Negative drug screen and jobplace still wants me to meet with IPN

  1. Two weeks ago I started acting confused at work they sent me to the ER where I wasn't even able to tell them that I hadn't taken anything. The house supervisor just came in and kept saying that my pupils looked very dilated. My drug screen came back negative but I had mentioned to my boss the next day that I had a script for Xanax. She just called the other day and her and employee relations feel I need to be assessed by IPN I know I didn't take anything and have a neurology app but not until the end of March my question is can they make me do this. If I refuse to do this and choose to take another job can they really report me to the board?? Please I need advice!! Thanks
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  2. 35 Comments

  3. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Do they expect you to self-report to IPN? I wouldn't do that!!! Did they report you to the BON? Where I'm at I never heard of just being "evaluated" without either self-reporting or having being reported. Are you still working there?
  4. by   catsmeow1972
    Negative drug screen, check. Referral to neurology, check. I would steer very clear of any kind of IPN evaluation. Period. I will cite a September 8, 2016 piece where a well known license defense attorney speaks with NBC2 on this very issue (google it, not hard to find)
    I wonder if your boss/employee relations have any idea of the damaging road they are trying to lead you down. If they seriously continue to push this, not only would I find other employment (kinda think I would anyway, these people sound a little scary) I would also consider a little consult with a license defense attorney. That way you've gotten a feel for someone, should you need to retain him/her. There is a reason those law firms say to call them before having any contact with IPN or the BON. It isn't for marketing, that's for sure.
    Common sense says that it sounds like there is nothing to support any kind of allegation on this, but sadly nowadays, I think nurses have been brought down for less because we are naive enough to think that our colleagues would want to help us and not sell us out to the highest bidder.
  5. by   Recovering_RN
    Do NOT go down the IPN road! I guarantee you, they will NEVER do an "evaluation" on you and then say "never mind, you don't need treatment". It just won't happen. So if you allow an IPN evaluation to happen, then you'll be faced with refusing treatment, because they WILL recommend treatment, and you will definitely get reported to the BON for refusing treatment.

    If they insist on IPN eval, get a lawyer. Do not do it!
  6. by   Kel65
    No!!!! An evaluation means treatment, they will just say you have an addiction you are not being honest about. File for leave of absence, see your neurologist and see an attorney.
  7. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Yeah that's my experience. "Evaluation's" actual translation is "lets see how much money the worthless rehab industry can extort from this nurse while impeding her ability to make a living." Fight as hard as you can to stay out of this unless you have some sick need to be punished and controlled because that's all these programs do.
  8. by   Lisacar130
    I believe they can still have you monitored for stress and mental health issues... like if the neurologist can't find a medical cause for what happened. So get a nurse lawyer in your state because if they referred/reported you to IPN I believe IPN can report you to the board if you don't cooperate with their assessment. I don't know that for sure but you'll probably need a lawyer's help to get out of this.
  9. by   catsmeow1972
    The excuse du jour being used when they can't dig up any other remotely believeable excuse that might even hold water to shove a person into some kind of "treatment" (that the evaluator has a financial interest in a facility that so conveniently offers, aaannndd conveniently has an open bed, aaannddd recommends that you begin immediately for your own safety....) is "***** does not appear to have a substance use problem but would benefit from a monitoring period of no less than xx number of months." Bang! They got ya!
    That is why you do not submit to an IPN evaluation if you do not have a lawyer. Yes, I think Lisacar is correct in that they claim to be able to monitor you for stress and mental health issues, but in my opinion, of which I have many, since they have one cookie cutter means of treating people, they just cause more stress with thier so called ‘help.'
    These people have no sense of ethics and will have no problem destroying your career to make a buck off of you. I am not being melodramatic, when I say that you are nothing more than another file folder with potential dollar signs in it.
    I am sorry this is happening to you, but please stand your ground against these people. I wish I had.
  10. by   catsmeow1972
    Quote from Recovering_RN
    Do NOT go down the IPN road! I guarantee you, they will NEVER do an "evaluation" on you and then say "never mind, you don't need treatment". It just won't happen. So if you allow an IPN evaluation to happen, then you'll be faced with refusing treatment, because they WILL recommend treatment, and you will definitely get reported to the BON for refusing treatment.

    If they insist on IPN eval, get a lawyer. Do not do it!
    ^^^^This x 1000

    Can I like this many many times??
    Truth to the Nth degree.
  11. by   Cpblondie81
    Thanks guys so I'll call a lawyer tomorrow morning I already have a new job offer that I guess I need to take. I don't know how they can report me to the board when they literally have nothing I have a doctors note from my psychiatrist that said I show no signs of addiction and I am cleared to go back to work I also have a note from my pcp saying I am cleared to go to work. So should I just email my boss that I'm retaining a lawyer??
  12. by   catsmeow1972
    Honestly I would not email your boss. Retain your attorney and have ALL communication go through him/her. Have NO further communication with them, except what the attorney advises you to do (maybe a resignation letter, I don't know).
    What sucks people into the IPN machine is that they do not accept evaluations from anyone other than who they send you to. IE: the "approved" evaluators. Now where does thier allegience lie? I doubt it's with the person being evaluated. Those so-called "evaluations" are anything but impartial and advantage is taken of the fact that a person is scared, scrambling, on unknown turf and will do anything to save their livelihood and those people know it.
    I always end my grumpy rants about IPN with the caveat that there is a place for programs such as this because there are people that benefit from monitoring as a safe means of getting back to practice and from evaluations as a means to determine if a person is safe to practice at all. Unfortunately in its current form, I will also say that I think it does more harm to more people than good.
    Last edit by catsmeow1972 on Feb 11
  13. by   Lisacar130
    Wait... just a thought but the new job offer you got... did they do a background and reference check already? If not I would consider stalling the first job until they do.
  14. by   Lexi McDonough
    Most hospitals (and I believe state boards as well) require you to disclose any medications you take that could be impairing, especially ones that show up on a drug screen (like xanax, weird it didnt come back positive) because they need to have proof you have a valid prescription You are probably going to get in a bit of trouble but I highly doubt they would suspend or fire you unless its a mandatory policy thing. Unless your taking methadone or suboxone for addition treatment, most if not all hospitals will allow you to work provided you disclose the meds you take and take them as prescribed.

    To be prepared, I would ask the doc who prescribes you the Xanax to write a letter, get a copy of your current prescription, and get a printout of the pharmacy record. Get as much of that as you can before the meeting, it might lessen the blow!

    P.S. Not to scare you but did you physically look at the test results? If not, its possible it actually came back positive. I can't imagine them not testing for benzos because they are common in abuse and overdose and almost all standard drug tests include benzos like Xanax.

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