Unfair, unfair, unfair

  1. I see so many posts here about the unfairness of these programs. Some even go so far as to say the BON has ruined their lives. What I rarely see form the complainers is any personal accountability. We need to remember what got us here. In my own case I was a completely out of control alcoholic who overdosed on pills and booze and ended up in the ER of the hospital where I worked. Weather you were diverting to feed a habit or may the stupid 1 time decision to get behind the wheel of a car - it was that action that put you in a BON program.

    While I agree that these programs can be Draconian - we have to remember that we would not be here but for our own actions.

    In my own case - If I wanted to save my license and my life I had no choice but to humbly do what I was told. I embraced the program learned to walk the walk and talk the talk. I braided those 12 steps into a lifeline and hung on for dear life. I graduated from the CA Diversion program in 2007 and never looked back. For those of you who are struggling I will send you the Wisdom that only Country Music can convey "Don't give up, Hold on a little longer, What don't kill ya only makes you stronger" (Zach Brown) .

    This too shall pass. You will feel the sunshine on your face again.

    Peace and Namaste

    Hppy
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   Kel65
    Well said.
  4. by   dagobah
    I have one for you Happy. I hugged everyone from the BON after 4.5 years and thanked them for saving my life. Still sober and coming up at 8 yrs sobriety. I did it and did it all. No regrets because it really made me who I am. A productive working member of society and a friend of Bill W. I even had someone come and asked me they heard from someone who heard from someone....I smiled and said it's true, and asked them if they needed anything else from me. That's what recovery does, I am not going to be startled about my past being brought up to me.
  5. by   malamud69
    Like medical diagnosis the 'issue" is multi-faceted...what works for one may not for another...so why not reign in the rhetoric? The rampant hypocrisy does exist and does ruin people's lives.
  6. by   elkpark
    The other thing I always think of when I see the posts about how unfair and unreasonable the monitoring programs are -- it wasn't that long ago, in historical terms, that there was no such thing as the programs for impaired nurses. When I was in nursing school in the early 1980s, it was an exciting, new concept, and not all states had them yet. Prior to that, if you had any problems with drugs, alcohol, or any other issues that impaired your practice, you lost your license, end of story, period, no way to get it back, career over. The monitoring programs are an attempt to offer individuals an incentive for recovery and a pathway to continuing one's career, to balance compassion and understanding for the individual with protecting the public safety (which is, after all, the primary role and mission of the BON; offering nurses a second chance is optional).
    Last edit by elkpark on Aug 12
  7. by   catsmeow1972
    I think that the "unfair" issue is not that one must participate in a program, but rather the fact that so many of the programs are geared towards one subset of people. I personally do not have an addiction issue, never drank etc. Yet, due to the rampant abuse present in the recovery industry (yes, folks it's an industry and people make big money off people in need of help) I have been labeled and treated as an addict while my real issues have been soundly ignored. I don't have an issue with having a contract so much I resent being forced to engage in activities that are totally irrelevant to my situation. These programs have a one-size-fits-all approach and that does more damage than good. Guess what y'all: 12 step whatever is not the magic fix for all comers and in some cases, can be damaging.
    There have been times when i have wished that the BON would have just taken the license instead of punishing me for the crime of having a mental illness.
    i have said it before, what is an illness to be treated for most of the population is a crime that must be punished for us. I have spent several years jumping through pointless hoops, attending pointless meetings and paying out the wazoo for unnecessary testing. It has been extremely difficult to get/keep a job due to these restrictions. At the moment, i am ready to give up and try to do something else with my life. Will someone tell me what i did wrong?
    Yes, for those who have drug/alcohol issues it can be a great second chance, but the net has been cast far and wide and people without such issues are drawn into it for reasons that have nothing to do with nursing practice. THAT is what people are screaming "unfair" about.
    I will never be thankful or grateful for this bull. It has in some respects ruined my life but i will not give up out of sheer stubbornness. To quote from my current favorite binge-watching worthy series, "Nolite te bastardes carborundorum." Don't let the ******** grin you down.
  8. by   hppygr8ful
    Quote from malamud69
    Like medical diagnosis the 'issue" is multi-faceted...what works for one may not for another...so why not reign in the rhetoric? The rampant hypocrisy does exist and does ruin people's lives.
    I never said that the programs were fair or lacking in hypocrisy. What I said was that we all ended up in a program due to our actions. We need to own it in order to move forward in our lives. I absolutely agree that these programs should be more individualized and less One size fits all. My program ended up costing me almost $35,000.00. I had to take out a second mortgage on my house. Now 10 years after graduating I have been able to pay all that back and set aside funds for my son's education and some retirement funds as well. Our actions ruined our lives and we have to own that. But for our bad decisions we would not have ended up in a program and the BON would not have been in apposition to ruin anyone.

