malamud69 7,805 Views
Joined May 10, '12.
Posts: 480 (60% Liked)
I am sick
As you said, you do NOT have to give a reason. Management cannot ask the reason, or ask for your PHI.
I have called off because I could not sleep. I have also called off because it was time for a mental health day. Neither are unethical.
While walking into the hospital, I say to myself, "Expect the unexpected!"
Ok, for starters, my initial post was not bellyaching about the drug screen costs etc. It was just a question posed out of curiosity. The bit about being called 4 times in the space of one week was perfectly justified. What exactly does anyone expect to change in say 24-48 hours?
Sorry, i don't consider this crap to be a "gift." It is no gift to lose my entire savings, be run through the mill of a farce of treatment for a problem i don't have and to have the problems i do have be completely ignored.
I have had occurrences where certain individuals associated with this program have straight up lied, screamed at me and caused a fantastic job offer to go down in flames. So yes, i have every reason to be disgusted. I long ago resigned myself to having to do this garbage but I will never, ever consider it to be any kind of gift. or consider it to have done anything positive for my mental health or my career.
If you are grateful for this, than by all means, be so. i don't know your situation and you don't know mine, but know this...I will come out of this a better, stronger person and nurse but it will be no thanks to this experience. Yes, my disgust still stands. Disgust and resentment are not synonyms.
I know very well that the BON does not give a rat's *** about anything involving us. My opinion is that the "protecting the public" slogan has little to do with protection and much to do with a way to turf this responsibility off to anyone but the BON.
Most of my disgust with this has nothing to do with sobriety or anything. My "sentence" was due to something that could be best described as a meltdown due to a combo of physical illness and working in a very abusive environment. The requirements that are in place are mostly (though I will admit not all) irrelevant, unnecessary and according to my therapist, somewhat damaging.
I have had certain sources tell me to "let go of the resentment." I am not resentful because I do see where for some people, this can be a useful and necessary experience. I am disgusted by the "one size fits all approach as well as the conflicts of interest and shady practices that are associated with several factors associated with these "monitoring" programs. This is not monitoring, this is punishment. I feel as though I am being punished for the crime of having an illness and that punishment manages to do nothing except cause the kind of stress that got me to this place to begin with.
People commonly gripe about astronomical salaries that celebrities (actors, pro athletes, singers) receive. Celebrities' pay rates are regularly compared to those earned by nurses, teachers, police officers, military servicemen and women, firefighters, social workers, and so on.
Here is my controversial view. The vast majority of people in American society are not overly preoccupied with their health, safety or welfare, which are the very facets addressed by nurses, police, soldiers, and social workers.
Many of these same people in society bicker about taxes, yet it is tax revenue that pays for public school teachers, cops, military, social services, and the nurses who work in city, county, state and federal government.
On the other hand, most Americans love to be entertained. The American public places an enormously high value on an optional part of life such as entertainment. The American public places a lower value on mandatory aspects of society such as public safety, healthcare, and education.
This is evidenced by the quadrillions of dollars people collectively spend on movie theater visits, Broadway shows, cable/satellite TV, live sporting events, music, live concerts, Netflix/Hulu, and other forms of entertainment.
Some people are so dedicated to celebrities that they know their dates of birth, filmography of film actors, discography of singers, and statistics of players on their favorite professional athletic team by pure memory. They pay big bucks to join fan clubs, obtain autographed memorabilia, and buy replica sports jerseys.
A harsh truth is this: if the majority of people are passionate about something, that is where the money goes. Will Smith and Johnny Depp receive multimillion dollar paychecks because people willingly empty their pockets to be entertained by them. Nonetheless, people will not readily pay good money to observe a nurse conduct an assessment, or a police officer issue a citation, or a teacher prepare a lesson plan.
Again, why do celebrities receive higher pay than nurses, cops, social workers, military, and teachers? It is because we get what we pay for. It is because the public has shown time and time again that they prefer entertainment over health and safety, as evidenced by the massive amount of money they spend on movies, music, and professional sports.
Nobody in this questionable society of ours would spend $100 million on tickets, food, beverages, parking, and souvenirs to watch nurses or enlisted sailors at Yankee Stadium. They would, however, spend that money to watch professional ball players, or Beyonce at the concert hall, or the A-list actor at the movie theater.
