Drug addicted nurses - page 4

I am a nursing student and in one of my classes we have recently talked about nurses and substance abuse. I think that it is hard for me to wrap my brain around the issue. My questions are: 1.... Read More

  1. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from steelcityrn
    I personally have a zero tolorence for a nurse who has stolen medication and or uses drugs and is able to keep a nursing license.
    I feel this way, to, if someone is doing this, ALLOWED to continue doing this, and STILL has a license.

    I worked at a facility where a nurse was caught stealing Duragesic patches and oxy pills. The suspicion of it STARTED two months before she was finally fired, the narc count was off, it was ALWAYS off after she worked, yet this went on for TWO months before anything was done about it. Maybe they needed evidence, for some reason i don't think so, but meanwhile, a pt. who needed a drug was unable to receive it one evening, as a result, and cried and wimpered with pain. THAT angered me.

    It went on way too long. Something was finally done when the camera were installed in the med room, and she was caught slipping narcs into her pants pocket.

    I have no idea what had happened to her, after she was called to the DONs office and fired, she stormed down the hall yelling "F you all, you ________". The facility would refer someone to a rehab center for this, yet it was up to the individual to do it.

    But i also don't see how this is really the facility's responsibility, refering someone to rehab.
  2. by   grannynurse FNP student
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    I feel this way, to, if someone is doing this, ALLOWED to continue doing this, and STILL has a license.

    I worked at a facility where a nurse was caught stealing Duragesic patches and oxy pills. The suspicion of it STARTED two months before she was finally fired, the narc count was off, it was ALWAYS off after she worked, yet this went on for TWO months before anything was done about it. Maybe they needed evidence, for some reason i don't think so, but meanwhile, a pt. who needed a drug was unable to receive it one evening, as a result, and cried and wimpered with pain. THAT angered me.

    It went on way too long. Something was finally done when the camera were installed in the med room, and she was caught slipping narcs into her pants pocket.

    I have no idea what had happened to her, after she was called to the DONs office and fired, she stormed down the hall yelling "F you all, you ________". The facility would refer someone to a rehab center for this, yet it was up to the individual to do it.

    But i also don't see how this is really the facility's responsibility, refering someone to rehab.
    I don't know which state you practice in, but most now require an employer to report to the BON as well. And since rehab is not free, I would venture to guess the employer may still owe some health benefits. And despite what you think, of your fellow nurse, they do suffer from a disease. Would you have the same attitude if they suffered from AIDS?

    Grannynurse
  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from grannynurse FNP student
    I don't know which state you practice in, but most now require an employer to report to the BON as well. And since rehab is not free, I would venture to guess the employer may still owe some health benefits. And despite what you think, of your fellow nurse, they do suffer from a disease. Would you have the same attitude if they suffered from AIDS?

    Grannynurse
    The state i "practiced" in is irrelevent. Things HAVE changed in the 10 years that this happened.

    I'm not buying the disease part right now. Horrible addiction, yes definately, disease, not so sure about.

    If the rehab is part of the insurance or benefits, i could see that being provided, but it wasn't a part of the benefits at the time, nor was it a requirement. I almost see a facility paying for someone's rehab as if the facility is saying they are responsible for someone getting addicted to narcs. I do not see how a facility is responsible for someone getting addicted to narcotics.

    And we're not talking AIDS here, we're talking drug addiction.
  4. by   grannynurse FNP student
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    The state i "practiced" in is irrelevent. Things HAVE changed in the 10 years that this happened.

    I'm not buying the disease part right now. Horrible addiction, yes definately, disease, not so sure about.

    If the rehab is part of the insurance or benefits, i could see that being provided, but it wasn't a part of the benefits at the time, nor was it a requirement. I almost see a facility paying for someone's rehab as if the facility is saying they are responsible for someone getting addicted to narcs. I do not see how a facility is responsible for someone getting addicted to narcotics.

    And we're not talking AIDS here, we're talking drug addiction.
    Hate to tell you this but neither the BON nor MDs have to ascribe to your errornous contention that drug addiction is not a disease. Nor have they, for more then 15 years, not listed addiction in the DMS IV and IX. And there are those that share your feelings regarding those who suffer from AIDS. They view it as God's punishment and not a disease. As for the facility paying or not paying, even in employer friendly SW Florida, employers frequently pay for addiction treatment. Guess they don't have to where you practice.

    Grannynurse
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from grannynurse FNP student
    Hate to tell you this but neither the BON nor MDs have to ascribe to your errornous contention that drug addiction is not a disease. Nor have they, for more then 15 years, not listed addiction in the DMS IV and IX. And there are those that share your feelings regarding those who suffer from AIDS. They view it as God's punishment and not a disease. As for the facility paying or not paying, even in employer friendly SW Florida, employers frequently pay for addiction treatment. Guess they don't have to where you practice.

    Grannynurse
    I already stated how i felt on this, if i'm not stating every little thing, you draw your own conclusions, and i'm refusing to continue arguing with you on this anymore.
  6. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Anyone ever know of a nurse that was allowed back to the same job after drug rehab, if the nurse was stealing drugs on the job?
  7. by   grammyr
    I do, an ex sister in law got caught, went to rehab, did the RNP thing in Louisiana and went back to her original hospital. She did the no nights,weekends,ED,ICU thing for 6 months and stayed clean. After a few mor months her patients were getting an awful lot of narcotics on her shift.
    Guess what?? Here we go again. Rehab,currently in RNP but is allowed to get her license back and is working in a hospital in case management.
  8. by   Kabin
    Some states allow them to work with restricted drug access as well as attend rehab programs.
  9. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Reason why i asked is that any nurses i've known that were caught doing this, were fired and not allowed to come back.
  10. by   Kabin
    From what I've heard, it's considered a disability and so it's legally difficult to fire someone on the first incident.
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    Anyone ever know of a nurse that was allowed back to the same job after drug rehab, if the nurse was stealing drugs on the job?
    YES! I worked with one. She was allowed back, on the condition she had to complete rehab and have no access to the narcotics cabinet. The only reason she is no longer with us today, is she relapsed and quit rehab.
  12. by   jerseyboy
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    There's quite a few things i've doen in life that i shouldn't have, yet i cannot imagine stealing somoene's medicine, someone who's in pain, for my own selfish reasons.

    Of those "quite a few things" you've done in your life that you shouldn't have, did you ever imagine doing them? Probly not. While some nurses do withhold pain medication from patients, the majority do not. They just steal it outright from the hospital or do not dispose of waste properly. But it is easier to demonize someone if you believe they "stole from the poor old person in pain".
  13. by   grannynurse FNP student
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    YES! I worked with one. She was allowed back, on the condition she had to complete rehab and have no access to the narcotics cabinet. The only reason she is no longer with us today, is she relapsed and quit rehab.
    I knew a nurse who was caught, allowed to turn herself into the impaired nurses program, successfully completed it and has been working for her employer since completing the program, ten years ago. And she has no restrictions on her license. Some nurses, and some employers still hold the outdated view of addiction. Fortunately, most employers, nurses and BON do not hold such views.

    Grannynurse

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