Can our medical histories be used against us? - page 4

This may seem like a silly question, but since I truly don't know the answer, I'll ask anyway! :chuckle A student friend of mine wondered about our medical histories and if it would have any... Read More

  1. by   pattik9898
    Quote from CNM2B
    I am almost positive that when I gave my health history in 2001 when I went for a semester and was preparing to enter the RN program that I already told them about the depression. PTSD isn't necessarily "cured". I think it is all in how you handle it and my way of thinking is totally different than what it used to be regarding the situation I was having the PTSD about...does that makes sense? :chuckle

    Anyways, in this instance, I am probably better off telling them the truth since I don't remember what in the world I told them before. I will not, however disclose anything that I am SURE they don't need to know. I think it's getting a bit too personal and if I am in no danger of harming anyone then I don't think they need to know.

    I never in my life considered harming another person....and can't imagine ever consciously doing so.
    yes, dearheart you must be consistent. as you say, don't tell them more than they need to know. the people backing truthfulness have a moral point. but no one has the right to know your medical condition. thus misrepresenting the bloody thing is ok in my book. it's nobody's business but yours. good luck.
  2. by   pattik9898
    Quote from BabyRN2Be
    This whole thread has me very concerned. I'm on a chronic pain management program through my MD. I have arthritis and an auto-immune disorder. The meds allow me to have a semblance of a life when other pain control methods have failed. If I go for a tox screen for either entry to nursing programs or a job and they see those meds in my system, could I seriously be refused a job? That would be so sad after all the hard work of nursing school.

    I mean, if I feel I can handle the work and my doc says I can, not a danger to any of my pts? What's the problem? Would they rather have to support me on SSI or welfare the rest of my life?

    This has happened to me before at a lower level entry healthcare job, and I don't want it to happen again. I tried to sue the facility, but was unsuccessful due to a mistake on the lawyer's part (long story). I want to work as a nurse! This is important to me. Has anyone been through this before? If I'm taking prescription narcotics would they show up in a tox screen?

    I feel like I'm saying too much as it is.
    i have numerous illnesses as well. to include an autoimmune disease and a bunch of plastic parts. im sorry to hear that you had a problem with this. it must have been very painful. i too, decided nursing was something i could do. ssi not for me. prescription narcotics are going to show up in a tox screen. i did not have a drug test to get into nursing, but most jobs are going to screen you. i would cuddle up to your doc. he/she is going to need to front this one for you. first he will have to believe that you can do the work, before he sticks his neck out. but supplying a note from him when you go in for the test saying you are under his care and in his opinion you are capable of doing the work, would be the way to go. then say absolutely nothing more. it's between you and your doctor. hopefully the questions would end there. also talking to a disability lawyer is a good idea (a good lawyer) find out what can happen to a person presenting with a tox screen like that. im on a controlled substance and when i went to the work tox screen i brought the bloody bottle with me and told them i take the stuff for anxiety prn. good luck kiddo.
  3. by   TriskixRN
    Serious topic... I'll share my experiences... I haven't been asked to list any specific meds I am on or any specific Dx however, I was informed right before the drug test to name any Rx that might show up or suffer the consequences. So I named the Narc strength meds I was taking and I was then asked why I was taking meds that strong and for how long, and if I planned to stop anytime soon.
    I have found if I volenteer any medical information they "hire inside the company" suddenly or I get lower pay; and then there is discrimination and constant remarks / comments b/t the other nurses behind my back or straight to me about my conditions and their not wanting to work with me or accusations of me not providing good care.
    I have worked under one supervisor whom told me I was not to report to work if I am taking pain meds or anything perscribed for depression or anxiety. I have found it very frusterating at times b/c I believe most of my health concearns are directly related to my career and my career is exacerbating the conditions.
    Who among us has never experienced stress or anxiety or after a while depression caused from nursing? I have been in this proffession 10 years and I never had these problems untill about 2 years ago. I have had lowered pay and worse schedules and more horizontal hostility since being in the hospital I work at a year ago than I had experienced before! Now everyone I work with and the management know my Dx and are constantly critical of my every move and I truley feel they are triing to get me to quit.
    So in answere to the original question, YES it can be used agianst you. and as previously stated in this thread just remember and repeat... "I am healthy" and if you don't have to don't take anything that can show on a drug test and only tell them the bare minimum or you will "suffer the consequences".
  4. by   TiddlywinksMom
    The Americans with Disabilities Act not only prohibits discrimination in hiring, promotion, etc. for persons with an "an emotional or physical impairment," but also upholds that person's right to not disclose their diagnosis throughout the hiring process and the entire period of employment (unless they he/she is requesting special accomodation from the employer). Further details, and the entire transcript are available on the web (check out the Dept. of Labor website). This does not apply to nursing schools, unfortunately.
  5. by   cwgirlqtpie
    Where I live, your previous dx may be used against you. I was diagnosed as bipolar over ten years ago. I was actually encouraged to attend nursing school by both my case worker and my doctor. When I applied for nursing school, nothing was asked concerning my history. Although after passing the entrance exams and going into orientation, I was asked to disclose my medical history. When I disclosed all of my current information, including meds taken (I have been compliant and stable for years .. no signs of either maina or depression in 8 yrs!). I received a letter from the state board of nurse examiners telling me that a copy of my records as well as a letter from my case worker and doctor were required. I graduate in May .... and have a cumulative 3.25 GPA, and still may not be allowed to sit for boards. I am awaiting my answer now. I have sent in for my first time writers and should know something after Easter. I don't think that your medical history should be disclosed to anyone that you don't CHOOSE to disclose it to. We make patients sign privacy statements every day .... but those same rules don't seem to apply to us.


