Drug Testing - page 2

by CapeCodMermaid 11,266 Views | 68 Comments

Do any of your facilities do drug testing before hire or randomly throughout the year? What do you typically test for and is the presence of any drug enough to exclude someone? I'd hate to miss out on a good nurse because he... Read More


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    But, CCM, I would really question the judgment of anyone who is interviewing and using anyway. That says to me that they are more than a casual indulger who can take it or leave it.
    LockportRN likes this.
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    I live in Louisiana and all the hospitals where dh and I have worked usually follow the same testing policies, I think.

    Pre employment
    Any type of on the job injury
    For cause, suspected of diversion, working on a shift or unit where meds are missing (all employees)
    Random - a computer selects some employee numbers and they give a specimen

    Anne, RNC
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    In home health, I have been tested pre-employment, and after traffic accidents - even when I was rear-ended while at a red light, and after I fell in a pt's home. I have no problem with random testing, either, but have never been asked.

    I think that current behaviour should count more heavily than something you may have done 3-5 years ago, especially if you are on the 'young' side.

    But a line of coke last weekend at a party? Please find something else to do.
    Nurse_Diane likes this.
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    We do hair testing. Every 0.5 inch is 1 month of use. Some drugs such as cocaine travel along the hair shaft. Typically, up to 1.5 inches are taken, giving 3 months worth of use. Use that is extremely rare will sometimes be under the threshold for a postivie result.

    With urine testing, marijuana lasts up to a month. When I worked in pharmacy, we did urine testing. Opiates, cocaine, and amphetamines only last for a three to five days in the urine. It's unfortunate that the drugs we really worry about are not effectively screened for with this test because the window is so short.

    Some places do epithelial testing with a cheek swab. I haven't had any experience with that form of testing.
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    Quote from SuperSara
    Most places test for the usual street drugs as well as prescription drugs that the person doesnt' have a prescription for. Also, many places are doing the 5 year hair test. So, everything you've done in the past five years shows up.

    Personally, I think this is a good thing. I don't want any dopers or pill heads taking care of me...

    Nice.



    thats all I can say.

    I will keep reading this thread and hopefully someone has educated this person by the time I get to the end on "dopers and pill heads". If not, then expect another message from me after this one.
    southernbeegirl, PhoenixTech, TomLM, and 1 other like this.
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    I once borrowed a friend's sleeping pill for a long flight. Started a new job several days later..drug result came back positive, they came and marched me off the floor in the middle of a shift. Wouldn't hear my explanation. I was mortified. Never so much as smoked pot much less anything stronger. Fortunately my recruiter was sympathetic (I was a traveler at the time) and found me something else.
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    I can see I've hit a nerve with some people. There are many web sites with all sorts of information both true and false about how long a particular drug stays in one's system. I've read marijuana stays from 3 days for a first time light user to months for a heavy smoker. Seems like random drug testing is rather like DPH survey...it's all timing and the charts (or urine) they pick to read. And really, is there any difference between smoking a joint every now and then on a weekend and drinking one too may glasses of wine? Impaired is impaired and as long as you don't drive or go to work that way, who's business is it?
    vampcna, juzme, Lovely_RN, and 6 others like this.
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    We lose about 2 CNA's a month and a nurse a year with testing. Dunno but seems a few people can't see a train coming at them and just stand there. Best time to refrain from drug use is when one starts an educated career path.
    Just throwing it out there. :-)
    JacknSweetpea and FocusRN like this.
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    Quote from CapeCodMermaid
    I interviewed a nurse once...she had lots of energy, good ideas, and great references. She also had, unfortunately, flunked her pre employment drug test. When I told her, she said very casually, "Oh,yeah, I did a line of cocaine at a party last weekend"...about as casually as I would say "Oh yeah, I had some onion dip at a party yesterday." I couldn't hire her because of company policy but she got a job with a local nursing agency. She ended up doing a few shifts in my building...she was a good nurse. I am certainly not advocating that we hire people who come to work impaired or who use drugs so often that their judgment and mental status is permanently impaired, but to not hire an occasional user who got caught because of bad timing?

    Let's see: a lot of energy, great references,... I bet she had a wonderful personality too.

    She ALSO snorted cocaine within 24-48 hours of taking a pre-employment drug test (because that's how long "a line of cocaine" will stay in your system) -She KNOWINGLY failed the pre-employment drug screen.
    You see a good nurse, you see a nurse with lots of energy and good ideas. Here's what I see- A good nurse with a drug problem. Just the mere fact that she didn't think twice about snorting the cocaine and then giving a urine drug screen for a new job tells me that she has a serious problem.



    Most addicted nurses that are functional at work have great personalities. They are the nurse that everyone wants in their team because they have SO MUCH ENERGY. They are VERY FRIENDLY and are some of the smartest nurses you know. They have a personal standard and integrIty that they feel SUCH A STRONG NEED TO live up to ALL OF THE TIME that they start taking pills or in this case, snorting to give them energy to live up to their own personal integrety and pride in their job.

    A nurse with NO drug abuse or addiction problems wouldn't be caught within 5 miles of a drug test if they "did a line of cocaine at a party last weekend". They would skip on that job opportunity and be freaking out the whole time that they may test positive for stupid idiotic moment that they had at a party.

    If you are a hiring authority for the facility and you have an applicant test positive for an illegal and illicit substance, don't you think you might be obligated to report this to the board?

    In Texas, if the Board of Nursing finds out you let a nurse go on her merry way after testing positive for an illegal drug, then your license will be on the chopping block. I am not sure what state you're in, but I don't know of any state that will allow nurses to do illegal drugs.
    FocusRN, southernbeegirl, jackstem, and 1 other like this.
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    Quote from CapeCodMermaid
    I can see I've hit a nerve with some people. There are many web sites with all sorts of information both true and false about how long a particular drug stays in one's system. I've read marijuana stays from 3 days for a first time light user to months for a heavy smoker. Seems like random drug testing is rather like DPH survey...it's all timing and the charts (or urine) they pick to read. And really, is there any difference between smoking a joint every now and then on a weekend and drinking one too may glasses of wine? Impaired is impaired and as long as you don't drive or go to work that way, who's business is it?

    Whether we like it or not, even today, in most places, marijuana is still illegal. If nurses break the law, they are going against their state nursing laws. The law says that nurse's must follow the rules and can not do any illegal drugs if they want to remain a nurse and be responsible for the care of our loved ones.
    FocusRN likes this.


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