Drug Testing - page 2
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... Read More
Feb 12, '10We 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.
Feb 12, '10Quote from SuperSaraMost 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...
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.
Feb 13, '10I 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.
Feb 13, '10I 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?
Feb 13, '10We 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. :-)
Feb 13, '10Quote from CapeCodMermaidI 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.
Feb 13, '10Quote from CapeCodMermaidI 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.
Feb 13, '10I would hope common sense dictates that:
a) Street drugs are illegal;
b) you must have an RX for prescription meds and
c) you could LOSE your RN license for the above violations.
I worked too hard to finish my degree to **** my career away. (no pun intended)
I'm not judging anyone who indulges in the above; I just don't think it is a wise move to jeopardize your career over something so stupid.
Feb 13, '10heres a thought:
-If you think its ok to break a drug law , by just taking a puff of pot, wouldnt you be more likely to think its ok to just take one percocet for your back pain?
-I think its more of a question of judgement. Plus , like someone else said, i dont want a high nurse taking care of my family or me.
-I have heard that as many as 10% of the nurses working have a substance abuse problem. Thats 1 out of 10!! I hope they all get the help they need and dont hurt anyone in the meantime.
- I would be more than happy to submit to a random drug test at any time. I would welcome the request, it shows me that my patients are safer.
Feb 13, '10I 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?
You did mention cocaine. As a former addict of meth and Coke (Ten years clean now), I am here to tell you there is no casual user of cocaine. Sure it might begin that way, but Drug abuse, chemical dependency, and addictive behavior spare no one and is only a matter of time.
Now I am really apprehensive about making this post as I fear my ugly secret might now be something that hurts my career in the future (If somehow I left a virtual digital trail leading back to me), but I really feel strongly that I must interject and quite possibly help the many that may be eluding themselves that they can remain amongst the ranks of the casual user. There is no such thing.
You can stand there and tell me I am wrong and list a bunch of examples as to why I am, but to be honest I have probably used all your examples and stories in the past. You have heard the saying, "You can't kid a kidder" well same goes here. Heard all the stories, all the excuses and I know the BS.
Trust me, the last thing a patient needs is a tweeked out coke head administering treatment. I find it spooky to think that the original poster is in a position of nurse hiring, but then again I suspect this was a ploy to test the waters.
Ironically, back in my using days, many of my connects were nurses and I use to wonder, how can that be...
Well, I hope my secret has not diminished any creditability that I may have developed on this forum. After all, I think we all deserve a second chance at redemption.
Feb 13, '10Michaelxy, if you have not already gone to the Nurses in Recovery section of All nurses, you should take a look. You are by far not the only nurse here that is recovering. I don't want to get off topic, but you're right , there is no OCCASSIONAL COCAINE user. That is rediculous. ALL ILLEGAL DRUGS are just that ... ILLEGAL . and NO it is NOT OKAY to do it just once at a party or every now and then. It ends really bad and it is not pretty.
Feb 13, '10Nope...not a ploy as someone said. Just a conversation. Best thing about this site...everyone is free to speak (type) their opinion. I don't think any of us has the time or inclination to do a digital trace (sounds icky) to find out who is at the other end of the screen name. If that were the case, many of us would have been fired for saying bad things about our bosses!
Feb 13, '10My hospital has an indigent pt population with lots of methadone maintenance, ETOH pts on ativan, and other drug users. We typically administer many many doses of opiates and benzos on any given shift. Yet we are never drug tested. I would personally prefer to be drug tested than to have to be stressed out everytime I administer a 0.2 mg dose of dilaudid and have to get someone to waste a 1.8 mg vial with me - especially since more than once the computer hiccuped and spit out a narcotic variance that I then had to jump through hoops to resolve (once even coming in on my day off!).