Impaired Nurses - page 3

I've just recently learned about a program for nurses that may need help with a drug or alcohol problem known as the impaired nurses. I was just wondering what your thoughts were on this subject. ... Read More

  1. by   longhornfan1
    Now your into specifics relating to ADA, as we addicts are considered disabled but only when active in our addiction. But while in recovery and not under the influence, we are not considered disabled, but are treated differently by our employers as they make reasonable accomodations to suit the disabilty. No, I dont get high. Yes, the addiction potential is still there, but I make my own decisions. Yes it is a choice. I choose to keep my license.
  2. by   dria
    Quote from longhornfan1
    now your into specifics relating to ada, as we addicts are considered disabled but only when active in our addiction. but while in recovery and not under the influence, we are not considered disabled, but are treated differently by our employers as they make reasonable accomodations to suit the disabilty. no, i dont get high. yes, the addiction potential is still there, but i make my own decisions. yes it is a choice. i choose to keep my license.
    got it backwards there...active users of illicit drugs are not protected by the ada, however, a former user of illict drugs who is sober is protected, and you are entitled to reasonable accomodation (such as flexible scheduling to attend recovery meetings, clinic visits, etc.)

    alcoholics are considered disabled individuals, and are entitled to reasonable accomodation. however, alcoholism is not a "golden ticket," as you may still be fired for performance issues related to the alcohol abuse (such as absenteeism, tardiness, etc.) but the employer cannot impose harsher penalties on those whose performance issues are alcohol related.

    clear as mud?

    www.ada.gov
    Last edit by dria on Oct 20, '07 : Reason: what a difference a word makes
  3. by   PRESLA
    ]I am in recovery and will be the rest of my life. I will always find people in our profession who will treat me different, but I have learned that that is their problem I am comfortable in my skin and c my recovery. If they could only be as blessed as I am.

    Lisa

  4. by   Tweety
    Quote from DollBabyKG
    I don't have a problem with helping them to get help and possibly keep their license, but I don't believe it should be expunged from their record. I think this is an important piece of information for subsequent employers so that she/he can be monitored appropriately...I don't like the notion that we can just make our mistakes/crimes disappear. It makes sense for children, but as adults we have to take responsibility for our actions, and that does not include allowing them to disappear off of our records.
    I think there should come a time when we are no longer judged by others for our past. A person who has gone through the monitoring process and finished 15 years ago and still maintaining sobritey should be able to have a clean slate if they are currently applying for a job.

    Likewise, should I as a 48 year old be judged by something I did when I was 20?

    On the other hand, my ex went through Florida's impaired nurses program and started drinking after 15 years of sobriety, an event that last over a year and that ruined our relationship. I don't know if he's still drinking or not since I asked him to leave. He's in administration and nonclinical, but still makes me wonderi f you're not onto something.
    Last edit by Tweety on Oct 20, '07
  5. by   teeituptom
    Quote from tazzirn
    why do we need to be "monitored appropriately"? if i am sober i should be treated just like anyone else who is not impaired, because while i am sober i am not impaired.
    you should be monitored

    you violated a trust in yourself as a professional

    monitoring is a must at the very least forever
  6. by   woody62
    Nurses should be monitored for the rest of their professional life. I wonder why physicians are not subjected to the same rules? Since the 'pee' test is totally random, it is impossible to guess when your phone is going to ring and you have to go in. And hand over a sample.

    I have an idea. How about requiring every nurse, in every state, to submit to random testing in order to retain their license. That way, we can ensure that no impaired nurse ever has access to patients. Or even legal drugs.

