Can I take Vicodin and work???

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    Ok, long story short, I dislocated my knee at work on Thursday and went to the ER for treatment. They prescribed bextra and vicodin. I don't have to take the vicodin often, but tomorrow is my first day back at work (yeah, they gave me 1 day off so I had to call out on Sat and Sun) and I'm afraid with the swelling, knee spasms, and increased movement of my leg that I may need to take vicodin to deal with the pain.

    Is it legal for me to do that? I'm not providing direct patient care, but will be making calls and doing "sedentary work only" per occ. health orders. I don't want to sit in pain if I have it and don't want to go home and loose time and money, but also don't want to jeopordize my practice, license, or have it called into question. I think I've used vicodin one other time post op and that was it, but I'm really in a lot of pain with this.

    Advice on this subject would be greatly appreciated. I've searched everywhere on the web as to the legality of taking vicodin or pain relief on the job, but I found nothing.


    Thanks in advance for your help.
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  3. 5 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I'm fairly sure here in Florida, taking narcotics at work is an impairment and you may not work. Obviously if the pain is that bad you needn't be working, but can understand from a financial point that you need to work. The fact you're not providing direct patient care is also an issue. But you will be performing as an RN and getting paid as an RN.

    Check with your HR people or your manager, or even the state board of nursing. Don't do anything to jeopardize your license.
    Last edit by 3rdShiftGuy on Sep 1, '04
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    I would discuss the situation and express my concerns with the physician/practitioner that prescribed the medication.
  6. 0
    I think the key words in your original post are that you injured your knee AT WORK. Is employee health aware of this? Is this a potential worker's comp issue? Did you file an incident report?

    Seems like there should be some recourse for you that doesn't involve sitting at work in extreme pain (certainly an impairment in and of itself) or taking meds that may impact your performance.
  7. 0
    [Yes, this is definately a workers comp issue and HR was notified. HR says no, can't work on vicodin, Occ. Health doc says "it's been done before". But never gave a straight answer.

    I guess what I need to do is if I get in that much pain, tell them I have to go home. Thanks for the input. I really appreciate it!!!!
  8. 0
    Quote from danvet
    [Yes, this is definately a workers comp issue and HR was notified. HR says no, can't work on vicodin, Occ. Health doc says "it's been done before". But never gave a straight answer.
    I would be inclined to ask the risk management people what they think, but I'm a pot stirrer .


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