Prescription narcotics or benzodiazepines while working?

  1. 0
    Should a nurse be working while on Ativan, Xanax, Lortab, Percocet, or some other prescribed medication that may impair a person? I always thought this was a no no, even with a prescription. Don't these drugs impair ones judgment? Yet, I heard on another thread that nurses take Ativan to get through their shift.

    Aren't there warnings on these meds 'do not drive while taking'. Isn't it common sense that, if you shouldn't drive while on a medication, you probably shouldn't be making nursing judgment calls, dispensing risky medications, transferring patients, and so forth.

    What is the policy on this? What about the Nurse Practice Act?
  2. 62 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Well, that would mean I couldnt' take my allergy meds.

    I think that those with anxiety who have script meds are often at a much higher level of constant anxiety than say, you might have ever experienced over time. The medications they take often only take the edge off, and bring anxiety down to a manageable level. The people I know who routinely take these meds are not in any kind of stupor as a result, actually you wouldn't even know they were on anything.
  4. 0
    Where I work taking narcotic with a prescription while at work is a no no. This I know for sure. You asked about ativan I am not so positive about this one. I do know that recently a new policy was enacted. When a person is hurt at work they are to immediately take a drug screen, if it is found out the person was under the influence workmens comp would be denied. I never asked if that specifically towards pain killers or did it also include antianxiety agents. Guess I will have to ask the DON next monday to find out his answer.
  5. 0
    I am going to say that I was prescribed Xanax and if I would have taken it, even at the lowest dose, and tried to work it would have been a joke. I was flying high and lovin' it. I stopped taking it pretty quickly because I was amused by my singing but my family was not. Now back to topic (see what drugs do). I know alot of nurses who use these meds on such a regular basis that they only feel normal with them. It helps keep the stress under control and they don't get the sensations that some people do from these meds.
  6. 0
    I had a Xanax script a couple of years ago but never would have taken it at work. I didn't find that xanax made me 'high' at all. It helped relax me before a plane ride or before an event where I would be in a large crowd. It tended to make me a little sleepy but never got any sort of 'buzz' from it.
  7. 0
    As a new nurse who is about to go off orientation, the anxiety is killing me. I've considered taking a (low dose) Xanax that was prescribed to me over a year ago for a long airplane flight, but have also worried about whether or not that would be okay. I don't want to ask anyone I work with because I am trying to give the impression that I am relatively confident, and also I know that with more experience, my anxiety will diminish. Hopefully, I won't have a nervous breakdown before I find my groove!
  8. 0
    Try speaking with your Dr and explaining what you are feeling. He/she could probably offer some really good advice on what might and might not work for you because you don't have to suffer.
  9. 4
    just my own two cents.. there is nothing abnormal about feeling alittle bit of anxiety. Especially in new situations. I would not first off recommend getting a prescription for something which is a normal sensation in a new situation.

    Severe and chronic anxiety is something totally different in which case yes, talk to your doctor. For the normal feelings of anxiety, try talking to someone you trust. Try talking to yourself as to why you are feeling anxious and try to develop a plan on how to deal with it. I feel anxious for the first 1 1/2 hours of each and every shift, for me this is normal, does not need treatment. I accept this is what I will feel until I have seen each and every patient and have gotten all my morning meds out. Then the anxiety goes away. This bit of anxiety is my own fight or flight response. I choose to fight I guess lol.

    sorry for my soap box. off now.
    TNgirl2010, canoehead, BrnEyedGirl, and 1 other like this.
  10. 0
    Quote from vashtee
    As a new nurse who is about to go off orientation, the anxiety is killing me. I've considered taking a (low dose) Xanax that was prescribed to me over a year ago for a long airplane flight, but have also worried about whether or not that would be okay. I don't want to ask anyone I work with because I am trying to give the impression that I am relatively confident, and also I know that with more experience, my anxiety will diminish. Hopefully, I won't have a nervous breakdown before I find my groove!
    i would nt do that, because then you would not be taking it as prescribed......
  11. 0
    I am not sure of the policy where I work, but I can't even take cold medicine before work. It makes me too loopy. I can't imagine what a narcotic or benzo would do to me.


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