So, how much are nurses worth? Per the American public, we are worth a heck of a lot less than the quarterbacks on their favorite NFL teams.
Too wide of a range with our degree of nursing education, applied knowledge, skill, experience, and dedication to excellence spanning the gamut.
That said, 150K should be reachable in certain markets.
I find it insane that they can stick a new grad into a monitoring program when they have done nothing wrong in their career as a nurse. I find it ludacris to think that because someone had a DUI three years prior yet finished nursing school, clinicals (while being supervised by instrustors), and passed boards should have their charges put on their practicing record and be placed in a monitoring program. I understand if you drive drunk to work...show up drunk...or even if you are being unprofessional after receiving your license and drive drunk. But after the thousands of dollars it costs along with all the court required counseling to even get your drivers license back, it seems insane that they could place you into a monitoring program through BON. Just my opinion
I think they need to do away with the blanket type punishment. And yes it is punishment! My situation is a little different (or so I think). I am on monitoring bcuz I have an injury and take prescribed medication. The thing is is that I like everyone else can no longer treat myself as an adult and have a glass of wine with dinner. I can no longer treat allergies or insomnia with Benadryl. I have to watch everything I put on or in my body ...... Except oxycodone! Have a headache I have to take oxy. Insomnia ... Oxy. Allergies....oxy. With monitoring I do not have to stop the thing that got me here in the first place. No diversion. No impaired on the job no theft or criminal charges. I Did get busted for taking a medication after a year. I don't take all the meds prescribed so I just keep them (that's the way I was raised. Never waste things. I am sure a lot of you were raised the same way. I also got a complaint in their investigation that I started an IV on a Abu without gloves. Really. Am I the only one? The investigator actually laughed when she read it to me and admitted she frequently did the same yet I got reprimanded for it. So I had taken morphinr instead of oxy bcuz I was in a lot of pain that day I wanted to try something different to shock my system. So that's the crimes that got me here. As for this program the only thing it has done is make me have to take the oxy more bcuz I can't take anything else. I have to go to AA or NA twice a week and call myself an addict or alcoholic for what idk. I am not even addicted/dependent on the oxy. I can stop without any symptoms at all yet I am labeled an addict. I had to sit in IOP for 12 weeks and listen to them call me an addict. I am now in an aftercare program being called an addict regularly. It certainly could be worse and with all I have learned I have much love and respect for the recovering addict. I do feel they are trying to make me fit their investigation just so they can be right. I did learn a lot about substance abuse and met some amazing people. I have a year narcotic restriction even tho I never diverted and I have plenty narcotics at home. I drug test twice a month to get a positive every time. I can't help but wonder if they are trying to make sure I am taking it. With all the "blanket" type punishments the BON hands out be up they are LAZY and uneducated makes me feel like it's not about recovery at all. It's about money and power and a "show" to put on to make the public think they are protecting them. So with that there are many changes needed:
Monitoring geared to each nurse individual
AA/NA being manditory for everyone is not appropriate
Narcotic restrictions for everyone are not warranted
IOP is NOT. Required in every situation
Drug testing on weekends/holidays is unnessary (you can wait a day and still bust people)
Drug testing while someone is on vacation is not appropriate
Trying to fit drug testing into a 12 hour day with minimal 24 hour testing sites cause more risk then benefit
Drug tests being so sensitive you can't even use hand sanitizer. Really. What are you protecting vs what are you spreading
Positive reinforcement goes much farther then fear, shame and threats
Stop charging us so damn much while doing everything possible to keep us from working
Better trained/educated case managers. (When I give you a letter from my Dr on the 15th of the month it's good until the 15th of the next month. Don't call or email at the 1st of each month requesting a letter for the month. I don't see the Dr every two weeks folks
For non controlled meds like lisinopril I shouldn't need to see my Dr monthly for a note. He is getting sick of it and so am I as well as my insurance. The BON is wanting to make me say to hell with my BP...
There are so many other things. So many. I think it could be solved if the BON investigators did their jobs and came up with a plan based on the individuals reason for being on monitoring and plan for a successful recovery vs this all to common blanket style punishment they use being lazy.
Again in I appreciate and respect everyone and their circumstance and have been truly blessed in finding y'all and this site!
