I'm in shock!

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    Okay- I feel like the walls have already started coming in on me and I haven't even put a dent in my pre-reqs yet. I went to orientation at my school the other day and kind of got an idea that one of the peer leaders was a nurse in recovery by something she said. I've known for a while that I will have to disclose the fact that I am in recovery when I apply for clinicals but what I found out has me in shock and disbelief- It seems way over the top- anyway- here's what happened:
    I asked her about the whole disclosing issue and what happens from there. She said this is what I'll have to do if I want to continue on- I pay a $200 fee and go in front of a board where they ask questions regarding my addiction and treatment etc. Then every Monday through Friday for the entire time I'm in clinicals I'll be required to call someone (I guess like a probation officer or something?) and they can drug test me anywhere from 2-3 times a month. I have no worries about passing but it's a $15 collection fee and $35 processing fee each time- and so I'm looking at 100-150 dollars a month for drug testing the whole time I'm in clinicals- and I assure you I DO NOT have that kind of money- I'm basically on a grant and will be struggling as it is without that kind of dent in the bank. I am almost 21 months clean and this goes on until I make 5 years clean- I don't think it has to do with the school- maybe state? I don't know- but it just feels like punishment- and trust me- I "did my time" so to speak- I payed for my addiction and continue to do so, but my addiction is the reason for going into nursing- I want to work with addicts and I just get soo mad- I feel like a kid who is on the verge of a temper tantrum. I know I'll get through it, but I'm just so sick of being put in this position- I know it's all my own doing but I get disguted with this hand I've dealt myself and the consequences never cease! it just seems really unfair- and I know life is unfair and all but sometimes I just want a break from the judging and discrimination. I guess I just needed to vent about this- but doesn't it seem like a bit much? I know that they have to monitor somehow- but don't they know most college students are broke- especially nursing students!??? UGH! okay- I'm done- God, Grant me the serenity....
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

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    OMG, That seems crazy to me, but I have yet to cross that hurdle. From what I understand, and this may just be my state, but I was under the impression from my physician that as long as I pass my physical exam before NS starts and drug screen before clinicals that there is not a problem. The five year "probation" was for existing nurses from what I understood and I may be way off base.

    I know what you mean by paying the price for your addiction, I too have been there in my short time in recovery. I am just coming up on 7 months .

    Anyway, congrats on your sobriety and staying clean. Best wishes to you and I hope everything works out well for you...:icon_hug:
    sissiesmama likes this.
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    That sucks. I'm sorry.
    sissiesmama likes this.
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    What state are you in?

    I didnt have to go through any of that and Im in the bible belt! We had a drug screening shortly after orientation and that was it. We were told we can be screened (and had to sign something Im sure) at any time but no one ever was during the first semester. (Im going into 2nd in Aug) I didnt disclose - didnt know I was supposed to. But my problem is alcohol, not drugs, so maybe there's a diff?

    I looked up the rights of recovering addicts/alcoholics on the Dept Human Services web page and found that it is unlawful to deny someone an education at a public (state funded) school due to past problems with addiction. I think you need to look into this further.
    poliwog
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    I live in South Louisiana- They are not denying me the education- it's just adding the drug screens and phone calls daily- then the cost from going in front of the board and paying for all the drug tests etc.... I do plan on looking into it a bit more when I get closer to that time (*starting clinicals*) JUST FOR TODAY I don't want to dwell on something that's about 2 years away- for all I know the rules will be different and I won't even be affected by them then....
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    Wow, that does seem a bit over the top. I can understand why they would want to be cautious, but I feel that is an extreme. Like said before it may just be the state that you are in. Good Luck with it all and keep your head up. You can do it.:wink2:
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    So, um, how random that a "peer"leader(read=fellow student only) mistakenly took your hypothetical or, uh, question for a 'friend' at such face value right?
    Any chance the two of you could share a hoot about that little mix up next time you see them?

