recovering alcoholic... job interview

  1. Wow... I am so grateful to find this forum! I am new to allnurses and didn't know that this was here I'll try to make this quick....
    I am a recovering alcoholic and I have a telephone interview at 2pm TODAY with a possible position in the chemical dependency unit. I have no previous experience working in this area but knew that I wanted to work in the substance abuse field after entering rehab myself. I have been a nurse for 13 years and have had no problems with work as it relates to my alcohol abuse. The decision to go into treatment was strictly a private one as I knew that my way was not working anymore. I am grateful that I went and would do it again. I had 10 months clean and sober and then a very brief relapse (just a couple of days). It has been 8 months since that relapse and I love my sober life. I took my relapse as a learning experience and am eager to help others with this disease.
    Because I chose to go to treatment (and then relapsed) I had to self report to the Ga BON. I have recieved a private consent order that would not restrict my liscense but would prevent me from working home health or through any agencies. Also, my employer would have to turn in quarterly reports on me. I attend ANA nurse support groups as originally advised and do monthly random drug screens. My husband and I have decided to go forward with the hearing on the matter of the consent simply because I feel like I am being punished for getting the help I needed. I have never diverted from work nor had any problems as stated before, regarding my alcoholism. I just wanted to change my life and become a better person/mother/wife.

    I guess I wondered if anyone had any thoughts or suggestions for me. The interview is coming up very shortly and I am unsure what to disclose in the process.


  2. Visit KristieRae71 profile page

    About KristieRae71

    Joined: Feb '08; Posts: 25; Likes: 17


  3. by   Magsulfate
    First of all, congrats on recovery! It's a long road, but it is a good one.

    I do have one question. What is it that you feel you're being punished for? I'm not sure what you're saying there. Being a recovering nurse myself (as I hope to be for the rest of my life) I went through my state's peer assistance/recovery program. It is not meant to punish you for anything. It is meant to make sure you're a clean and sober nurse, and a safe nurse.

    As far as each state's programs go, they do not differentiate between an addict of narcotics or an alcoholic, it is all the same. They don't treat you any better if you're an alcoholic or a "drug head" . You should not feel like you're being punished, or feel like you don't deserve all the drug tests just because you're an alcoholic and not a drug addict.

    The whole point of them doing drug tests on you is to make sure you stay clean AND SOBER. They DO test for alcohol. If that is what you mean by being punished... if not, please clarify.

    As far as seeking a job,,, always hold off on telling them what you need to tell them about the program UNTIL you have met with the manager that is going to hire you. Wait until you have gotten well into the interview before you divulge anything. Never ever tell the nurse recruiter. NEVER. That's my best advice. You will not get past the recruiter if you tell them.

    Also, be strong, confident and sure of yourself. Don't go into the interview feeling sorry for yourself because you have all of these restrictions/rules to follow. Let them know that you are a good nurse and you are at a good place in your life...

    And my very very best advice... Hit the pavement. Get out of the house and go, go , go to interviews, go and fill out applications, ask to meet with the manager if they are available. Don't give up and finding a job just because you were turned down a few times.

    Good luck to you, and let us know how it turns out!
  4. by   SuesquatchRN
    I have no idea about any state programs, thank goodness.

    I am sober and I do not disclose that.
  5. by   KristieRae71
    Thank you Easttexasnurse for taking the time to respond to my post. To clarify, I am very grateful that I am a recovering alcoholic and in no way feel that it is any different from being a drug addict. Alcohol is a drug and should be treated as such in my opinion. I do not mind doing the drug screens for as long as they require me to do so, although they do get expensive. I guess the feeling of punishment just comes from the fact that I didn't know beforehand that seeking help in the manner that I did would require a possible consent on my license. I also didn't know that the whole process was going to be so financially devestating for my family. My husband and I were seperated for a year after I got out of treatment and thankfully have reconsilled, but the strain is there. I am very active in my AA comunity and will continue to do everything possible to remain sober and sane The nurse advocate that heads the weekly groups that I attend would have to turn in quarterly reports along with my drug screens and a list of the meetings I have attended. I guess the only real anxt that I feel comes from having to request that a new employer do this as well. It's hard enough to find a job without having to say, "and by the way, you will have to fill out some paper work on me quarterly."
    I am probably sounding a little whiney and I don't mean to. There are so many others who have it way harder than I do and I am grateful. Recovery is never easy for any of us. I will fight for it. And if the board says that I must abide by the consent I will do so. I just wonder if it is even worth stating my side of the story? If I could change anything on the consent it would be that instead of having my employer fill out those papers, how about my therapist?? Anyways, it is what it is and I will survive no matter the outcome.
    I apreciate the advise on disclosing my recovery status. It sounds like a good plan. Unfortunatly I don't think the interview I had today will come to anything...they were looking for a charge nurse.. and that is sooooo NOT me
    Back to pounding the pavement!
  6. by   Magsulfate
    As far as telling your side of the story, sometimes the manager wants to know, and sometimes they do not. Like when I FINALLY got a job, the manager liked me so much that it didn't matter to her what I had done. She never asked. But I can certainly see how some managers would want to know. It just depends on how the conversation goes as to how you should word it. Sometimes if you just ad lib and say what feels most comfortable, it will go well. Just have a feel for the manager/interviewer. If you feel that they are not into you, then politely end the interview. It is going nowhere, and sometimes managers are just so damn nosey they want to know what you did. Don't tell them if you feel like they're already not going to hire you.

    For example, if they tell you there are no positions for you right now(but you KNOW they do have some), but they'll keep you in mind,, then they ask you what you did,, just tell them.. something like... well, ma'am, I will be glad to have that conversation with you once you have a position open for me, but right now I feel like I need to respect my own privacy. Say that after you are sure they aren't hiring you..... I had a few do this to me, and the first time I told them what I did,,, I smarted up the second time. No, you do not have to tell them if they're not hiring you,, even if you do tell them, they will probably not change their mind.

    I knew for a fact that the first one would not hire me after she told me they didn't have a position for me. The ad that I responded to had RN positions open in EVERY SINGLE DEPARTMENT. And then, she tries to tell me there are none,, right. Some people are just nosy and get their rocks off on other people's misery.

    It sounds like you are doing really well and you're very lucky to still be a nurse! Just think of it this way..... you are going to be the very best nurse after all of this, because, afterall, you don't HAVE TO be a nurse, but you CHOOSE TO BE when you chose sobriety. You see what I mean? If you were not so "into" being a nurse, you would have gave it up already when facing the challenges that you are.

    Good luck