Drug Testing - page 3

I'm going to get raked over the coals for this one... But I just HAD to ask this question. At any point in your nursing career were you drug tested? I'll say no more. And no, I'm not a pothead.... Read More

  1. by   Gompers
    I don't remember being tested in nursing school, but every hospital job I've ever had required pre-employment urine screens, whether it was for a nursing or secretarial job.

    I guess I really don't understand what the problem is? Invasion of privacy or not, it's totally necessary - if you are doing illegal drugs or taking meds that you don't have a doctor's prescription for, then you aren't fit to have people's lives in your hands. Even doing it in your off time, it's still mind-altering and illegal! It WILL cross over to your work life eventually, believe me. (This isn't directed at the original poster - I'm speaking hypothetically.)

    And generally, it's rare to find someone getting all up in arms about privacy and random urine testing if they're not doing anything wrong. I know you're not really "up in arms" but it really shouldn't be an issue otherwise. So please be careful who you speak to about this matter!!!
  2. by   shel_wny
    Guilty until proven innocent. Yeah...ehm...ok.
    So I don't do drugs but I pay money to prove that I don't.
    *coughs* Nuh-uh. Something isn't right here.
    Seems like they should make those who DO test positive split the cost of testing for everyone as they are the reasons that the testing is going on in the first place. I think a nice $2500 fee from your employer is a pretty good reason not to toke on that joint. 50 bucks a test is brutal - especially times 5! As I get older I get bolder and bolder and had I other options and a decent financial situation I'd have no problem telling my employer "G'bye!" A girl's got to have self-respect and standards. Too little of that today, everywhere.

    And I'd almost rather them cut hair off from "down under" than my freaking skull! I'm not vain, to be honest, but I think cutting off someone's hair from their head is in some serious violations of human space, human rights, and human privacy. They should give the person the option of where the hair is to come from. I have a right to keep what is mine, thanks.

    All this stuff reminds me of why I'll probably be living in Canada in a few years. :P
    Sometimes the US is such a drag.

    Shel
    Last edit by shel_wny on May 23, '04
  3. by   z's playa
    Quote from shel_wny
    Guilty until proven innocent. Yeah...ehm...ok.
    So I don't do drugs but I pay money to prove that I don't.
    *coughs* Nuh-uh. Something isn't right here.
    Seems like they should make those who DO test positive split the cost of testing for everyone as they are the reasons that the testing is going on in the first place. I think a nice $2500 fee from your employer is a pretty good reason not to toke on that joint. 50 bucks a test is brutal - especially times 5! As I get older I get bolder and bolder and had I other options and a decent financial situation I'd have no problem telling my employer "G'bye!" A girl's got to have self-respect and standards. Too little of that today, everywhere.

    And I'd almost rather them cut hair off from "down under" than my freaking skull! I'm not vain, to be honest, but I think cutting off someone's hair from their head is in some serious violations of human space, human rights, and human privacy. They should give the person the option of where the hair to come from. I have a right to keep what is mine, thanks.

    All this stuff reminds me of why I'll probably be living in Canada in a few years. :P
    Sometimes the US is such a drag.

    Shel
    Is Canada more leniant when it comes to drug testing? As a new student AND in Canada I still have no idea. Is the school supposed to let you know if there is drug testing prior to registration or do they just fling it on you?
  4. by   Gompers
    I've never had to pay money to take a drug test - the hospital you're applying to usually covers it. This thread is the first I've heard of nursing students having to take drug tests and needing to foot the bill.

    So is the money and the hair cutting (which is very expensive testing and rarely done) the only problem here?
  5. by   shel_wny
    Quote from z's playa
    Is Canada more leniant when it comes to drug testing? As a new student AND in Canada I still have no idea. Is the school supposed to let you know if there is drug testing prior to registration or do they just fling it on you?
    No posts from Canadian nurses yet, so far as I can see. I married a Canadian and he loves to laugh at the tight-lipped Americans who fear marijuana yet think alcohol is just fine. I of course join him in the hearty chuckle. We lived in Canada for a year and it was much more relaxed and liberal when it came to common sense litigation. I liked that, some might not.
    Do I use? Nah. I don't have the time for the high or the low that follows for either. I am currently taking a series of Chemical Dependency and Drug Education classes, however, even though they are not required for any of my nursing schooling. I take them simply because I wish to know more. That being said, I already know so much more than I used to about the topic. I would highly recommend anything of the sort, though my professor is exceptionally awesome and makes all of the classes excellent.

    On a side note, check out the similar strings at the bottom of this thread page. Interesting links!

    Shel
  6. by   Vsummer1
    Look at any board of nursing site, and you can see the reasons why nurses lose their licenses.

    Number one reason nurses lose their license: drug use, drug diversion.

    Testing should be mandatory for all nurses. Bottom line: patient safety. If you find it a hardship to be tested, think about the nurses who give saline instead of pain meds to patients in pain. It happens frequenty around any profession where drugs are available and easily accessed. What better way to feed a habit than to be the one in charge of the drugs?