    Hppy
  9. by   hppygr8ful
    Quote from catsmeow1972
    I think that the "unfair" issue is not that one must participate in a program, but rather the fact that so many of the programs are geared towards one subset of people. I personally do not have an addiction issue, never drank etc. Yet, due to the rampant abuse present in the recovery industry (yes, folks it's an industry and people make big money off people in need of help) I have been labeled and treated as an addict while my real issues have been soundly ignored. I don't have an issue with having a contract so much I resent being forced to engage in activities that are totally irrelevant to my situation. These programs have a one-size-fits-all approach and that does more damage than good. Guess what y'all: 12 step whatever is not the magic fix for all comers and in some cases, can be damaging.
    There have been times when i have wished that the BON would have just taken the license instead of punishing me for the crime of having a mental illness.
    i have said it before, what is an illness to be treated for most of the population is a crime that must be punished for us. I have spent several years jumping through pointless hoops, attending pointless meetings and paying out the wazoo for unnecessary testing. It has been extremely difficult to get/keep a job due to these restrictions. At the moment, i am ready to give up and try to do something else with my life. Will someone tell me what i did wrong?
    Yes, for those who have drug/alcohol issues it can be a great second chance, but the net has been cast far and wide and people without such issues are drawn into it for reasons that have nothing to do with nursing practice. THAT is what people are screaming "unfair" about.
    I will never be thankful or grateful for this bull. It has in some respects ruined my life but i will not give up out of sheer stubbornness. To quote from my current favorite binge-watching worthy series, "Nolite te bastardes carborundorum." Don't let the ******** grin you down.
    Cats you have mentioned many times on this board that you are not in this due to being and addict/ alcoholic. I do not expect you to share all the details of what brought you here. I never said the programs are fair. So please don't misunderstand my intent. But biting the bit of anger and frustration does nothing to help us. If you want to change the system finish you program and start lobbying for a change in the system so others don't suffer as you have. I do absolutely believe there should be changes and am working with my local political representative to do something. He is as yet unconvinced - but I keep plugging away.

    Hppy
  10. by   dirtyhippiegirl
    I don't think "bad actions" are the only way to end up in a monitoring program. My state monitors just about anyone who admits to ever having had a drug or alcohol problem when they fill out their application, even with a clean background check. One lady in my group sought help for her alcoholism - no drinking on the job, voluntarily got help - but the BON got her because when she renewed her nursing license, the return address on the envelope was to a well-known rehab in our state. You get the occasional story on here of people who disclose previous mental health treatment who wind up in monitoring. I had a friend who was temporarily in my state's physician monitoring program because she was very obviously anorexic and sought treatment for that. (She relapsed and is no longer a doctor.) Just having a mental illness or addiction isn't a "bad action" although the very presence seems to get treated as a criminal offense by many BONs. That's a shame.
  11. by   catsmeow1972
    "biting the bit of anger and frustration does nothing to help us."
    Yes, i'm angry, yes i am frustrated...venting that is the only thing i can do right now. These programs are rife with hypocrisy, conflict of interest and misguided ideas of "help." i don't care about being monitored. i care about that monitoring being a means of stuffing the pockets of a few very unethical people. i care about being labeled as something i am not. i care about being seen as a bottomless ATM machine. Many caring and wonderful nurses have been driven from practice because of the crushing financial obligations that come with this.
    When this is all done, i, like many just want to put it behind me and move on to pick up the shreds of my life. I don't care to be crusader rabbit. This crap has beaten that out of me. No that doesn't change anything, but by now, i frankly don't care.
  12. by   Kyrshamarks
    Wow, this is probably the only time I have ever agreed with you. I thankfully do not have a substance abuse problem and I will never drink and drive (my dad used to do that with me in the car) but I agree we must all take responsibility for our actions.
  13. by   rianne_w
  14. by   ChryssyD
    These programs provide opportunities for redemption to nurses who genuinely need help and supervision to be sure they get it; I remember walking to the office of my first case manager and passing a woman hugging someone and telling her "thank you, thank you, you guys saved my life." The problem is that the net is indeed cast far and wide, so too many people who really don't need these programs are sucked into them anyway, then treated like totally out of control addicts who can't be trusted to make a single move without someone else's OK. I think these are probably the people who complain the most about being treated unfairly--because they ARE being treated unfairly. For those who stole drugs or showed up to work drunk, yes, of course they should own their mistakes, suck it up, do the programs and be grateful for the opportunity to remain in the profession. But I really don't see these people griping about unfairness as much as the people who probably shouldn't be in these programs in the first place.

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