I wanted to explain what happened to me... - page 6

Hey everyone... I want to thank everyone for the prayers. I'm sorry I haven't been able to explain why I needed them and what I meant by saying I was in trouble, but I have recovered enough... Read More

  1. by   Sheri257
    This is why I don't take even prescribed drugs. I'm just too paranoid. Even though I have a knee injury and was prescribed pain medication for it ... I haven't filled any of them. You never know when a drug test is going to come up and I don't even want to go there.

    Maybe it's also because I have a friend who I suspect has become addicted to painkillers. It's gotten to the point that she's asking friends for pills that aren't even prescribed for her, and she's getting ready to graduate and become an RN. Not good ...

    In this profession where drugs are the number reason RN's lose their licenses ... it just seems like it would be too easy for these things to be miscontrued, even when you have a prescription. So I stay away from it.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Sep 22, '06
  2. by   jodyangel
    Not in a "at will" state. She would have had to be discriminated again'st...for her color or her age for her to sue for wrongful firing. In an At Will State, they don't have to have a "good" reason to fire you. NJ is the same way, and I know a nurse who was fired over something quite minor. She called a lawyer and he said unfortionately he couldnt help her.

    Sad state of affairs isn't it? I've seen too many nurses fired over either lies or small infractions. And we have a nursing shortage???? Makes ya think!!


    Quote from csiln
    Ignorance here, but shouldn't Lori be able to sue her DON and the hospital? Maybe if more innocent nurses did, the administrators would think twice about hauling a person off to pee in a cup and go through their personal belongings on a "suspicion".
  3. by   jodyangel
    OH lori...if you have been fired File for Unemployement!! If you are told you can't because your facility has said you were impaired or they give another Phooney reason...ask to dispute it. You get a phone interview to dispute the refusal. And you can and Willl win your case to get unemployement while you look for another job. Trust me..it takes determination but it can be done.
    And def. quit that facility and work Agency for a bit. More money, less hassle while you look around.
    My thoughts are with you today...Jody
  4. by   Spritenurse1210
    Quote from LoriAlabamaRN
    Hey everyone...

    I want to thank everyone for the prayers. I'm sorry I haven't been able to explain why I needed them and what I meant by saying I was in trouble, but I have recovered enough mentally to explain my last eight days of pure hell...

    I work 11p-7a as the supervisor of a nursing home. Last Sunday night I worked. Monday morning after work I went to visit my grandmother in Georgia, not intending to be gone all day. She has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and has decided to refuse any treatment- she wants to let it take her course and rejoin my grandfather who died three years ago. This is devastating to me because I am very close with her. I ended up being with her all day and getting home around 9pm. I had to be at work at 11, so I decided not to sleep since it would make me more groggy to get less than an hour of sleep than it would if I just stayed up. Despite my best efforts, I fell asleep around 9:30 and when my alarm went off at 10 I was in bad shape- disoriented and nauseous. I decided to take an ephedrine tablet and set the alarm ahead 20 minutes so that when it went off the ephedrine would be in my system. I hardly ever take it but when I do I take an Atenolol with it because it makes my BP go up and my heart race. The Atenolol was prescribed to me a year ago, but since losing almost 100 pounds my BP has been normal and I haven't had to take it regularly. Anyhow, when the alarm went off again I was still really nauseous and tired but I got ready and went to work. I felt weird- sort of detached and sluggish but I figured it was because of lack of sleep. I'd gone without sleep before so I thought I'd be fine.

    At about 3am, however, my DON showed up. I was surprised to see her, but she told me she just had paperwork to do. It seemed like she was observing me though, and soon the truth came out- someone had called her at home, woken her up and stated that I seemed impaired. After watching me, she declared probable cause and accused me of being on drugs. I was shocked and scared and denied it- I have prescription narcotics for my back ( i broke it 7 years ago and am trying to avoid surgery for as long and possible) but I never take them within 12 hours of work- never. I was made to feel like a criminal. I was brought to the local hospital and had to pee in a cup, crying all the while. I knew I felt odd and detached but all I could think was that maybe someone slipped me something. After the UA, she refused to believe me, took my keys from me and I was sent home in disgrace.

    Three days later I found the bottle of Atenolol in a totally different location than i thought. Apparently I took an Ambien instead.

    Once I figured this out, I tried to explain it to her, but since the drug test had already been sent out I still couldn't work until the results came in. It took eight days instead of three because of the positive for opiates resulting in a differentiating test. The only thing that showed up (of course) is one of my prescription narcotics (Lortab). The lady from the drug testing center called me this morning and I had to bring over my prescription bottle to confirm it. Then I had to get a letter from my doc stating that I had been his patient for four years and was still on the same strength meds and had been very responsible with my pain meds. I expect a call in the morning to go in for a meeting with my DON when she gets the report.

    Here's the kicker- everyone at work apaprently thinks I was caught stealing drugs, high at work, or drunk on the job. The worst part is that I think I am going to be fired anyway, regardless of the negative drug screen for anything except what was prescribed to me.

    I love my job, and i love being a nurse. I've worked at my job for over a year, with exemplary performance evaluations and reviews. I don't understand why I am being treated this way. I'm still scared about possibly losing my job, but at least I know that I will not lose my nursing license. Before I realized about the Ambien, I honestly was scared that someone had slipped me something and then called my DON so I would be tested. As a supervisor you always end up with certain enemies, people you have had to write up because of legitimate concerns who hold it against you. I was terrified because I did feel odd and if someone had slipped me something and I tested positive, I would have lost my license.

