Professional Health Monitoring Programs

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    Ok I just graduated from Nursing school last month ( May) and I knew once i applied I would have to disclose all my troubles that I had ( underage drinking, disorderly conduct, falsify info) I told the board about everything and sent in the necessary papers and a personal letter of explanation, and also had my professor write me some references. So the wait was on to see what the board was going to do.

    Today I get a letter saying that I have to contact the Professional Health Monitoring Program and get a drug and alcohol evaluation, and if they find I am not impaired I may be permitted to sit for boards, If they find I am impaired then I still may be licensed but I must sign up for a monitoring agreement.

    Now I was wondering if anyone had any experience about this Professional Health Monitoring Programs(PHMP). What should I expect.

    I have not touched alcohol in years and you better believe after being given this chance to prove this to the board that i will continue to abstain from ETOH.

    I am very happy that I am getting this chance, I could have just been denied with all my childish immature troubles, but it is true if you are honest and show that you changed BON's are going to listen and give you a chance.

    But again my question was has anyone had any experience with PHMP?
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    In my state the monitoring board is called KNAP but i would assume they are similar. I am working with them after all my my bad choices (read my previous post "my life" to see how far it went) and I have been given a second chance by the BON and my license is reinstated. I am having a bit of difficulty getting a job with my narc restriction, but I only had to sign a 1 year contract with the KNAP program b/c my remission from drugs is already 3 years old. I think that your eval. is you're biggest step right now. You need to be honest and firm with your evaluator that you have not been drinking and for how long. Beware however that some counselors that are themselves in recovery can be more harsh in their judgements. Also, treatment centers are businesses and they need people to need treatment. Plus they vary in price alot. The first place I went cost $150 for the eval then they recommended full Level 1 outpatient treatment for over $2000!!! I have been clean for 3 years, HELLO!! So I went to another place and that counselor was alot more down to earth- he recommended and accelerated relapse prevention outpatient treatment and the whole thing (eval included) only cost $350. So even with the initial waste of $150 for the first eval it only cost $500!! Now I don't know if the monitoring program always has you sign some sort of contract with them or not... maybe if your eval determines you are ok they won't make you sign with them and they will just tell the BON you are good to go. But I would expect them to want to monitor you for awhile in order to put themselves "on the line" with you. They have to at least try to be right I would think. All I have to do to fulfill my contract with them and show compliance with the program is take random monthly UA's ($50/mo), go to weekly 12 step AA/NA meetings, and pay KNAP another $50/mo. for a year. Oh, and WORK for 6mo with the narc restriction "in a position that utilizes my license"- that is the hard part- the rest is just expensive. Sorry this is so long, but I hope it helps. Good luck.
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    Thanks so much for the info Ms. PAPA, and i read your story and I have to say cognrats, How strong you must be to go through all that and be where you are now.
    ms. papa RN AGAIN likes this.
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    Get an attorney!! The Health Professional Recovery Program is not here to "help" you. They are here to protect the public from you, an "impaired" nurse! You do not want to get involved with this organization if you can help it. I can't discuss my exact experience right now. However, minor offense with alcohol and I have a three year monitoring agreement, which costs me over $500 per month. The earlier poster was right about counselors in recovery. If you do decide to go on this path, be very careful who you choose. You have no idea how difficult HPRP is. Don't let them put the guilt trip on you for your past wrongs. You are on the right path now and no longer need to be "punished". Good luck!
    louiepags32, lifeistweet, StacyRN1, and 1 other like this.
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    Thanks for the info, unfortunately I have to go get this Drug/ETOH evaluation, It says if they do not find me impaired then I may sit for the exam, IF they DO FIND ME Impaired then I may obtain a license by setting up an agreement with the PHMP, and it can be no public if i qualify( which if the website id right I would). I have not drank since 2003 at my cousins wedding because I remember it was the first time I ever drank in front of my mom( i was 23) and the next day I woke up embarrassed about being drunk in front of her. I started to drink at 16 years old, sipping 40 oz I could only drink a few drinks then I would be done, not drunk just not able to drink. Then i turned 18 and started going to over 18 dance clubs, started to drink more somehow got used to the taste of beer, I did not drink everyday, but for someone who should not have been drinking in the first place, 1 drink was to much. After I turned 21 I thought oh yeah I can go to bars now, but i really did not drink that much at all, I did but not a lot, then like i said at 23 at my cousin wedding i just did not drink anymore after that.
    Now 5 years later I understand the board wanting to check out everything because I did get underages and disorderly conduct r/t etoh, but at this point what good is full blown therapy going to do. I don't understand how I can be impaired if i have not drank in 5 years, tobacco in 4 years and never any drugs in my life. I do have alcoholism in my family so a littel extra precation might make sense, but does that make me impaired? But if they find that I am because I drank when I was younger I just have to accept it, do what they say, Like i said I know I was made to be a nurse so gotta do what I gotta do.
    Last edit by RN508 on Jun 25, '08 : Reason: adding something
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    Good luck to you! I am very glad that there was a program for nurses with addictions to help me, however I don't think everyone who has ever enjoyed some "chemical release" should be caught in the net. But like you said- if you have to you have to and you will! So just keep on keeping on.
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    I guess what I really want to know is what happens at a drug and alcohol evaluation? What should I expect, blood testing, breathalizer stuff like that. What will they ask me. I have never been through anything like this before so it is kind of scary
  11. 1
    At mine there was a survey type questionaire that asked alot about what age I started drinking and/or using drugs. How much and what I have used. Have I ever drank or used to the point of blacking out or doing "unsavory" things. Things like that. They were all worded "Have you ever..." so I just continually reminded the evaluator that I had been clean for 3 years. They 1st place I went I posted about before with the in recovery counselor made me stick to the lifetime view while answering all of the questions. When I went to the next place the guy was much more receptive to the fact that this was all old news so I answered more from the past 6 month viewpoint. Makes a HUGE difference in what results the computer spits out. The first place also made me UA while the second did not til the end of my treatment and only to be able to send the neg. results to the KNAP people. Also some questions about family history of ETOH & drugs. Just relax and be honest and make sure to be firm that you made some bad choices with unpleasant outcomes while you were younger but you are different now. I think you helped prove that when you chose to disclose this info instead of hoping the BON wouldn't find it. When are you getting your eval?
    Silverdragon102 likes this.
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    I don't have time to tell my story but in a nut shell, I was fired from job in 1986 for drug diversion. I subsequently into rehab and have been sober since then. I went on to college and got a Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering in 1993 and went to work for a major auto co. for over 10 years. I got laid off in 2006 and now have decided to return to nursing.

