a caring and interested way. A couple of these posts just prove why you are concerned to begin with. My husband is a chronic pain sufferer and has been treated badly too. I pray that those standing in judgement never have to endure what you and he have.
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    Quote from jojotoo
    The nurse that didn't have time to talk to you or your husband about your "pain" was probably doing the documentation and paperwork from her last 10-15 patients that was required by JCAHO. This paperwork had also probably prevented her from getting a meal break or a bathroom break for the last six hours. I'd like to see if you are of the same opinion after you have been a nurse for several years and you see how in the real world doing all that REDUNDANT paperwork prevents you from giving the quality of patient care that you would like to be able to give.
    Excuse me, was that directed to me? I assume it was so I will just clarify that no I was not complaining about Nurses who couldn't give me the level of care I required because they had paperwork or other duties to do. They were not actually doing any paperwork or any other sort of nursing type work, if they had have been I would have been quite understanding as yes I do realise I am not the only patient in the ER, they were standing in full view of me drinking cups of coffee, pointing, laughing, whispering and makiing references to junkies and drugs whilst rolling their eyes. I think under the circumstances I have every right to be disatisfied with my treatment. Also why did you put the word pain in inverted commas, that to me implies that the pain is not legitmate in your eyes....just because I am a former heroin addict (who btw has been completely clean for over 4 years now) does not mean that I have never had any legitimate severe pain and the incident I was talking about occured several years before I had ever even touched Heroin or any other narcotics.
    mrsmamabear2002 likes this.
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    Quote from ernurse4ill
    Willow, you need to ignore the idiocy of some of the posts. It seems like most are truely responding in a caring and interested way. A couple of these posts just prove why you are concerned to begin with. My husband is a chronic pain sufferer and has been treated badly too. I pray that those standing in judgement never have to endure what you and he have.
    Thank you. Most of the responses have been very helpful and supportive but yes there are those who have responded that I have to think are they that quick to judge in real life. I thought everyone should be treated as an individual when it came to healthcare, not automatically lumped into one category titled "drug seeker" without the person even knowing the whole story. I can understand that it would be very frustrating to be confronted with people wasting time and resources to try and scam drugs but does that mean that that disruption and frustration should then be extended to all legitimate pain patients, obviously not. I think for some people (not specifically anyone here) it is an ego boost, a way for them to play the I am superior to you card by being so judgemental and only providing or advocating for treatment of those patients who meet their own personal code of morality.
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    Quote from WillowBrook
    I think for some people (not specifically anyone here) it is an ego boost, a way for them to play the I am superior to you card by being so judgemental and only providing or advocating for treatment of those patients who meet their own personal code of morality.
    100% agree!! Well said!!
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    Quote from rjflyn
    In the migraine example if we refer you to the neurologist see the neurologist, narcotics dont abort a migraine anyway they just mask the pain and alow you to sleep.

    Rj
    I don't know about that...if I take a narcotic at the start of a migraine, it will clear up my visual disturbances as well as the pain. Works better for me than the migraine meds I was prescribed.

    *shrug* Just my two cents...fortunately mine have tapered off lately. If not, I'd be looking to DO something about it instead of popping Percocets when they started.
    mrsmamabear2002 likes this.
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    In my ED, the doctors give pain meds like it's candy. It very frustrating when, as a nurse, you know the pt is a chronic drug seeker and the docs still give them what they want. What do you do as a nurse?
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    Quote from Jennifer, RN
    In my ED, the doctors give pain meds like it's candy. It very frustrating when, as a nurse, you know the pt is a chronic drug seeker and the docs still give them what they want. What do you do as a nurse?
    You know, things like that used to bother me too. But you know what?

    It's never going to change

    I just go to work and do my job and don't sweat the stuff I have no control over.
    canoehead likes this.
  9. 0
    Quote from WillowBrook
    Having read through some of the threads regarding Drug seekers in the Emergency Department I must admit I now feel quite nervous of being misperceived in this way. I take medication which causes some urinary retention and increases my risk of Kidney stones. Hopefully this will never happen, but if it does and I need to present to the ED, what advice (on behaviour and what to say for example) can people here give me so I don't get wronly perceived as a Drug seeker. Taking into consideration I am a former Heroin addict, sensitive to NSAIDS and can't take Ibuprofen or Aspirin type medications due to asthma.
    Personally I would find a 24 hour medical practice and register as a patient with them - especially if you can find one that bulk bills. That way you do NOT have to come through A&E. - You get seen faster too. Last time I had a bad case of the V&D's I turned up at the local 24 hour practice - at 0400 in the morning clutching a vomit bowl. I did NOT want to wait around in some Casualty department for hours waiting to be seen.

    You might be getting a somewhat different idea of ED from the mostly American threads here - I know our hospital has an aim of treating pain within 1/2 hour of presentation.

    As for being labelled a "drug seeker" - well we give the benefit of the doubt unless we can prove otherwise (i.e. patient has collected X number of scripts from Y providers over the last N period) and then the patient is put on a registry. That registry is, of course, statewide since all public hospitals are linked. So less likely to be labelled (I think - but then I have not had to present as with a pain issue to the cas department since I burnt the back off of three fingers) but once you are labelled you would find it harder to scam the system without coming up against referral for drug addiction.
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    Oh but were there some sort of tracking system in the US...that sure would make save time for all the rest of us and for patients.

    There is a tracking system of sorts, but not one that anyone has any access to in any timely manner.

    The other day we got a few letters from insurance companies listing the Rx's that had been filled by a few of few our patients - from several doctors. Many duplicate narcotics written within a week or two of each other. That and notification from the DEA or the state is the only way you will find out. About all you can do is let the patient know they wont be getting anymore narcs, refer them for CD treatment, and set limits with them otherwise.


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