Denied employment at agency due to ordered prescriptions - page 6

by RNwithHonors

20,096 Views | 72 Comments

Hello everybody. First of all I would like to say I think this website is great. I've been using it throughout RN school, and recently I decided to make an account after getting my RN License. So, here is some back ground... ... Read More


  1. 1
    the lesson here?

    don't take your medications for a few days prior to your drug test.

    don't write them down on the list of meds you are taking.

    the lesson.....LIE. it's sad, but true. i'm sorry, but i'm not going to risk a job bc i have an anxiety problem. i would quit taking my benzos in order to pass the test, and then pop one in the parking lot on my way out. fact.

    call me immoral.
    iluvivt likes this.
  2. 3
    Quote from minnymi
    the lesson here?

    don't take your medications for a few days prior to your drug test.

    don't write them down on the list of meds you are taking.

    the lesson.....LIE. it's sad, but true. i'm sorry, but i'm not going to risk a job bc i have an anxiety problem. i would quit taking my benzos in order to pass the test, and then pop one in the parking lot on my way out. fact.

    call me immoral.
    I wouldn't advise people to lie for several reasons. First, you can test positive for benzos far longer than a few days. I've seen people test positive for two weeks. If you've lied about that, you've branded yourself a recreational user as far as they are concerned, when in fact you're not, even if you tell them you got that advice from someone on an online nursing forum.

    Some people have withdrawal symptoms from quitting benzos cold turkey.

    Some facilities employ random drug screens, which is probably not a big deal if you occasionally take Vicodin for back pain, but would be a big deal if you take benzos for long-term management of your anxiety disorder. I'd imagine the anxiety related to that worry wouldn't make the deception a workable plan anyway.
    Susie2310, mmc51264, and wooh like this.
  3. 0
    It's nice to hear a non judgemental nurse finally speak. What legitimally goes on between patient and doctor should not be held against the nurse as a future employee. Shame on the rest of you for being so mean.
  4. 0
    First let me say how sad one is about the OP's situation. Personally I'd contact an attorney to see if what was done is legal by state laws,but that is just me being a rebel. *LOL*

    Don't know if this has covered already in the responses but having a script today is sadly no promise that one is not either using and or addicted to certain meds. Persons are dying every day from overdoses of legally obtained meds. Sadly there are more than a handful of docs willing to write scripts for reaons ranging from financial gain to sexual gratification and everything in between. Federal and state governments have been cracking down, but still quite allot of it goes on.

    Nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers in particular usually had an easier time of getting scripts for certain drugs merely via the trust factor. How many times in the past or present would a nurse *ahem* mention she was having a hard time falling asleep or was still in pain from a recent injury to an attending, physcian she worked with or even her child's pediatrician and often *boom* that was enough to get him to write a perscription for a little something. He of course trusted that as a professional one was requesting the drugs for legitimate use and wouldn't be abusing either his trust nor the script.

    IIRC according to the latest government figures more persons are dying in the United States from overdosage of legally obrained and or *legal* drugs than from illicit variety (cocaine, heroin, etc...).

    Anytime one has taken a drug test was always told all offers of employment were pending until results came back. Yes, alwys disclosed any meds taken recently and even once told of several slices of lemon/poppy seed pound cake one scarfed down a few days before (Sunday dinner dessert).
  5. 1
    My understanding is that if the UDS is outsourced, you only need to provide the list of your RX to the testing facility. They verify what you take compared to your results, and if anything matches, they basically make it a 'negative' results. They only share the final result, not the list of medications you are on. Or at least that was my understanding.

    And as to being refused for hire because of benzo use. Geez, I guess some of us STILL feel holier than thou. Some of us STILL don't see the reality of nursing these days, that many of us have some kind of anxiety issue due to the level of stress, lack of sleep, problems with our relationships because of all the work hours, etc. Many of us also have or are currently dealing with or WILL experience depression at some point during our lives/careers.

    BlueDevilNP...I really hope you are one of the few lucky ones who never has to go through what a lot of us are. I hope you maintain all your psychological wellbeing, your whole life. I also hope you are not as critical towards your patients as you have been on here.
    monkeybug likes this.
  6. 1
    Quote from StinkMomBomb
    It's nice to hear a non judgemental nurse finally speak. What legitimally goes on between patient and doctor should not be held against the nurse as a future employee. Shame on the rest of you for being so mean.
    I don't think they are being mean. The reality is....hospitals can and will make decisions based on this information. That is the cold hard reality.
    MunoRN likes this.
  7. 1
    Quote from RNwithHonors
    1) Jenny, I understand the half-life of benzodiazepines, very clearly.
    But it's more than the half-life that I always cared about in planning whether or not I could take a PRN.
    specifically, so that I never EVER went into work with any residual effects of the medication I use the scientific formula for drug metabolism.
    *5 multipled by the half-life=complete metabolism* (ie. if the half-life is 5 hours, then metabolism is complete in a healthy patient with no liver issues within 25 hours+-4)

    Like i stated earlier: I didn't take it the night before if I knew I might even have the slightest possibility of waking up with some residual effects. My calculations always left me with a sharp mind and clear consistent clinical judgement. I was always very cautious, because patients and their families mean the world to me--ARE the world to me...