    Lest I forget I had my license revoked in 1988 and left it at that since I was attending college. So after I got laid off I went about the process of getting my license reinstated, after retaining an atty and over $6000 I got it back. Now comes HPRP, they threw the book at me, random drug testing, weekly group and this addictionist, biggest a$$hole in the world and no handling narcs. I could have cared less about that. I think this is something they do for everyone, regardless of their own particular situation.

    In the years while I was working I was diagnosed bipolar disorder.

    When we were in group, everybody was introducing themselves as an addict/alcoholic. I guess I still am but I believe my mental illness played a big part in the drug addiction, etc. Now I really don't think of myself as an addict. And wasn't comfortable saying so. It is just not how I think of myself I am more than that. And I didn't have any insurance as well. $60 a pop for group therapy.

    Any thoughts.

    Well I got saved from all this nonsense. I had applied for disability SS and it was approved. Along with my mental illness, I have had 2 hip replacements.

    Every time I think of this addictionist I get real angry. I went to AA for 7 yrs and when I told him that and he saw that HPRP didn't recommend AA and a sponser, he had some words for that. Oh and I sat in his office for THREE hours waiting to see him. I was so ****** off that someone could be so inconsiderate of people's time.
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    That happens a lot; people have underlying mental illnesses and self-medicate. Something happens in their lives, be it family/relationship-oriented or legal, and then they are routed on this course of Ownership by the System." They have to become labelled as addicts, when they are not, and on top of that if things are not handled correctly they get to also be loaded with a mental illness problem. No matter if half their unit is sicker than they.

    After my own and many others experience, I would tell any young nurse to stay away from self-disclosure unless recommended by an attorney.

    Its not always true that "the truth will set you free." Sometimes the entire truth can stimatize you unfairly for the rest of your life.
    lifeistweet, StacyRN1, and BEDPAN76 like this.


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