    All in favor

    Woody
  7. by   TazziRN
    Not fighting with you, Tom. We've been this round befoe, and you've made your feelings clear on this matter. If you had your way we'd be tarred and feathered and hung out with a sign.
  8. by   woody62
    Quote from TazziRN
    Not fighting with you, Tom. We've been this round befoe, and you've made your feelings clear on this matter. If you had your way we'd be tarred and feathered and hung out with a sign.
    Tazzi, it has been my experience that people who tend to be so judgemental really have something in their past they wish to hide. I have worked with impaired nurses (I hate the term, it implies they still have a problem) and I trust them. And I have yet to meet one who has failed to live up to my trust. Like anyone else with a disease, addiction is a disease, some people make value judgements about them. It is their problem not everyone elses.

    Woody
  9. by   wooden nickel
    Quote from SR@csi
    I've just recently learned about a program for nurses that may need help with a drug or alcohol problem known as the impaired nurses. I was just wondering what your thoughts were on this subject. Should nurses that have a problem be allowed back into the work place after they have received help? What if they have a relapse?

    No, I don't think they should be allowed to practice depending on the drug they are addicted to. (med. drugs, or street drugs). If it is med drugs, then NO. They will work in an area that is swimming in them. If it is street drugs, then yes. If they are in a program that is working.

    I got something that's really going to grab you and make you think "what"??
    At the hospital I work at, they have become a non-smokeing hospital. And the rules state that if caught smoking or with any tobacco product on your person or in your locker. You will be terminated!!! But if you are caught with crack cocaine in your system, on your person, or in your locker. They will help you get into a recovery program and clean up, all paid by them. (you still keep your job, and only get a slap on the wrist...for CRACK!!) What's up with that!!!! Some times I think the whole world has gone nuts! What's your answer to that, anybody give me a good one. Cause I got nothing!
  10. by   time4meRN
    Quote from woody62
    first of all, most patients don't choose to be sick. most diabetics don't choose to suffer a hypo or hyperglycemia episode. and most obese individuals really don't choose to be obese. and most people who suffer from hypertension didn't choose to suffer from that either. most chronic diseases have a genetic component to them. so, unless you can choose your parents, you really don't have any control over what chronic illness you get.

    and to be honest, i am tired of people who suffer from chronic illnesses and have to be hospitalized, get blamed for their diseases. or for their having to be hospitalized. i generally am in good control of my blood sugars, as are most people i know who suffer from diabetes. and i know quite a few thru the support group i attend. but every once in a while, for reasons unknown (and not due to drinking or over eating) i suffer from rare episodes of hyperglycemia. and i have suffered six episodes of hypoglycemia since going on nph. four episodes were due to not having eaten a sufficient grams of carbohydrates and protein. the other two were due to a delay in my eating a meal, over which i had no control. you want to blame someone, blame my sil. he was responsible for cooking that night.

    initially, addicts are generally not held responsible for their addiction. they are given an opportunity to get clean and lead a sober life. unfortunately, a lot of them have more problems that add to their addiction and they slide back into addiction. i could blame them because they allowed themselves to slide back. just like some blame a diabetic who comes into your er for a bka. after all, if he had been diagnosed earlier, if he had controlled his blood sugars earlier, if he hadn't suffered from an disease of his circulatory system, he wouldn't be in your er, would he?

    i hate to point this out to you, you are the blame for many of the readmissions to your hospitals. you have failed in your responsibility to ensure that your patients understand their diseases, understand the negative outcomes, understand their decisions. if they end up back in your hospitals, it has to be your fault. your failure.

    that accusation hurts doesn't it? and it is very unfair, isn't it? just as your accusations are unfair and hurtful.


