Quote from Woodenpug
Where I work the official policy is zero tolerance for Narcotic use. If you show positive it is grounds for immediate dismissal. Many nurses refuse to take prescription pain meds after an injury. That is actually an overly strict interpretation of the policy. The full story is that therapeutic use is permitted. They just don't want recreational users to try that as an excuse. It is possible that someone is just checking to see if they can detect the difference between therapeutic use and recreational use. It's more expensive but the difference can be detected. NORCO (HYDROCODONE BITATRATE AND ACETAMINOPHEN) TABLET [PHYSICIANS TOTAL CARE, INC.]
has a very detailed pharmacokinetics for narco.
Bonus points to you for being honest. I would not want to work for a place that could not accommodate, occasional therapeutic use of narco.
That is a violation of American's with Disabilities act. No, you have the right to be treated for an injury...and there is a difference between using narcotics and working (which a hospital cannot allow) and taking them OFF duty for legitimate purposes, such as chronic pain, surgery, or short-term injuries.
I have a prescription for narcotics that I take, my employer knows I take, to "break" migraine cycles and I use them sparingly. I don't take them within 24 hours of reporting to a shift (if I have to take one, I call in, I have only had to do that once). I have had two surgeries since I had my job where I was given morphine, etc. plus post-operative pain meds and I wasn't going to sit there and suffer and not take anything.
No, it is ridiculous that a nurse can "never ever" take a narcotic. What she cannot do, is take them while working, regardless of the reason.
If your facility has a blanket "no narcotics rule" they can find themselves in a major lawsuit if they fire someone because they take a narcotic for a legitimate purpose that does not interfere with their work.
So, if the OP has a patch that she uses occasionally (and I would say that every 3 to 4 months is appropriate use) as long as she removes in X number of hours before reporting to work, she is ok. However, I have a feeling that it's not the medication she is on, but her back.
Yes, she may be able to perform the duties of her job, but she has applied as a tech in the ER, where situations can come hard, fast and be highly unpredictable. Moving quickly and being asked to help with a patient on a dime can put her back at risk for further injury and that leaves the hospital trying to figure out (if she is out because of her back) if she is due workman's comp because of her old injury or a new injury.
I feel for the OP, but if I was the hiring manager, I wouldn't take a chance on this happening. It is not that the OP cannot work in a hospital, but I would say that the ER is probably the one place in the entire hospital where she is the most vulnerable to injury...mainly because there is no time to get someone else in case of an emergency.
In some departments, this type of accommodation cannot be made. There is no time during an emergency to say, "Oh, gosh, my back is hurting today and I'm afraid it's getting worse...can we call someone else to help?" Seconds are an eternity and someone else may not be available...every person in the ER must be able to function at 100%.
I feel for the OP, I really do...she is one of the few that has a legitimate injury and isn't using it as an excuse to score more pain pills, which is rare and I applaud that. However, the hospital must make decisions based on what is safest for both the patient and the employee...I cannot disagree with that.