    If you want to make this into an "ostracizing witch hunt" of sorts: then why don't you consider research that has proven, due to the many years of society flushing "diazepam" down the toilet, trace amounts of diazepam have been found in the roots of potatoes. (Diazepam is historically one of the first benzodiazpines synthesized decades ago)

    You might want to lay off the french fries, mashed potatoes, etc unless you want to deem yourself as clinically incompetent.

    Also, while we're on topic, benzodiazpeines DO NOT act in the identical fashion as alcohol. While etoh and benzos are both CNS depressants, etoh does not potentiate the GABA system leading to increased levels of GABA, while benzos do, etc.
    But I digress.

    2) I have seen certain RNs lack clinical judgement, who weren't on any psychotropic medication.

    For example, Jenny, had you educated a patient under your care who is experiencing anxiety, by saying:
    "alcohol and xanax (benzo) are the same, so if you get anxious and you run out of xanax--you can go ahead and take a shot of tequila"

    --This would be an example of a Nurse who doesn't use psychotropic medication, but just violated the Nurse Practice Act by
    "reducing the patients capacity to safely adapt, via poor planning, by neglecting common pharmacological principles leading them to potential bio-psycho-social harm" (alcohol is statistically more dangerous than benzodiazepines)

    Even though I got great grades in RN school--I FAR EXCELLED IN CLINICAL with my ability to problem solve on my feet & make quick decisions.
    Jenny, I would take awesome care of you, your family, friends, or fiance if I had the privilege
    to be assigned care for you as RN.
    Nursing is a field with an enormous amount of responsibility. Nurses are responsible for the lives of acutely ill patients, where it is easy to make mistakes even with the best of mental health, and without the influence of any medications that have the potential to alter one's judgement.
    SionainnRN likes this.
  8. 0
    Quote from Esme12
    No chewing out.......just a reminder that people get sick People who get sick deserve to be gainfully employed so we don't "suck the system dry" using SSDI and medicare. If you don't want us to suck medicare and social security dry then let us get jobs.

    You are young.......at least below 30, I'd say about 25......so, it is hard to imagine that you may ever be in this persons shoes. That anything will ever happen that will make you have to take medicine long term if you just eat right and exercise. But, People get sick. People need medicines. People who use prescription meds are not "necessarily" impaired as if they are using alcohol. It's the abuse of them that is a problem.

    Just Because a nurse takes pain medicine for a chronic problem doesn't mean she/he is not a good nurse and can function just fine. Personally hospitals don't want to hire you because you have a medical history that will cost them on their insurance. Not because they care what drug you are on other than the expense. Technically, it's against the law but they have been getting away with it for years and we the nurses just walk away with our heads hung in shame.

    Sad really.

    On the lighter side......that Hooters comment.... NOW THAT"S FUNNY

    No offence intended Esme, but Jenni811 was referring to benzodiazepines which are and do have the potential to be mind altering. I don't feel that Jenni811 didn't fully understand the OP's situation just because she may be below 30. Prescription meds of various kinds may or may not affect the user to the extent that alcohol use may, but even relatively small effects of drugs can affect a nurse's ability to use good clinical judgement and provide safe care.
    Last edit by Susie2310 on Nov 15, '12
  9. 0
    Quote from Susie2310
    No offence intended Esme, but Jenni811 was referring to benzodiazepines which are and do have the potential to be mind altering. I don't feel that Jenni811 didn't fully understand the OP's situation just because she may be below 30. Prescription meds of various kinds may or may not affect the user to the extent that alcohol use may, but even relatively small effects of drugs can affect a nurse's ability to use good clinical judgement and provide safe care.
    Agreed....but at which point does their concern become intrusive and biased.
  10. 0
    Coming from someone who suffers from panic attacks and anxiety in general, believe me, I function much better with a low dose of a benzo than in the grips of debilitating anxiety. I took my nursing licensing exam after taking 1mg of Ativan. My thought process was obviously not altered, because I passed with flying colors. Probably better than if I hadn't taken anything in fact. (Just to be clear, this is prescribed lol). When I am panicking, I am not thinking clearly, all that keeps going through my mind is whatever is freaking me out at that time. Does this make me a bad nurse? Am I incompetent or dangerous? Absolutely not.

    I do agree that all meds affect people differently. Some people are impaired on low doses, some people function very well, even better, on high doses. I think it is more of a case-by-case issue.


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