    I really don't want to lose my job, I love it so much. I hate that my coworkers all are assuming the worst of me. I didn't intentionally do anything wrong. I've lost seven pounds since this happened and have not been sleeping. I've cried constantly. I'm a wreck.

    I'm sorry this is so long... I just wanted to thank everyone for the support as well as warn you of what could happen... please keep me in your prayers and I will let you know if I am fired tomorrow or not...

    I love you guys...

    Lori
    ((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))0

    I am so sorry Lori. I hope things get better for you. You may want to think about getting a Lawyer, to make sure that everything they do is ethical. You could also file a grievence with the bord of nursing. I wish you the best and I hope all will be ok for you.
  5. by   emsboss
    Lori...}}}}}}}}}}}}LORI{{{{{{{{{{{{{...Sounds like you have been doing something RIGHT!!!!...Most people who do this are jealous of your skills and knowledge. HANG IN THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Romans 8:28 says it ALL!!
  6. by   gr8rnpjt
    Lori, I hope everything works out for you. I think there are federal labor laws that prevent people firing you for properly prescribed meds.
    Take care, Patti
  7. by   rnurse2b
    Hello Lori, sending {{{{HUGS}}}} your way. Please let us know how it went for you.
  8. by   LoriAlabamaRN
    Hi everybody,

    The meeting was horrible. I was fired. Legally I don't even have a leg to stand on because of the fact that due to the Ambien I was impaired legally. They did say that they will not report me to the BON for it, which is something I guess. I'm just so sad right now. I've been calling around town trying to see what is open, and I have an interview Monday.

    I just can't believe this happened. I can't believe they would fire me over a simple mistake. The sad part is, I believe that the best friend of my administrator (who is our current risk manager) has been wanting my job and that may have a lot to do with it. It just isn't fair. They told me that they wouldn't trust me anymore, that they would be worrying all night when I worked as to whether or not I had made the mistake again. What a load of crap. It was a freak accident, one I have taken responsibility for but I don't think the price should be so steep. I offered to go back on probation, but they said no. I was crying my heart out as I packed my office belongings. I am so devastated to leave, I loved my job.

    My resume is in good shape though, I have a wonderful annual evaluation, plus copies of the forms I had created and implemented. Someone should be willing to hire me. I just hate the feeling of being unwanted by a facility that I thought I'd be at for many years.

    I'm drowning my sorrows with a (weak) rum and coke, and I think I'll spend a couple days feeling sorry for myself and then pull myself back up and set out to find a (hopefully better) job.

    Thank you all for your support. It has really meant more than you could ever know.

    Lori
  9. by   RGN1
    OH Lori - this is sooooooooooooooooooooooo unfair!!!!!

    I truly hope you find a job that is much, much better so you can go stick two fingers up to your old workplace!!

    Keep us posted & the very. very best to you for your interview:icon_hug:
  10. by   weirdRN
    "when one door closes a window opens.."
    Author Unknown....

    Lori, I am sorry that you have gone through this. I believe it will make you a stronger person, even though it does nothing for your self esteem right now.

    Best of Luck to you- And you will be in my prayers.

    Kristie
  11. by   LoriAlabamaRN
    Thank you so much everyone... I have been praying about this, asking God to guide me to where He intends me to be. I'm just going to miss my residents and staff members so much. I was always very "hands-on", changing diapers and holding hands every night even though I didn't need to as the supervisor. Whenever one of our residents was in the hospital, I always visited them and brought them anything they may need, at my own expense. I feel as if I am abandoning them.

    I wish I could stop crying.
  12. by   swanganz
    Lori,
    I have just read through your situation and all of the supportive responses. I too feel bad for you. However I am probably going to post a not so popular response. I think that the best choice that you could have made that day was to call off from work. You said multiple times that you didn't feel right. You could have made critical errors that could cost someone their life. Everyone of us feels "impaired" at times whether it is from precription drugs, lack of sleep, etc and we as professionals have to determine at that time if we are clear of mind and safe to do our job. Intentional or not, you made an error in judgment by going to work that day. It should be a lesson to all. I am sure you are a good person but I don't think that you are helping yourself by feeling like the victim. your coworkers should have maybe handled it differently by confronting you, suggesting that you go home. In any event, own up to what has happened and move forward. I wish you well.
  13. by   LoriAlabamaRN
    Quote from swanganz
    Lori,
    I have just read through your situation and all of the supportive responses. I too feel bad for you. However I am probably going to post a not so popular response. I think that the best choice that you could have made that day was to call off from work. You said multiple times that you didn't feel right. You could have made critical errors that could cost someone their life. Everyone of us feels "impaired" at times whether it is from precription drugs, lack of sleep, etc and we as professionals have to determine at that time if we are clear of mind and safe to do our job. Intentional or not, you made an error in judgment by going to work that day. It should be a lesson to all. I am sure you are a good person but I don't think that you are helping yourself by feeling like the victim. your coworkers should have maybe handled it differently by confronting you, suggesting that you go home. In any event, own up to what has happened and move forward. I wish you well.
    I HAVE owned up to what I did. I have taken responsibility for it. At the time I had no reason to suspect ANYTHING other than fatigue. I've been a good nurse for over two years now. I work hard and genuinely care about both my residents and my staff. Do you think I'm not scared thinking that I could have made a mistake? When you are an RN supervisor, you do not have the luxury of being able to call in and say "Hey, I'm sleepy so I'm not coming in." At the time, that is ALL that I thought it was. I even picked up Red Bull and drank it trying to become more alert. I would never have stayed at work if I had known that I had taken an Ambien. It was a mistake, NOT a lapse in judgement.

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