    woody

    hurtful ? no not at all. we all know pt's come back in time after time after time. if you work in hospital that it doesn't happen in there should be a major government study there. because that is an issue hospitals and dr offices deal with on a daily basis. actually, you reinforced my point. i'm not saying addicts shouldn't be responsible for their actions or that they should be treated with tender loving care. i'm saying that just as many other dx. (diabetes, copd were just examples) pt's have many underlying issues that cause them to continue on a distructive path, sometimes leading to a slow death. but just like any other disease, the pt. with the disease needs to take control and take responsibility for their own actions. some do this better than others. but as nurses we are responsible for treating the pt as non - judgemental care providers. i used to be a manager and worked with many nurses who were on the "alternative program for nursing" and they were some of the best nurses i had. they were open with me they were excellent employees. i will stand up for them and defend them as good people who had situations in their life that they never developed the coping skills many of the rest of us did.some were abused, battered and lived on the streets . not one of them came to me with a sob story. they were open up -front with me . i didn't learn about their stories untils some of them invited me to a meeting they all went to. that is where i really begane to appriciate the work they were doing to stay healthy. they were some of the most spiritual, kind people i have ever worked with. they were open about their addiction and ended up helping many other health care workers. so, no what you said wasn't hurtful at all. it just tells me you took it personally.i'm sorry for that. what i said wasn't an acusation, it was a fact of things we see in our er on a daily basis, be it a diabetic, copd, addict, munchausen etc...the list goes on and on.
    if you discharge your pt's from your hospital with complete knowlege of their dx and they never return with complications ----wow you guys are good. we can't seem to even get most of ours to understand why a pt with chest pain went back before thier complaint of tooth pain. let alone, that if they continue to smoke they will probalbly be intubated next time they come. :spin:
  11. by   time4meRN
    Quote from wooden nickel
    No, I don't think they should be allowed to practice depending on the drug they are addicted to. (med. drugs, or street drugs). If it is med drugs, then NO. They will work in an area that is swimming in them. If it is street drugs, then yes. If they are in a program that is working.

    I got something that's really going to grab you and make you think "what"??
    At the hospital I work at, they have become a non-smokeing hospital. And the rules state that if caught smoking or with any tobacco product on your person or in your locker. You will be terminated!!! But if you are caught with crack cocaine in your system, on your person, or in your locker. They will help you get into a recovery program and clean up, all paid by them. (you still keep your job, and only get a slap on the wrist...for CRACK!!) What's up with that!!!! Some times I think the whole world has gone nuts! What's your answer to that, anybody give me a good one. Cause I got nothing!


    Your funny ! Sadly true but funny none the less. Would you agree "Big Brother " just needs to go away.....leave us alone? If a nurse is impaired test them, leave the rest of us alone. If one of my nurses smokes mary jane on a Friday night , comes in a does their job without being impaired,that's all I need. I don't care to baby sit them on their free time. If they get caught at home with illeagal stuff of come in impaired then we have issues. But , I have enough to do without worring about their home life issues. I would feel the same it a nurse come in that has prescribed percs or is taking benadryl and comes in impaired.I would also consider a nurse impaired if they are overburdened by home issues, depressed etc.... Doesn't mean I would have them arrested just means I would give them direction for help so that they can come to work and do the job they were hired for. I'll deal with it on a day to day basis, I don't need to know how they choose to party. I want to know they are preforming a task well pt's are safe and the eployee is healthy. Guess I'm a 70's rebel.---
  12. by   TazziRN
    Quote from wooden nickel
    No, I don't think they should be allowed to practice depending on the drug they are addicted to. (med. drugs, or street drugs). If it is med drugs, then NO. They will work in an area that is swimming in them. If it is street drugs, then yes. If they are in a program that is working.
    Wow.......you've got a lot to learn about chemical dependency. Doesn't much matter what the chemical is, dependency is dependency. You think someone who is in recovery after using heroin wouldn't relapse on morphine?? And why can street drug users in a working program be considered safe but not med drugs users in a working program?
  13. by   CHATSDALE
    the control of some of these drugs are unbelievable
    you may not be interested in a nurses private life but what happens on the outside has effect on the inside
    if a nurse comes forward and requests assistance it is much better for them than if they are caught impaired at work or on a random test
    i know several who have been thru program some have back slide some have made it so far..
    but yes they should be welcomed back into nursing, they still have a living to make and a contribution to society
    they say that once impaired always impaired but at some point in time ou have to trust that they are going to take responsibility for their own acts

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Impaired Nurses