Can our medical histories be used against us?

  1. 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 affect on future nursing careers. Her example was a dx of depression or anxiety and that perhaps those things might be thought of as a risk within certain areas of healthcare.

    My thought was that we have the same rights as patients when it comes to privacy, but I know that I've also been asked to list any medications I was taking anytime I've applied for a healthcare job, or had a physical. So even without giving our medical histories, if we were on a med for a condition, it could feasibly be known by our employers. Also, wouldn't be discriminatory to not hire someone because of a dx?

    Are our own medical histories something we will have to share or have concerns about when we become nurses? Thanks for any insights!
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  2. 57 Comments

  3. by   dramaluvr
    I have wondered the same thing. Good question. I know right now I am doing my physical for nursing school and they ask all those questions for our past medical history and current history such as depression, back pain or any medications we are on. I was really hesitant to put anything down thinking that they would turn me away, but I felt I had to be honest. I turn in my papers to the school this week and I guess I will see if they don't like my answers. I don't think they can discriminate, especially if the doctor deems that you are fit.


    Anyway, DOES anyone know?:stone
  4. by   nurseshawna
    i don't necessarily know about them being used against you. i just remember when i was applying for my program, my advisor said that if i had ever taken rx drugs for depression and the like, i needed to speak with the head of the program, and our paperwork said if we had ever been dx'd with stuff like depression (not sure if it stated severity) or bipolar and etc, that we wouldhave to do something like present a written letter to the board of nursing. that's all i know, good luck!
  5. by   shyne
    They shouldn't do that. There are several people in my program with ADHD and some dx with depression and they were accepted into the program. I guess what matters is that you are being treated for whatever problem you have.
    Last edit by shyne on Mar 15, '04
  6. by   patti101
    I've seen this happen...do not tell them anything...a friend listed arthritis and was told that no one would hire her...what the ...? They don't need to know everything about you..
  7. by   wonderbee
    You're healthy, healthy, healthy!!. Just keep repeating that.
  8. by   Peppermint
    . )
    Last edit by Peppermint on Jun 25, '06
  9. by   kbella1218
    I was told by my PA father & RN mother that you don't tell them anything.....If I were you, I wouldn't take any chances by telling them you are taking "whatever". :uhoh21:
  10. by   glopop11
    Quote from kbella126
    I was told by my PA father & RN mother that you don't tell them anything.....If I were you, I wouldn't take any chances by telling them you are taking "whatever". :uhoh21:

    I agree with one exception: Some prescription drugs show up in drug tests. If you don't tell them you're taking it, and it shows up....no job!
  11. by   manna
    Honesty is the best policy.

    Glopop - Drug screens are what came to mind when I read this question as well.
  12. by   RNKITTY04
    Oh my! are you telling me that because I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and take effe xsor for anxiety that I might now be able to work? Please say it ain't so!!
  13. by   Nurse Jeni
    Interesting stuff. When I was young I applied at a LTC facility and was required to fill out a form similar to what you might fill out at a Drs office...current meds, previous surgeries, and any dxs. I didn't know any better and didn't think to question why that info was necessary.

    Although I am in great health, don't take any meds and am not concerned about this at the moment, what if I did end up with something requiring meds in the future? There seem to be differing opinions about this topic here. I believe honesty is the best policy, especially if/when taking a drug test. However, we all have a right to privacy, don't we?

    Does the BoRN stipulate if there are certain dxs that will potentially keep you out of nursing? Or is this an employer tactic used to keep nurses less than perfect out of their facility?
  14. by   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.

    I am not telling them on my application about my medications I take. I have high blood pressure and I take meds to control it.

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