Denied employment at agency due to ordered prescriptions - page 7

by RNwithHonors

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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. 0
    In a perfect world, it would be nice to have nurses who were not on any meds AND who weren't impaired due to anxiety, depression, etc....

    We do not live in a perfect world. Every profession is touched by these diseases. I would rather have a legally medicated nurse than one who had major issues but was afraid of a drug screening.
  2. 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 that informing others of the fact that "what legitimately goes on between patient and doctor should not be held against the Nurse as a future employee" is not how things actually are is making any judgement, that's just what the facts are. We're not supporting or opposing an employers right limit even legally prescribed medication use, just reminding people that's how it is.
    nursel56 likes this.
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    Quote from Esme12
    Agreed....but at which point does their concern become intrusive and biased.
    Yes, what is reasonable is a good question. I do understand employers feeling a need to err on the side of caution as it seems to me there is no practical way to measure the effects of prescription drugs on employees unless the employees are obviously practicing poorly and/or are obviously impaired. Because one does not have to be obviously impaired for one's judgement to be adversely affected, I understand employers being ultra careful in regards to employee drug testing and hiring employees who take prescription medication. Then there is the separate issue that some nurses do have problems with addiction. Obviously there is a lot of potential liability for the employer. With new hires, the person is an unknown quantity. So I understand employers' caution and I believe it is necessary, ultimately for the sake of patient safety, even when it may be excessive.

    From the individual nurse's point of view, the nurse who believes he/she functions perfectly safely and with good clinical judgement while taking prescription drugs, and who perceives himself/herself unfairly singled out, I don't have an answer. No-one likes to be in this position. As human beings we judge other people to a large degree from our own experience. If a hiring manager has had negative experiences with job candidates who tested positive for X drug or who admitted to taking X prescription drug then likely these experiences will influence their hiring practices.

    I agree, we are all imperfect, and all professions are full of imperfect people. The professions though, where peoples lives are at stake, such as medicine, nursing, airline pilots etc. require the bar to be set higher precisely because of the high level of responsibility.
    Last edit by Susie2310 on Nov 16, '12
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    Jesus Pete. I don't care - I don't care - I don't care. A nurse is a human being and has a right to be on whichever medications she/he and her physician/hcp see fit. Period.

    Whatever a nurse is taking should not impair his or her ability at work.

    That said, I DO NOT BELIEVE that a benzo or some ambien taken the night before is going to cause the type of impairment which some of you claim. Sorry, I just don't. So then I have to wonder if YOU really believe that or if this is some other type of bias.

