Nicotine testing question
- 0Jun 24, '12 by nursing81studentOkay, I feel very silly posting this but it's something that is on my mind and Google is surprisingly no help for me on this...so maybe someone out there can give me some information or lead me in the right direction.
I am a BSN student, a PCT, and in the process of transferring into a Nurse Tech role. I have accepted one job offer and will be starting soon. However, I recently interviewed for my dream position with a different health system...a Nurse Tech in the ED of an urban city hospital near where I live known for having the most trauma in the state. The interview went well, and I am hoping I will getting the offer soon...fingers crossed!
Anyway, a lot of hospitals in my area are going nicotine free and testing new hires. I just noticed on this particular health system's website today that they will be starting this policy in the beginning of July...the first I have heard of this. Now, I do not smoke, but randomly yesterday my friend bought clove cigars..and I was curious and took approximately 3-4 puffs without inhaling.
I have read that nicotine metabolites can be present in urine even after 30 days, and the testing accounts for low levels of nicotine d/t secondhand smoke... but did my 3-4 puffs of a cigar just ruin my chances of getting hired?
I am a worry wart and this will bother me until I find more information. Thank you!
- 2Jun 24, '12 by xoemmylouoxI honestly have no idea. We hear this story time and time again though. People who are actively looking for work, but continue to make choices that may impact their career until the get the call for an interview. Then they panic. In the future keep in mind that if you want to work in a place that tests for nicotine.. Don't smoke, don't do drugs, etc.
- 0Jun 24, '12 by nursing81studentI know, I am aware of this, it's common sense. However, I didn't know about the policy until the day after. Obviously if I knew that they were a nicotine testing facility I wouldn't have done it. I am just looking for information since I couldn't find clear information on Google and I thought maybe someone on here would be more informed than me.
- 0Jun 24, '12 by klone, BSN, RNYou should be fine. Tests for cotinine (the metabolite of nicotine) test for a level that would indicate regular use. They realize that people who are around regular smokers and are exposed to second-hand smoke (or may have had *a* cigarette once a few days ago) might still have a low positive cotinine level, and the tests accounts for that.
- 1Jun 24, '12 by Ashley, PICU RNI agree that you should be fine. It was just a few puffs, and you haven't even been offered a job yet. It could be weeks before you get an offer and set up a pre-employment physical. Cigars also tend to deliver less nicotine than cigarettes if you aren't inhaling.
^I had to look up that italicized fact. I'm clearly not a smoker, because I don't understand how it's possible to smoke a cigar without inhaling. I'll have to look that up too.
- 0Jun 25, '12 by trixiern83I think you will be fine however your post did surprise me, I have never heard of a healthcare facility testing for nicotine before and I am having a hard time understanding why they would. Nicotine is not an illegal substance. What if a potential employee has quit using tobacco and is using nicotine gum, lozenges, or the patch; does that mean they would not be hired? .... anyway, good luck! I hope you get your dream position!