Reported to BON because of eating disorder!?!?

  1. 0
    So I'm fuming right now...and scared.
    The story in summary:I am a critical care RN with 4 years experience, working full time in a cardiac ICU. I have struggled with anorexia and bulimia since my teens, unfortunately never achieving full 'recovery' but a least periods of relative stability. I have taken time off work to receive intensive treatment, the last time being 1 1/2 years ago.

    Currently I've been struggling more again, and yesterday had an assessment for treatment...hoping to do a weekday partial 'day' program that would not interfere with work (I work weekends). Well, this place's policies related to weight criteria are strict, and they will only recommend their residential program for me due to my weight (75% IBW). So now I'm looking into other programs that, although less ideal due to distance, will work with me OP. I have also seen my medical doctor this week, had labs/ekg, and shee aggrees a day program is in fact appropriate for me right now.

    Anyway, the LSW who I talked to at the first place is now saying he he going to report me to the BON as an 'impaired professional', despite my medical doctor's clearance (she talked to him) and despite the fact that I am voluntarily/actively pursuing treatment. I've NEVER had any issues at work related to my health or the care I give.

    Can I actually lose my license over this?! To me, I would think if I'm cleared by my doc and obviously seeking help, it should remain a private medical matter. But I'm worried and upset.
    Thoughts?!
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  4. 26 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    Maybe you should speak to the board yourself? I don't think the LCSW has a leg to stand on, but then again it can be seen as a mental instability. You do have a mental illness as do we addicts. Yours is just a different modality and perhaps even when you're not in intensive therapy a therapist on the regular would really help.

    Good luck with things, it really sounds like you want help!
  6. 0
    Good luck to u, OP. It does sound like u want to do whatever u need for yourself, and that is comendable. I went through our state's program after a positive drug screen in 1999. We only had one RN in our peer group that was there for an eating disorder - but she had to jump thru the same hoops as us. That really surprised all of us. Had to attend the meetings, and had to give random drug screens.

    Hopefully something will work out for u with the BON and u wont have to do all that. Good luck to u!

    Anne, RNC
  7. 11
    I've never understood how programs intended for healthcare workers with substance-abuse issues are supposed to 'help' those who do not have such impairments. Having to do routine drug testing, attend compulsory meetings, and pay exorbitant fees for the privilege is punitive and nobody will convince me otherwise.

    Unless your ED is so severe that you're passing out while starting an IV or assisting with chest tube placement, I don't see what business it is of your employer's, let alone your state board of nursing. You say that this is not happening, so there's no reason for any involvement by the BON. If that social worker continues to pursue it, I'd fight him tooth and nails.
    poppycat, MMaeLPN, DawnJ, and 8 others like this.
  8. 0
    Thanks for the replies.
    I really think he's trying to scare/threaten me into their particular program. My doctor told me that during their conversation he said he probably wasn't going to do it right now...but then when I talked to him he brought I up again (it his 'ethical' obligation). So the crappy thing is now I have another thing looming to make me anxious, wondering if or when I might hear from the BON.
    I feel like I should be reporting him for unethical behavior! He also called my mother...stated that this is an emergency! ReAlly?! Someone actively reaching out, plus cleared medically, is an emergency?! So mad.
    Well, trying not to give up...hoping to be more 'on track' in recovery by the time I might be contacted, making him look foolish.
  9. 4
    Quote from RoamFreeRN
    Thanks for the replies.
    I really think he's trying to scare/threaten me into their particular program. My doctor told me that during their conversation he said he probably wasn't going to do it right now...but then when I talked to him he brought I up again (it his 'ethical' obligation). So the crappy thing is now I have another thing looming to make me anxious, wondering if or when I might hear from the BON.
    I feel like I should be reporting him for unethical behavior! He also called my mother...stated that this is an emergency! ReAlly?! Someone actively reaching out, plus cleared medically, is an emergency?! So mad.
    Well, trying not to give up...hoping to be more 'on track' in recovery by the time I might be contacted, making him look foolish.
    now you have a potential HIPAA violation as well ......good luck
    poppycat, MMaeLPN, DawnJ, and 1 other like this.
  10. 8
    Total HIPAA violation on his part. You could likely nail him to the wall with calling your mother. Sounds like he is bullying you....stand up for your self!

    Good luck!
  11. 0
    If you're not a harm to yourself or others as of right now, he has no legal support. Also, gather your work appraisals to build a case which is your mental state has not placed any of your pt's or the community in harms way. ALSO, like all healthcare professionals, he has to obtain signed consent for ROI to the BON to support his case...
  12. 8
    Well, update: today the VP of the facility contacted me, and actually apologized for all this. She said he is new, blah blah blah...I certainly gave her my complaints about this guy! She assured me no reporting will be going on, especially as I am actively working on trying to get better.
    Technically I could go after him with a formal complaint...but a) I have enough going on for myself and just don't have it in me, and b) the VP assured me he'd be getting some words and further training.
    poppycat, marydc, DizzyLizzyNurse, and 5 others like this.
  13. 10
    To OP - you have all my good wishes to go with you. And I read all the PP wise posts. But I have one little nagging thing bothering me.

    I just think maybe you should document a simple but formal letter of concern re the situation you endured because of that LSW. You WERE violated. Granted you're desirous to let the matter resolve, but you may want to have that hard copy/confirmation of an issue of concern.

    Something along the lines that you were 'disappointed about the breach of confidentiality', real and threatened, and the 'anxiety and worry you endured in relation to your licensure and job stability' You felt 'being pressured' and your private MD doctor/pt relationship was challenged. ETC ETC ETC

    I speak from a past experience that I very TRULY wished I had put something in writing, but...

    If you do, send it registered mail, so you'll know someone received it. It'll also carry more importance to the VP of the seriousness of that situation.

    Good luck.
    duskyjewel, poppycat, FireMedic.RN, and 7 others like this.


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