Nurses Diverting Drugs? - page 3

How big is this problem really? Is it bigger than we think? I am graduating in May and started a 3 week preceptorship on Saturday. My preceptor told me that they had 2 RNs last month that just got... Read More

  1. by   TazziRN
    Why aren't diverting nurses fired instead of rehabed? Because being addicted brings you under the umbrella of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In CA, the time you are in recovery and not allowed to work can be spent on disability as long as you are in a recovery program. As for ways to divert, when you want it bad enough, you will find a way. You will usually get caught, but that's not what's on your mind at the moment. Most of the nurses and docs I know that are in recovery (or still using) are in critical care or the OR, because of accessibility. Ways to divert are not the only things that shouldn't be posted: I have heard ways to beat drug screens that would curl your hair.
  2. by   OrthoNutter
    Originally posted by FullMoonMadness
    We had a nurse do this. She logged out the prefilled Morhine syringes,withdrew the drugs and refilled with saline.She also had a bad habit of not logging out of the AcuDose.If you have ever been involved in an ivestigation reguarding missing narcs,the experience stays with you forever.Heads up.
    Again, I have to ask....how does this happen and people not realise? I'm assuming that these syringes are like the pre-filled Clexane (enoxaparin) ones we have here...but even so, the syringe is enclosed in packaging so people would know if it had been tampered with. I'm assuming that the same precautions would be done with pre-filled narcs or how would you know that you were giving what originally came in the package?

    We don't have any narcs in pre-filled syringes in my state. We have to physically go to the DD cupboard and sign the ampoules out, break the suckers and draw the stuff up. It's not all that time-consuming that I would see a need for pre-fills. All our narcs are checked by two nurses and we count each time the cupboard is opened. Maybe we're just more strict in our practice here....but this is just not an issue where I work.
  3. by   Scooby365
    Just a note to add to the subject from experience......I had an incident as a supervisor in a LTC facility. Facility had an off site pharmacy so we recieved a month's supply for every Pt. We had a nurse figure out how to replace the Tylenol 3's with regular Tylenol. I happened to be passing meds one morning and discovered it. On further look I found over 600 Tylenol 3's missing throughout the facility!!!! Well after hours answering questions for the DEC they told me I wasn't suspected....Yeah right...what an uneasy feeling. Luckily about 2 months later they caught the nurse doing it. What a nightmare that was.
  4. by   New CCU RN
    Originally posted by sbic56
    Narc diversion is a big problem. I have been involved in uncovering occurances twice, so have learned some of the tricks used.

    It is possible to withdraw the narcotic, replace it with NS and return it to the narcotic stock.

    Anything that we get comes either in a vial, a prefilled syringe, or an ampule. The vials must have a cover, if they do not, they are wasted.

    The syringes are prefilled but also come in a plastic container that if that seal is broken, they must be wasted.

    Ampules, well I don't see how this can be done.
  5. by   sbic56
    Originally posted by New CCU RN
    Anything that we get comes either in a vial, a prefilled syringe, or an ampule. The vials must have a cover, if they do not, they are wasted.

    The syringes are prefilled but also come in a plastic container that if that seal is broken, they must be wasted.

    Ampules, well I don't see how this can be done.

    The prefilled syringes sometimes come in pack of ten and can be manipulated with once the fisrt one is used. The packaging you describe ought to be standard, though.
  6. by   New CCU RN
    Ours come in a pack of ten... but there is still a plastic casing around it... if that is damaged in anyway, it is wasted.
  7. by   Rapheal
    Originally posted by jfpruitt
    Wow. I guess it does look like I've posted alot about this subject. Maybe I'm sensitive to criticism and I should have been more detailed in my intent.

    And I should have been more tactful in response to your thread. I apologize. It was not my intent to make you feel unwelcome on this board. I too, will be more detailed in the future in getting my point across in a more positive way.
  8. by   Tweety
    Originally posted by jfpruitt
    3rdShiftGuy I am appalled you would suggest I was becoming a nurse to divert drugs. Joking or not. The reason I've posted before is one of my assignments was to gather information about a paper on diversion. I would hope people on this board had enough sense NOT to post ways to divert. It sickens me to think that you and others think this was my intent. Maybe I'll discontinue Discussion on this board and just read from now on. Ughh....

    Sorry, that was inappropriate. I know you aren't researching how to become a drug addict and I was joking. I guess some things you don't joke about. I also like Fab4's response below yours above.


    I do think that in order to know what to look for in an addict, we have to know how they divert.

    I heard of a nurse on another unit that actually had a hep lock in her ankle to give herself IV demerol that she stole from the hospital. That's serious addiction there.
  9. by   cokie
    please don't stop posting because of negative responses. everyone is entitled to an opinion. maybe if you are doing research you need to be clear, to be fair. as far as pyxis solving the problem of DIVERSION, this is not possible. i believe diversion by definition means that one is diverting something. diverting is still stealing, but at this point it is the pt. who suffers.
  10. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    No, the pyxis does not solve the problem, it just makes every person that gets into it accountable for being in it. Leaves more of a trail.
  11. by   Rustyhammer
    Originally posted by deespoohbear
    Yep, same thing happened at our facility. The nurse was removed from her management post and was given a position with no weekends, no holidays, no call. Made for a lot of hard feelings at our facility. This has been about 18 months ago and still hard feelings are harbored against the administration and the nurse in question. Other people have been disciplined (or terminated) for a lot less.
    Soo...Is THAT what it takes to get off of call not have to work weekends or holidays? Hmmmm......
    -Russell
  12. by   Disablednurse
    In my LTC experience of 23 years, I have seen this happen twice. The first time I was an LPN and discovered it during the pre-shift count of the Tylenol 3. The staff was going to have to go thru a lie detector test and the guilty nurse admitted it to prevent everyone from having to do that. This nurse went thru rehab, continued to work and steal drugs that way until she lost her license. This did not stop her, she continued until her son became a policeman, stole scripts from doctors and got off r/t her son's help. She eventually helped him lose his job r/t her addiction. The second time that I was involved it was a med that got "lost". Never could prove what happened, but learned what all you had to do when something controlled got "lost." Never want to do that again.
  13. by   New CCU RN
    Originally posted by OBNURSEHEATHER
    No, the pyxis does not solve the problem, it just makes every person that gets into it accountable for being in it. Leaves more of a trail.
    I would think it would make it at least a little harder for a nurse to divert then... I mean.. it is pretty easy to target who is taking the med, right?

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