    It is ludicrous to think nurses SHOULDN'T be tested. Privacy is out the door when you are giving various controlled drugs as part of your job description, because the bad apples will always spoil the bushel. However, I do draw the line at my hair being clipped!
  7. by   shel_wny
    Quote from Gompers
    I've never had to pay money to take a drug test - the hospital you're applying to usually covers it. This thread is the first I've heard of nursing students having to take drug tests and needing to foot the bill.

    So is the money and the hair cutting (which is very expensive testing and rarely done) the only problem here?
    If I badly need the job or the education at the institute that tests I'll bite my lip and submit. I do not disagree with the paid drug testing itself for those in a critical position of care such as nurses, but I would also suggest that they do it right and test for alcohol use too!

    Shel
    Last edit by shel_wny on May 23, '04
  8. by   FROGGYLEGS
    I've been drug tested since I was 16 y/o. The vast majority of jobs I've had did drug test me. I don't think there are many jobs that don't do urine drug screens.

    I have seen where some people are advertising in their want ads that you are required to pay for the drug screen. I don't think that is quite fair.

    Other than pre-hire drug screens I've only ever had to do one other. It was because some drugs came up missing at work. This was an ongoing problem there for a while. Anyway they drug test everyone around the drugs when that happens. It was an inconvenience because I ended up having to go to the minor med to get the test done after work when I wanted to go get in the bed. Otherwise, a urine drug screen doesn't bother me in the least. Unless, of course, it is one of those where they send a stranger in to stare at you while you pee. Blech, don't like that!

    I didn't realize that they cut out an entire section of hair for that other test. I always thought they took a single strand....maybe a strand with a root attached. I don't know how cutting a chunk of my hair off would go over, but I know it isn't something I'd be pleased with.
  9. by   Gompers
    Quote from shel_wny
    No posts from Canadian nurses yet, so far as I can see. I married a Canadian and he loves to laugh at the tight-lipped Americans who fear marijuana yet think alcohol is just fine. I of course join him in the hearty chuckle. We lived in Canada for a year and it was much more relaxed and liberal when it came to common sense litigation.

    I know Canada is more laid-back, and actually my boyfriend is wanting us to move there if a certain US president gets re-elected. I do whole-heartedly agree that alcohol is much more of a danger to Americans than the occasional use of marijuana, but only in theory. You see, I know a lot of people who can have a few drinks here and there, and the next day be absolutely fine at work. I don't personally think any of my friends who smoke pot are EVER of sound mind, as they either smoke up every day or they've been smoking so long their brains are just starting to go to mush. Seriously, these people have NO memory skills, which are quite vital in nursing. What I guess I mean is that I know people who can drink alcohol and not be alcoholics, but I don't know anyone who smokes pot "occassionally" enough that I believe they'd be capable of handling a nursing job. Does that make sense?

    I think they're usually looking for the more hard-core drugs and traces of pain meds in those urine screens though - like the above poster said, they're trying to catch nurses who are at risk for drug-stealing on the job, as well as those with recreational drug use problems.
  10. by   Tweety
    My facility routinely does drug testing and now does background checks.

    I have since not been drug tested. Also was questioned along with my coworkers during a missing demerol situtation.
  11. by   Tweety
    Quote from shel_wny
    If I badly need the job or the education at the institute that tests I'll bite my lip and submit. I do not disagree with the paid drug testing itself for those in a critical position of care such as nurses, but I would also suggest that they do it right and test for alcohol use too!

    Shel
    Now that's a can of worms. Too many people legally drink alcohol. Are you saying nurses shouldn't drink alcohol? Wouldn't bother me, but that's a can of worms.
  12. by   Gompers
    Quote from shel_wny
    If I badly need the job or the education at the institute that tests I'll bite my lip and submit. I do not disagree with the paid drug testing itself for those in a critical position of care such as nurses, but I would also suggest that they do it right and test for alcohol use too!
    You are absolutely right - but it's just easier to test for drugs since they stay in the body longer. If they really wanted to be careful, they'd do breathalizers on every nurse before she started her shift! But like another poster mentioned, I think their main focus is to avoid hiring a nurse that might try and steal narcotics for herself or others.
  13. by   z's playa
    Quote from shel_wny
    If I badly need the job or the education at the institute that tests I'll bite my lip and submit. I do not disagree with the paid drug testing itself for those in a critical position of care such as nurses, but I would also suggest that they do it right and test for alcohol use too!

    Shel
    Makes total sense to me too but theres that little drawback of the fact that the alcohol doesn't stay in the system long enough to test, unless theres a test I don't know about yet.

    I don't use drugs but I have when I was younger. I am very well aware of the reasons behind testing only I find it excessive to test hair. I also find it ridiculous to test new students before they even start the program but have registered. What if they had a party to celebrate and used pot for the last time? Kick them out? Harsh. How do you know they'd use again? As for testing hair prior to class starting...thats 6 months of history...what do they care what the student did 6 months ago? They were no where near the semester.
    I hope I don't get flamed here..
    I repeat..i'm not a drug user and I NEVER said it was ludicrous for nurses to be tested.

    I've asked this before but here goes again..do doctors get tested too?
    Last edit by z's playa on May 23, '04

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