With a nod toward my last soapbox appearance on the cost and frequency of drug tests (before i toddle off to the THIRD one in SIX days, and that's with a weekend in there!), this has passed insane in both the cost and the impact on my job. The outlay for this month for this junk, counting the group fee and all, is almost $300. I work days and have a position where, like most nurses, I cannot dance off in the middle of my shift to go pee for this. Heck, i barely have time to go pee for myself. I have no choice but to go first thing in the morning. The issue is that the lab (like all of them) doesn't open until the same time i have to be at work. Trust me, that is obscenely early. So once again, i am late for work. Every couple of weeks, i can do this. Not too big of a deal. But every other blasted day!??? I'm running out of ways to tell my co-workers why I'm late. The "I overslept" is really wearing thin.
On the "protecting the public thing?" Yeah, whatever......
Oh and if i may add another....the so-called randomness of the drug testing. twice in 48 hours? That makes $165 this month alone. I am not worried about it being anything but negative however, see the above remark about financially (and soul) crushing requirements that solve nothing and in fact simply make a buck (or 20) for someone. I'm glad i am not the sole breadwinner in a family. Sorry kids, we're sitting in the dark this month. I ask again...How is this "protecting the public."?
I am not sure how much more I could add. Everything that has been said thus far really sums it up. From the so-called voluntary nature of these programs (or is it volun-told) to the stipulations that make it nearly impossible to find employment to the permanent scarlet letter that one gets stamped with even after your punishment is up. Then there is the issue of these programs being so very punitive in the guise of supposedly helping the licensee AND the public.
I can see the purpose in "monitoring" even for those in the mental health arena, but this whole thing in my state and others has gotten way out of hand. Mandating counseling, medication management-fine. Requiring minimal overtime and the like-also good. But mandatory 12 step attendance and drug testing for a person with no history of addiction to anything?
So far as the "protecting the public" stuff...what about me? I am the public too. I am a healthcare professional that cares deeply for my patients. Putting me out of circulation with the use of lazy, crooked providers who use outdated modalities, unnecessary "treatment," (apparently in deference to the almighty dollar) and financially crushing requirements does nothing to protect me (and in fact worsens my illness, if i let it.) and ergo nothing for my patients. These programs may have started out as an effort to help the impaired professional but have sadly become nothing more than punishment. For those who are grateful for their existence, i commend you for taking this as a wake up call. For the rest of us, the last day of the contract cannot come too soon and I for one will find it very difficult to say that it was of any help at all. The only thing that I will be grateful for is that i will be able to put it behind me and move on with my life, the permanent mark left on my career notwithstanding.
If I remember right, here in Virginia the program tests up to 56 times a year--I think the minimum is 47 or so. If you test positive, you can expect the total number, as well as frequency, to go up--way up. I paid over $3500 over 5 years, and that was just the lab fees; the testing site fees were $21-$29 each time.
And if you couldn't afford them (an easy boat to be in when you aren't allowed to work), they wouldn't change anything, they would just notify the Board you couldn't continue in the program and would kick you out. No completed program, no license. You find the money to test, go to rehab, go to counseling, and go to Caduceus meetings (which charge $50 a month to monitor your attendance)--or you find a new career.
Super helpful, huh?
Polygraph? Even the APA is recommends a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to those. Just when I thought those evaluations couldn't possibly rely on junk science anymore than they already do. The idea of an evaluation (if it truly is objective, which most are not) for something like this is not altogether bad, except for the fact that these things are too frequently used to steer people into monitoring programs whether needed or not. I have seen everything from people in programs for mental health issues that have NOTHING to do with addiction, still be forced to undergo and pay for years of expensive drug testing to folks with 20 year old DUIs get dumped into these programs. Many of these things are loaded with massive conflicts of interest (the person doing the evaluation stands to profit handsomely by what they say on the recommendation) and rely on junk science such as ETG testing that has been snuck into practice by the use of loopholes in the FDA approval system.
It does not surprise me the the junk science of a polygraph would also be employed. Think about it. You are already rattled at the very idea of doing this. Being nervous, not matter how truthful you are being is going to show up. All I can say is certainly don't lie, but be very careful and discerning about what you say and how you say it. These people are not your friends and do not have your best interest in mind.
In two words: lawyer up. We cannot give legal advice here, and you will need someone qualified to represent you. Best of luck.
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