Has anyone had issues with accusations of diverting drugs?

  1. Long story short and I'm not looking for leagal advice other than what sort of attorney should I be seeking for my problem

    I am in deep trouble. I took meds (narcs) from the accudose system and never scaned them to a patient. I do not know what happened. If anyone was asked on a specefic day weeks in the past what happened we may all be a litte "lost" as to what has happened.

    At any rate, I was wrong and did NOT document. I know I was wrong...dead dead wrong and may now pay with my license. At any rate I showed up to work...taken to Employee Health, urine drug tested (sent to forensic lab). I'm quite sure that it will be positive as i took RX cough med the night before I was tested (I have a RX for this). Now I am placed on admin leave pending the drug test. I was told that if the test is ok, they are going to audit 6 months of all my actions and deceide what they will do next. They took my badge (to me this is a VERY bad sign) and sent me home.

    I understand their concern and that the patients safety must come first. I totally understand and I know that they are right in going this direction. HOwever I feel like no matter what I'm out of a job. Does anyone have any idea how the nursing boards handle this sort of complaint? Does anyone know what type of attorney I should seek? Has anyone been through this? Is this as horrible as I'm seeing it? Is there any hope for my situation?

    Again, I'm not seeking legal advice, just support from anyone. I am freaking out and have not stoped crying. I love being a nurse and cannot imagine my life if I were not.

    Thank you for listening to me.

    Shelly
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   leslie :-D
    i would recommend a nurse attorney.
    try the american association of nurse attorneys at:
    www.taana.org

    best of luck to you.

    leslie
  4. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from ImShelly31
    Long story short and I'm not looking for leagal advice other than what sort of attorney should I be seeking for my problem

    I am in deep trouble. I took meds (narcs) from the accudose system and never scaned them to a patient. I do not know what happened. If anyone was asked on a specefic day weeks in the past what happened we may all be a litte "lost" as to what has happened.

    At any rate, I was wrong and did NOT document. I know I was wrong...dead dead wrong and may now pay with my license. At any rate I showed up to work...taken to Employee Health, urine drug tested (sent to forensic lab). I'm quite sure that it will be positive as i took RX cough med the night before I was tested (I have a RX for this). Now I am placed on admin leave pending the drug test. I was told that if the test is ok, they are going to audit 6 months of all my actions and deceide what they will do next. They took my badge (to me this is a VERY bad sign) and sent me home.

    I understand their concern and that the patients safety must come first. I totally understand and I know that they are right in going this direction. HOwever I feel like no matter what I'm out of a job. Does anyone have any idea how the nursing boards handle this sort of complaint? Does anyone know what type of attorney I should seek? Has anyone been through this? Is this as horrible as I'm seeing it? Is there any hope for my situation?

    Again, I'm not seeking legal advice, just support from anyone. I am freaking out and have not stoped crying. I love being a nurse and cannot imagine my life if I were not.

    Thank you for listening to me.

    Shelly
    I'm pretty sure that they can do a second type of urine test - chromatography - to distinguish between the metabolites for the narcotic in cough syrup v. the narcotic missing at work.

    I know about this because a hospital once revoked a job offer after they said I tested positive for cocaine. I had an absolute fit (!!!) and they ran a second test, chromatography, with showed I had zero drugs in my system. Something was giving a false positive in the first, more basic test they do.

    Anyway, I think they can do further testing to find the metabolites of various specific narcotics.
  5. by   ImShelly31
    Thank you both for responding. I hope there is hope for me. I'm worried about the 6 mth audit of all actions and med administration. I had no idea I made the first mistake let alone any others lurking in my "closet". Are nursing boards quick to zap your license, or more willing to work with you, if you know. Again, I'm just asking opinion, not legal advice.
  6. by   parrotmom
    Also you are supposed to have to supply a list of RX meds you are taking with any drug test. Keep your chin up and I would hold off on hiring an attorney though I would collect some names (no one who ads on TV) and make a few discreet calls.
  7. by   bargainhound
    My bet is that if this is all that is wrong with your narcotic documentation, that
    it will not go to the board.
    You have learned a valuable lesson.
    Documentation is paramount.......you must take time to be thorough.
  8. by   Multicollinearity
    Looks like there are tests to distinguish which kind of narcotic:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Abstract

    Although this is just one article on the topic...an attorney familiar with these issues would be best to talk to.

    You might have to push for more extensive testing. I had to pitch a fit to get it done.
  9. by   leslie :-D
    shelly,

    did they say they were going to file a complaint w/the bon?
    are you a new nurse, i.e., is this your first job?
    if your employer does end up reporting you, i have no idea as to what will happen.
    it depends on the findings of their investigation.
    but that is another reason why you would want a nurse attorney, since they have experience dealing with bons.

    leslie
  10. by   LoriAlabamaRN
    I just wanted to offer my support. The situation I have gone through (and am still going through) is similar, although I didn't sign out any narcs at work. Insist on a full panel screen, offer a hair test, whatever you need to do. The hair test should so everything that you have taken in the past year or more, depending on how long your hair is, and perhaps that can prove that if you made anymore charting mistakes you weren't taking the meds.

    I'm praying for you.
  11. by   bargainhound
    I once saw people fired who were innocent.
    The guilty party was eventually found.
    She had played innocent and been right there each time
    missing narcs were discussed to ask "has anyone found out
    who took them yet?" etc........she took a full container of
    Percocet and destroyed the pharmacy delivery sheet.

    Also, why would anyone want to work for a facility who
    fired people who were innocent?
    Last edit by bargainhound on Sep 24, '06 : Reason: addendum
  12. by   chevswife
    Dear Shelly,
    I just wanted to say I am thinking of you & pray the truth be told.If you know your innocent of taking narcs, push for whatever tests u can & push hard. I pray this all goes your way. Dont give up on yourself. I was pushed out of a job because I went against nurses doing the wrong thing by elderly residents in thier care, I also noticed an RN signing for morph that never reached a patient in desperate need (many times). When I went to my don I was told there were no points for good nursing, she also said I needed to learn a lesson from having a big mouth. Within a week I went from 50 hours a week to 4 for two months straight. When I applied for positions elsewhere I never got past the first interview. I nearly lost it Shelly, I really nearly did. But after a 6 month break. I am now ready to hit the charge again and look for work. Fight girl.. with all you have in you. Us good nurses need to defend ourselves. Good Luck ..
  13. by   CseMgr1
    No, but I once worked for a nurse who owned a HHA and worked part-time at a local hospital. Her husband was a pediatrician and prone to bouts of intestinal flu. Their marriage was already on the rocks when she found out he was having an affair with his office nurse. He got sick and asked her to give him some IV fluids. Well, not only did she give him some IV fluids, but also diverted Pavulon from the hospital's anesthesia department and tried to kill him by injecting it into his IV line. Needless to say, my former boss not only wound up losing her license, but also was charged with aggravated assault and attempted murder. The real tragedy of this story was that even though Dr. T. survived, he suffered permanent brain damage and was never able to practice medicine again. It's just a shame.
  14. by   ERNP
    I have never had issues personally, but was working where the charge nurse was arrested while on shift for taking narcotics (signing extra out of machine and not wasting). He had evidently been under investigation for a while. His house contained many narcs, his car was evidently the mother load.

    He spent a little time in jail and had to complete a program of some sort. He still has a license, although there was a period of suspension (I don't know how long). The last account I had he was working as a nurse again.

    I don't know any further details.

    I also worked with a doc who was caught diverting demerol to himself. Had to go to rehab and then some supervised practice, but he is still practicing medicine.

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