I am so freaking livid!

  1. i can't believe what happened to me this afternoon!

    brief (yeah, right!) synopsis:
    i suffer from migraines (both tmj-caused & regular migraines), but for the most part, i have them controlled by medication. well, for entrance to my nursing program, everyone has to have a drug screen. when i had mine done, i listed every single medication i had taken for the last 30 days (neurontin, pamelor, celebrex, amoxicillin, percocet, stadol, phenergan, compazine, motrin & tylenol). as i was sure of, i "failed" the drug screen. they refused to tell me what drug came back positive on the screen. well, my school requested letters from my doctors stating that i was prescribed these medications. i see 3 different doctors that have me on medication. one is my dermatologist (acne: amoxicillin), ent (tmj: celebrex & pamelor) & a neurologist (migraines: everything else). i did as requested, and all 3 doctors said if the school needed to talk to them, please feel free to call. (the neurologist, dean of the neurology department at the local medical school, even stated on the letter that he was pleased to see me go into nursing and he couldn't wait to hire me.) i went to turn in the letters to the dept chair who proceeded to tell me that she was worried about my competency while on these medications and my position in the program may be revoked. excuse me! i couldn't believe my ears! i tried to remain calm. i simply stated, "i don't understand?" she said, "taking percocet & stadol on a regular basis may hamper your ability to complete clinicals" it is not like i take these meds on a daily basis. i may take a percocet every 2 or 3 weeks and stadol maybe only about every 6 months. when i do take them, i know full well not to get out of the house for my safety & others on the road. also, i have a full-time job (employed by the same company for the last 2 years, since graduation), volunteer at 2 local hospitals, tutor at the college, perform submaximal & maximal cardiovascular tests for 2 local cardiologists & the local university and have graduated with honors & cum laude with my bachelors in sports medicine & mathematics. to top it off, i scored the highest they have ever seen on the nln entrance test. how in the h*ll am i not "competent" to complete clinicals? if i have a headache, i live with it, unless i am not going to get out of the house for a while and it is severe. as soon as i got home, i contacted a lawyer. he said they could not do that legally, and if they did, i would have an excellent case of discrimination.

    am i overreacting or do i have a right to be pi**ed? please, tell me the truth.

    sorry for the novel, but i had to get this off my chest! thanks for "listening"!
    Last edit by rn2b_moni on Jan 6, '02
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   CVSDnurse
    You did the right thing by seeking a lawyer. Hopefully there will not be a need for further contact, but that would be the avenue if the nursing program starts to give you a problem.
  4. by   fiestynurse
    **********
    Last edit by fiestynurse on Mar 31, '04
  5. by   laurasjj
    I think that you have every reason to be angry! I definitely would be. You obviously know how to take your meds responsibly. I cannot believe that they would even say that to you. I hate to think of what I would have said if I were in your position...they probably would have kicked me out of the program just for my reaction. But that's besides the point. I think that your honesty in telling them what meds you take, the doctors' letters, your grades/NLN scores, and your work/volunteer history should be more than enough to change the dean's mind. Our nursing school doesn't do drug tests, but I can honestly say that our dean would not kick someone out for this reason. She would probably talk to you to make sure you didn't put yourself or patients at risk...but she would be reasonable about it. Now if someone came to clinical after taking these meds, she would kick them out...but otherwise, nope. If I were you and they kicked me out...I would definitely take legal action. STCC would be paying for me to go to another, more reasonable nursing school.
    I'm sorry if I rambled...but I cannot tell you how angry this makes me. I hope that everything works out. Be sure to update on the situation!

    laura
  6. by   kaycee
    I agree with all of the above. Have your lawyer write a letter. This is discrimination and I don't think you're over reacting at all. You take your medication responsibly and only when you need it. Fight back and again keep us up to date. Best wishes!
  7. by   nurs4kids
    I agree with all above. Get the lawyer to send the letter.

    Good luck!!
  8. by   LilgirlRN
    Anytime you need to vent, we're here. I agree with everyone else who has written, even nurses get sick and take medication when they need to. Sounds like you are very intelligent, we could use someone like you in our ranks, don't let them get to you. Keep your chin up and let the attorney do his/her job. Wendy
  9. by   crnasomeday
    That really sucks Moni. I'm sorry to hear that you're having this kind of trouble. Good luck to you...I'll be praying for you.
  10. by   MollyJ
    Sure do the lawyer thing, but don't forget negotiation.

    I would clarify with them that I don't take the medicines regularly and when I do, I don't come to work. I would tell them how I plan to handle headaches and then I would ask them what it would take to make them comfortable with my plan, letting them know that it would need to be consistent with my doctor's recommendations.

    You are not being rewarded for your straightforwardness and I would point that out.
  11. by   Katnip
    I agree with everyone. You've achieved so much already, how can the school even think that way? Hopefully the letterhead from a law office alone will make them back off.
  12. by   Ortho_RN
    It does suck and you do have a MAJOR right to be pissed... I know how excited you are/were to be starting... Hope things do work out.. as I am sure they will
  13. by   fergus51
    I would be pissed too! Can you believe that a bunch of nurses are so scared of medically prescribed drugs?!! They're treating you more like an addict than a nursing student.
  14. by   peaceful2100
    MONI, that is outrageous. The lawyer is a good idea, it is horrible that it has to go that route but it is unfair. You have waited so long and we all know you have what it takes. I will keep you in my prayers.

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I am so freaking livid!