    Has anyone else run into this problem?
  6. by   alk3rainbow
    I think it is absolutely disgusting that those that do seek help for their mental illness have to face such things. I for one know that I am pretty screwed up, probably more screwed up then most people currently on anti-depressants, but because I'm too scared to go to a doctor I won't have to face consequences for that? How does that seem right? The boards should be glad you seeked treatment and you are working on solving your problem. No wonder why so many people don't get help for their mental problems, there is still such a stigma attached with being mentally ill. It's disgusting.
  7. by   finchertwins
    This is a special subject for me. I am still in nursing school and graduate in December, during my first semester I and my wife seperated and got a divorce. Between nursing school and divorce I was a wreck and during last summer break I checked into a 5 week tx center for depression. Upon being there I found out so much about myself and that I was a rape survivor with ptsd among other things. From that I believe I am now more in control of my life then a lot that have not gone through this. I fear an employer using this against me or even a lawyer if I get in a law suit. If your medical hx is not relevant to the care you give then I say it's none of their biz. They don't need to know so I say I have never been tx before. I do not take any meds either.
  8. by   anonny27
    wouldn't want to offend anyone
    Last edit by anonny27 on Feb 6, '05 : Reason: hmmmm
  9. by   kids
    Quote from hopefully
    I asked a pharmacist about the drug tests. She told me the drug test only detects illegal drugs like cocaine, marijuna. The other stuff they cannot find. That is what I was told.
    NO NO NO!!!

    Urine drug tests DO NOT only detect illegal drugs!

    There are several different "panels" that can be run to test for different combinations (of drugs) but usually a full screen is done. It can and will detect both legally prescribed and illegal drugs and the screen does NOT differentiate between illegal (street) and prescription drugs. Stimulants both illegal (street) and prescribed show the same positive result for amphetamines, the test will show the same positive result for opiods weather it is heroin or a prescription pain med.

    As for drug testing (from an employment standpoint):
    My 19yo son is on Adderall for ADHD and I am on a sustained release opiod for chronic pain. We have each had to do drug testing for employment more than once. On every occasion we submitted a copy of the current prescription (not a doctors letter) to the testing location with the lab slip/questionaire. Neither of us has ever had a problem nor did we have to disclose our conditions to the employer as we were not requesting accomidation (under the ADA).


    I can understand being hesitant to disclose medical information to a nursing school but at the same time I can see the schools point in asking for it, my State has requirments that have to be met before issuing a license to a nurse with a mental illness. Given the limited number of slots in nursing programs it seems reasonable to me that schools screen for people who may not be eligible for licensure.

    I strongly discourage anyone from lying to their school.
    I went to school and graduated with a woman who had a "nervous break down" and was hospitialized for 3 weeks following the death of her husband and 2 of her children. It occured 5 years earlier, on the other side of the country. She lied on the school health forms. When the time came to fill out the NCLEX application she got worried and disclosed the hospitialization. She was able to sit for boards. But it was 3 years before the BoN would issue her probationary license...not because she had been hospitialized, that could have been resolved in just a few months, the delay was because she lied to the school. For a while there it even looked like she was going to have to re-pay the grants she got from financial aid because of the lie of omission.
    Last edit by kids on Apr 15, '04
  10. by   menetopali
    my school only asked very general questions:

    current perscription medications,
    current OTC's that you take reguraly,
    herbals and alternative meds that you take reguraly,
    TB test results,
    Hep B vaccine,

    and

    'mental or physical conditions that may limit your ability to perform nursing functions' or some similar thing (its been a couple years) and required a physical from your doctor that stated you could 'perform the duties of a nurse unencumbered unless otherwise specifically noted'

    also had a 'wiz quiz' that asked for a list of all meds taken within the last 72 hours.

    i had no pressure to disclose anything outside of the general statement from the doctor's office. one of my colleagues did have a script for a narc in school and the only issue was that he couldn't take it within 12hrs of a clinical rotation. lots of people in my class had SSRIs and nobody said a word to them one way or the other.
  11. by   rn undisclosed name
    I was always under the impression that the school asks for this info because the clinical sites required it. At least that is what I was told by my CNA instructor when I went through my CNA class. We also just have to answer general questions such as physical limitations, contacts/glasses worn, difficulty hearing, history of TB, mono, diabetes, epilepsy and heart disease. The dr has to say if I am taking any meds/treatments, capable of participating in health science program, allergies, drug sensitivities, and free of communicable disease.

    Honestly I can understand why they ask many of the questions but who really cares if you wear glasses or contacts? There is also a notice of nondiscrimination on the back that states you cannot be discriminated against but I know people are still discriminated against if they can get away with it.
  12. by   ceceliajane2003
    (B/) hi,
    Hate to say it, but the law can do anything. A lawyer can subpeona med records if it could pertain to the case, most judges agree.And, the fact is, its Guilty until proven innocent: why else would people be incarcerated before they were lawfully convicted?
    ----------------"have you ever been hated and discriminated against, I have,......"
    Eminem :angryfire
  13. by   Carafaith
    I am wondering when you take the drug test for getting into school. I f you were taking an antidepressant, would it show up on it and would they tell the program instructor? Like P*****. Wouldn't that kill the chances of getting in? I know X***x will show up on it and as it does wouldn't that also like really kill any chance of getting in? Or does the doc just put on the paper that these are prescribed and not name them specifically. I think if he does name them, the program would definitely REFUSE me, but what do I do, ya know. I can't function normally without them. I take them and live or I don't take them and try to commit suicide again. Any thoughts on this?

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