Virginia Monitoring Program - page 2

Hi. I was wanting to start a thread for only people in the Virginia Monitoring Program. I am not finding too many threads about it or people in it. I have started into it and will be doing orientation soon. I will try and post... Read More

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    Oh. That's not as bad as what I was calculating it cost you. I was thinking at $70 something a pop, if you have to go like 2-3 times a month, that would be awful. But I guess 1 to 2 times a month isn't as bad. I guess it evens out because ours supposedly (this is what I was told at orientation) is 36 tests a year, but we are told to keep 50 dollars in our accounts at all times.

    Right now, I am posting so much because it's new and I am trying to update. I will probably start doing the updating around one time every month or two. I promise it won't always be so confusing and many posts. I have just read about a handful (versus one or two) of posts wondering about Virginia's program.

    This monitoring program is rough with all the forms having to be filled out (progress report, AA/NA/support group report, psychiatrist/physician report, therapist report, specialty practitioner report if applicable, and when it is time--employer report) on a monthly basis. I am a fairly organized person, but it drives me crazy knowing that my compliance depends on someone else doing the forms. I appreciate their compliance because it is a pain and I know that they do not have to do anything, but it's rough because there's a lot at stake when a form is not sent in. That is actually the hardest part about the program for me. Everything else (drug screens, the progress report and meeting report, the AA meetings and other meetings, psychiatrist and therapist appts), that I can do, is not too big of an issue. Again, I am not trying to sound ungrateful, but I have worked so hard for my license. The other hard part for me is that I am terrified that I will accidentally ingest or put something on my skin with alcohol/ethanol. I just had to vent a little. My apologies.

    I keep everything in a binder, it helps a lot.

    Since there are a couple of you all commenting, can I ask why, when you read the conference/board minutes, some people are mandated to complete a minimum of like 6 months of the monitoring program? I was under the impression that everyone was in their state's program for the full time. It did not matter why you were in it, you were in the full time. Do different people have different contracts as far as time limits?

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    So, this morning, I checked in as usual and I got selected for testing. I did it online. When you go to details, then you have to go through a three step process. Step 1 makes you verify your testing site, Step 2 tells you the cost of the test, and Step 3 tells you the information such as authorization code, registration number, and the test you have been selected for (it's the part where you have to mark the test box).

    My test cost $22 and the site fee was $10 (for a total of $32). My site does not have a pay at site option, which means that the site fee was deducted from the amount in my testing account. It was an unobserved screen but before I tested I had to take everything I had and put them in a lock box. Then, wash my hands, do the screen, wash my hands, and then initial and sign some forms. It is a split screen.
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    Got selected for testing this morning. It was a different panel and this one costs $41 and then, there's the site fee. Total cost of $51. So far, I have had three different panels. Two have cost $41 for the actual test and the other one was $22 for the actual test. So, apparently, there's a range depending on what they test you for. I have been tested weekly, so far.
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    Okay, so, I thought it was weird that it was costing more. I went back and looked at everything, and I think they are supposed to be observed screens. My first one was not, but I was not drinking. I just didn't know it had to be observed (I didn't know is not an excuse according to HPMP, but this is AN, so I hope I can say I truly didn't know here) and picked the cheapest site, which was $10. The site I changed to is observed and it's $22. So, total cost of testing is $63. This is really starting to scare me as far as cost. Maybe it will get better. I hope so.

    I have days where I feel like I am left to my own devices with this program. But, hopefully, I can figure everything out without making mistakes that are going to get me kicked out of the program for noncompliance.

    If you are in Virginia, just learn from my mistakes and hopefully, you won't make the same ones.
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    Okay, so, I called my case manager and asked about the observed thing. Here's the deal. They do not have to be observed unless there is suspicion that there could be some tampering. So, ignore my above statement. But, the test today was $41, so apparently the price varies based on the panel selected.
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    So, the way it is looking...the drug screen costs alternate between being around $41 and $22. Again, it's the panel they choose (some test for more substances than others). But, that's the way mine have been. So, there's not exactly a set cost for the actual test. The lab fee is the same every time assuming you use the same lab.

    AA meetings and Caduceus have been going good. Soon I will be squaring away my reports for the month. I personally add the AA meetings and Caduceus dates on the report as they happen rather than having to go back and try and remember everything.

    I have found as far as contacting case managers, it has been slightly easier getting a hold of them in the morning. My personal experience, anyway.
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    So, I thought I would add a few things from the BON end of things. My psychiatrist had written a letter to the BON when I went through the application process and it was not exactly the best letter and it made me sound like a bad person (he had only met me once). When my order was put online, some of the things my psychiatrist had put, were in the order. I became afraid if anyone saw that, then I would never get a job. I emailed the Executive Director, Ms. ***, and asked if an updated letter from my psychiatrist showing my progress could be added and the answer is no, the BON only had authority to post orders and actions, not letters. When HPMP is complete, then there will be a new order posted showing completion of the program and a multi-state compact license will be granted.
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Nov 5, '12 : Reason: name removed
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    So, my case manager informed me today that in December, I can start looking for work. That is three months from when I went to orientation. So, the 3 months goes by the orientation date, not the date that you enter into/agree to HPMP. She told me that I will be receiving more info. closer to that time. I have gotten my forms in, checked in, and went to UDS like I am supposed to. So, if you do what you are asked to, then 3 months later is about when you can look for work. It's longer (as long as 6 months) if you don't.
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    Okay, so, even though my little heart belongs to VA, I am on a stateline. Often times, it is necessary to seek employment in the opposite state. My license is "Valid VA Only". Here's what you do if you are in VA and need to seek employment in another state. It's a process, so it does take time.

    1) Ask your HPMP case manager for permission to work outside of VA. He/She will either approve or disapprove. If he/she approves, then move to step 2.
    2) Apply for jobs in the other state and secure employment.
    3) You have to get approval from the VA Board of Nursing.
    4) You have to get approval from the state Board of Nursing you wish to work in (i.e. D.C., Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia).

    There's a form that you have to answer the questions and send it in with your order, so the Board can make a decision whether to approve you or not.

    If you are approved, then you can work in that other state through "special authorization"; you are not granted a license, nor are you given a compact privilege. Every job you take in nursing in that other state needs to be approved. You cannot assume just because they approved one job that they will approve another.
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    This is kind of a random added tid bit that isn't related to HPMP, but to the Board of Nursing application. There is a question on there that does asked about psychological impairment/mental illness, physical impairment, or chemical dependency that could possibly impair a person in working as a nurse. I asked the Executive Director and she told me that if you have a mental illness, physical issue, chemical dependency, then you must disclose and the decision is made on a case by case basis. So, even though it sounds vague and like an opinion question, it is not.

    I had asked because I know people wonder about that and I know I had also personally wondered if I "correctly" answered it in disclosing. To me, it read like asking someone's opinion.

    I cannot really speak for other states, but that's how it is to be taken in Virginia.

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