    Seriously, i don't mean to make light but I'm not sure if, as you say, you 'knew' you'd have to disclose before clinicals...Disclosure, to my way of thinking, unless required as in actual licensing issues or as verifiable criminal record, is an individual choice and while I understand some folks feel otherwise I've always understood y'know, "unless to do so would harm" them. You, Princess, are also a 'them' in these scenarios......
    Self disclosure while perhaps the ideal, and I do realize some feel they MUST do so to maintain their sense of rigorous honesty and to each their own, but I believe self disclosure doesn't need to be confused w/self-flagellation either.
    I'm truly sorry this happened and if there were any way to put the genie back in the bottle until after school and the proper time comes with the licensing application(if your situation even requires the disclosure then) do know that I wish this could happen for you.
    Also know that others have had to go through the process you describe and you know you CAN if you HAVE to also.
    That blows....
    Last edit by Miss Mab on Jul 29, '08
    *tattooed~princess* likes this.
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    This all can be very confusing and difficult to wade through. The nurse practice act in each state determines what is required to become a registered nurse, LPN, or LVN in that particular state. You should be able to find the nurse practice act for your state here:
    https://www.ncsbn.org/515.htm

    You might be subject to the policies of the institution where you do your clinical rotation. That can be found in the policy manual or employee handbook.

    A couple of questions come to mind. What is the policy of the educational institution where you are enrolled? Is this institution allowed to require drug testing because of your past history?

    Since I'm not an attorney, I can't answer those questions. You might want to discuss this with an attorney dealing with labor laws and/or an attorney familiar with nursing issues.

    Here is a link to a brochure about the Americans with Disabilities Act. It does discuss work and education related issues.
    http://ncadi.samhsa.gov/govpubs/phd1091/

    PRIVATE EDUCATIONAL, HEALTH CARE, AND OTHER FACILITIES
    http://ncadi.samhsa.gov/govpubs/phd1091/content.aspx#8

    It does appear that many nursing programs require a background check and drug screening because the institution where clinical rotations take place require background check and drug screening for prospective employment. Here in Ohio, fingerprints and background checks are required for anyone applying for a nursing license.

    The question I have is, do you have a criminal record as a result of your chemical dependency? If not, disclosure may not be required. Again, the legality is something to take up with an attorney. The American Association of Nurse Attorneys may be a useful resource. http://www.taana.org/

    Good luck and congrats on your recovery!
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    I have no criminal record- there is however a record of my 16 days in detox and 32 days in a state treatment facility along with another 6 day stint in detox about 9 months later... thank you so much for those links- like I said before- I don't really want to get too worked up over it now- but I definitely have some things to look into- I mean if they ask me "Have you ever been treated for drug addiction?" I think I'd have a hard time saying no- because I have and then signing that the information is valid- I mean- it just seems like it would be messy! I'd hate to be caught in a lie- whether or not it was legal for me to do so is a bit besides the point. I'm 22 years old and just really want to start make good decisions from now on. I never would have even considered honesty before I got clean- but now that I'm on the right track it seems like the money and other "consequences" would be worth the peace of mind- but who knows- I can analyze both sides of it till forever and just be worked up- again- for now I'm just going to leave it HP's hands... thanks again to everyone for the support and suggestions- it makes such a difference knowing there are other people out there who understand my frustrations!
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    I'm 22 years old and just really want to start make good decisions from now on.
    I have a 22 year old daughter who is in recovery (cocaine and an eating disorder), getting ready to celebrate 2 years clean. She said much the same thing shortly after moving back to Ohio to be closer to her recovering Dad. Your statement says you're making real progress in your recovery!! Well done!

    Making good decisions includes knowing your rights as well as your responsibilities. After 36 years in health care I have observed one thing about way too many nurses that disturbs me. They lack knowledge of the nurse practice act in the state in which they practice. If we don't know the laws that govern our practice, we are at risk of losing that ability to practice based on what others say and do (like MDs, hospital administrators, human resources, etc.) Sometimes it doesn't seem worth the time or effort to take those legal steps to protect our rights and our license. We have laws to protect our rights for a reason. Just as in your recovery, taking the "easier, softer way" when dealing with the legal aspects of this profession can lead to devastating consequences.

    One day at a time!

    HUGS from Cincinnati!


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