    I take epo. Can't really make enough blood without it. Anti-hypertensives too. Because I want to AVOID having a stroke someday, I've always kept my blood pressure well under control. I exercise and eat well. Some things really ARE just genetic. But since when are patients, even nurses, supposed to be blamed for being ill? Or worse, blaimed for actually MANAGING their health? Isn't that what we want them to do? Or do we suddenly not believe in medicine/pharmacology when it comes to nurses?
  5. 0
    Quote from Susie2310
    Yes, what is reasonable is a good question. I do understand employers feeling a need to err on the side of caution as it seems to me there is no practical way to measure the effects of prescription drugs on employees unless the employees are obviously practicing poorly and/or are obviously impaired.
    Weird. Practicing poorly or being obviously impaired seems like a pretty good way to measure in my book.
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    I am absolutely behind the hospital for recinding their offer of employment based on either the physical or drug screen. Just imagine OP that something happens at work, you fall or get hurt in some way or a patient complains about your performance, and you have to have a drug screen and it comes back positive. Do you know how horrible that makes the hospital look? Especially if a patient was injured?
    And to everyone saying that people have the right to take medications prescribed to them by their doctor, that is true, but not everyone has the right to work as a nurse. Just because you have worked hard and are smart, doesn't mean you get your dream. Sometime physical limitations win out over dreams.
  7. 1
    I am sorry to hear that you were denied employment. I think you should look further into what happened to you and possibly consult a lawyer--i know there are always certain situations that can warrant an employer to deny employment, but the law states that if you have a prescription and a provider's note stating you are able to safely work then you cannot be denied employement or have a job offer withdrawn or the business has committed a violation of the disability act. I have read other people's comments and I disagree with almost everyone. I think it is easy to judge when one obviously has no personal experience of needing a prescribed medication; comparing a prescription medication to alcohol is just ignorant. People who abuse prescription medications or those who are not taking them for the appropriate reason are a threat to taking care of people in a nursing setting; however, someone who is taking the medication responsibly and no one would even know they are taking anything by talking to them is a completely different situation. It sounds like you are taking your prescription responsibly and it is unfortunate you were treated the way you were and I truly hope you seek legal advice in this matter. If you went in for an interview slurring your words and acting "impaired with cloudy judgement'' it would be understandable to not offer you the position, but what you describe is plain discrimination. If everything you wrote it true about your performance as an RN then I would rather have you be my nurse than someone who is not taking any medications but has horrible bedside manner and barely passed boards. Don't give up and fight for your right to be treated like every other fortunate nurse that has no health issues requiring prescription medications.
    wooh likes this.
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    SionainnRN---Licensed RN's who have active licenses without ever being investigated or suspended have just as much of a right to work practicing nursing as you do. It is truly ignorant and unfair that so many people think that a person who has a medical condition that is out of their control should not be able to work if they require a prescription. If someone on a prescription fell and had a drug test, they would not test positive if they have a prescription so get your facts straight. I think it would be more of a liability if someone quit taking their needed medications to get hired and then something bad happened that could have been prevented if they had their needed medications. I agree that people who act impaired or have cloudy judgement should not be hired to take care of sick patients, but nurses who take their prescriptions responsibly and no one would have even guessed they were taking prescriptions because they behave as any other person not taking a prescription should not be treated differently. Prescribed medications CAN affect one's judgement and cause side effects such as drowsiness, but as nurses we should all know that they do not affect EVERY person that way. I have been prescribed an opiate for 10 years because I have a bladder disease that has no cure and is only managed by controlling my symptoms, which is constant pain. I never take more than what is prescribed to me and I never take more than I need to--I take enough to control the constant pain I have to the point where it is bearable so that I can function like any other person and I am an excellent nurse. I did not ask for my chronic condition and I do what I have to so that I can work and take care of my patients and be a good mother. No one should have any negative opinions about me unless I harm a patient because I was "impaired" which I have not ever been and not ever done. If you met me and interviewed me for a position you would not believe that I took prescription medications and I pride myself in that I only take what I absolutely have to and that it doesn't impair me in any way--I understand the ignorance in most people because I have seen many people who abuse their prescriptions and/or are not taking it for the right reasons and this is unfortunate, but people like me and the nurse who started this discussion should not be labeled the same just because we require a prescription for conditions that we did not cause or ask for and wish we did not have.
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    Quote from hhayes11
    SionainnRN---Licensed RN's who have active licenses without ever being investigated or suspended have just as much of a right to work practicing nursing as you do. It is truly ignorant and unfair that so many people think that a person who has a medical condition that is out of their control should not be able to work if they require a prescription. If someone on a prescription fell and had a drug test, they would not test positive if they have a prescription so get your facts straight. I think it would be more of a liability if someone quit taking their needed medications to get hired and then something bad happened that could have been prevented if they had their needed medications. I agree that people who act impaired or have cloudy judgement should not be hired to take care of sick patients, but nurses who take their prescriptions responsibly and no one would have even guessed they were taking prescriptions because they behave as any other person not taking a prescription should not be treated differently. Prescribed medications CAN affect one's judgement and cause side effects such as drowsiness, but as nurses we should all know that they do not affect EVERY person that way. I have been prescribed an opiate for 10 years because I have a bladder disease that has no cure and is only managed by controlling my symptoms, which is constant pain. I never take more than what is prescribed to me and I never take more than I need to--I take enough to control the constant pain I have to the point where it is bearable so that I can function like any other person and I am an excellent nurse. I did not ask for my chronic condition and I do what I have to so that I can work and take care of my patients and be a good mother. No one should have any negative opinions about me unless I harm a patient because I was "impaired" which I have not ever been and not ever done. If you met me and interviewed me for a position you would not believe that I took prescription medications and I pride myself in that I only take what I absolutely have to and that it doesn't impair me in any way--I understand the ignorance in most people because I have seen many people who abuse their prescriptions and/or are not taking it for the right reasons and this is unfortunate, but people like me and the nurse who started this discussion should not be labeled the same just because we require a prescription for conditions that we did not cause or ask for and wish we did not have.
    I'm sorry you feel that way but I stand by what I said last year. Just because you are prescribed a medication doesn't mean you can work as a nurse on it. If I get prescribed Vicodin and drive on it and get pulled over, guess what? I'll probably get a DUI. Doesn't matter that I have a prescription. Same with work. There are many jobs, some in nursing, that you can do with a narc prescription but I don't think hospital nursing is one of them.
    wooh likes this.
  10. 1
    I think the difference is acute vs chronic use. If someone is on a stable dose, it is way different than acute/episodic dosing.
    Quote from SionainnRN
    I'm sorry you feel that way but I stand by what I said last year. Just because you are prescribed a medication doesn't mean you can work as a nurse on it. If I get prescribed Vicodin and drive on it and get pulled over, guess what? I'll probably get a DUI. Doesn't matter that I have a prescription. Same with work. There are many jobs, some in nursing, that you can do with a narc prescription but I don't think hospital nursing is one of them.
    sapphire18 likes this.


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