That Odd Thought and the Shocking Truth - page 2

by wish_me_luck

3,864 Views | 13 Comments

I was sitting here and an odd thought came to my mind. The thought was if the Board of Nursing contacted me tomorrow and said "we are overturning the decision and you don't have to do the Health Practitioners' Monitoring Program... Read More


  1. 0
    I have an interesting concept...have all nurses under a HPMP.

    I don't see getting up in the morning and "checking in" to be a bad thing. Maybe you don't have to "check in" per se, but if you are randomly selected by your BON for drug and alcohol screening then maybe it comes by email and you go within 24 hrs. No nurses should ever be caught with illegal drugs or substances in their system. We also shouldn't be caught with alcohol in our system on a day when we will be working, etc. This doesn't just apply to nurses with self declared mental health issues, this should be a standard for ALL nurses! The BON can have a list of things we are allowed to test positive for (if a nurse takes adderall they will of course test positive for amphetamines, Vicodin positive for opiates, Zantac/Ranitidine can cause false positive for amphetamines (had this happen to me!), etc). and as long as we don't test positive for other drugs the screen is clean (or, if they choose to take it further they can run a blood test to check what exactly comes up).

    All nurses would have a monthly number of community service/volunteer (call it "personal enhancement"?) hours that would need to be completed, and for those who need to attend AA/NA/Etc. the proof of attendance would qualify for a portion or all of those personal enhancement hours. Volunteer hours could be nursing related or not. Maybe you go to low income neighborhoods and help with free BP screenings, do blood sugar checks, provide health education to people who may rarely see a doctor because they don't have insurance. Maybe you volunteer at a flu shot clinic. Or maybe you decide to get away from nursing and help habitat for humanity, the Red Cross, volunteer in your child's classroom, etc. The possibilities are endless!

    All nurses would also have access to a mental health provider (both psychiatry and psychology/counseling) to see as needed. Those who have "self declared" might have a requirement of going once a month for med check/refill or talk therapy as necessary, etc. but the rest of the nurses can use this benefit (yes, BENEFIT) to let out their feelings, frustrations, anger.... about the job that they need. We all have "that patient" that we get close to, only for them to pass on. Or we have a coworker we really can't stand, etc. This would allow all of us to stay healthy mentally in a working environment that can be very depressing if we allow it to effect us that way.

    HPMP is only in how you look at it. Make it negative and negative it will be. Make it a positive "standard" that all nurses must abide by and it won't be looked at as "taboo".
  2. 0
    I don't want to leave HPMP. I have gotten into a routine. But, it does get pricey. I have gotten UDS 14 times already. I have another 22 to go. But, HPMP staff are nice and everything and I have gotten to know some peers who are also in HPMP or TNPAP. I have narcotic restrictions though and that also hurts me looking for a job (no, I did not divert.) The taboo part of it is that most nurses who know about it think it is a drug diversion program. They do not realize that anyone with a physical or mental illness or has a chemical dependency can be put in it.
  3. 1
    Quote from wheeliesurfer
    I have an interesting concept...have all nurses under a HPMP.

    I don't see getting up in the morning and "checking in" to be a bad thing. Maybe you don't have to "check in" per se, but if you are randomly selected by your BON for drug and alcohol screening then maybe it comes by email and you go within 24 hrs. No nurses should ever be caught with illegal drugs or substances in their system. We also shouldn't be caught with alcohol in our system on a day when we will be working, etc. This doesn't just apply to nurses with self declared mental health issues, this should be a standard for ALL nurses! The BON can have a list of things we are allowed to test positive for (if a nurse takes adderall they will of course test positive for amphetamines, Vicodin positive for opiates, Zantac/Ranitidine can cause false positive for amphetamines (had this happen to me!), etc). and as long as we don't test positive for other drugs the screen is clean (or, if they choose to take it further they can run a blood test to check what exactly comes up).

    All nurses would have a monthly number of community service/volunteer (call it "personal enhancement"?) hours that would need to be completed, and for those who need to attend AA/NA/Etc. the proof of attendance would qualify for a portion or all of those personal enhancement hours. Volunteer hours could be nursing related or not. Maybe you go to low income neighborhoods and help with free BP screenings, do blood sugar checks, provide health education to people who may rarely see a doctor because they don't have insurance. Maybe you volunteer at a flu shot clinic. Or maybe you decide to get away from nursing and help habitat for humanity, the Red Cross, volunteer in your child's classroom, etc. The possibilities are endless!

    All nurses would also have access to a mental health provider (both psychiatry and psychology/counseling) to see as needed. Those who have "self declared" might have a requirement of going once a month for med check/refill or talk therapy as necessary, etc. but the rest of the nurses can use this benefit (yes, BENEFIT) to let out their feelings, frustrations, anger.... about the job that they need. We all have "that patient" that we get close to, only for them to pass on. Or we have a coworker we really can't stand, etc. This would allow all of us to stay healthy mentally in a working environment that can be very depressing if we allow it to effect us that way.

    HPMP is only in how you look at it. Make it negative and negative it will be. Make it a positive "standard" that all nurses must abide by and it won't be looked at as "taboo".
    This is a horrible idea. Like, jaw-droppingly awful. Why look at nurses as something special? Why not make *everyone* ever jump through these inane hoops?
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  4. 0
    Honestly, I don't think it's a bad idea. I think humanity as a whole could use a little kick in the pants to use common sense and start thinking about/giving to others instead of getting stuck in this "it's all about me" me mentality. If anyone in the working profession could be randomly drug/alcohol screened there wouldn't be as many fatalities due to DUI/DWI, drug overdoses, less cirrhosis of the liver, etc.
    I think EVERYONE has the responsibility to help others without expectation of compensation, be it in their child's classroom, coaching their kids little league, work in a soup kitchen, clean up after disasters, etc. this is NOT limited to just nursing. I suggested it as part of HPMP because everyone always says that nurses are held to a higher standard. It would promote self awareness (can't drink tonight bc I work tomorrow), community service, etc.
    I tend to follow socialist thinking about healthcare (I think that all people should be afforded the right to free healthcare, it shouldn't be based on working status, ability to pay (out of pocket or state sponsored Medicaid), or age/disability (think Medicare). I believe that if everyone had the ability to receive preventive care at a PCP that our hospital ER's/ED's would see more EMERGENCIES and less illnesses that can be treated by primary care or prevented by proper education. Wouldn't it be great for our emergency medicine specialists to actually treat emergencies instead of playing primary care doc bc the person whose son has the sniffles and doesn't have the $$ to pay up front to a PCP knows that she can take him to an ED and they CAN'T turn her away because of her ability (or inability) to pay! Just like all people need access to physical medicine, I believe that all people need access to mental health services too. Nurses work in a hard environment day in and day out and are all too often scared to seek treatment for that situational depression, etc. in fears that the BON might put restrictions on their license or take it away all together. It's time to not live in fear. Step up nurses! Start a trend and encourage all people to be responsible to themselves AND the community! We might be held to a "higher standard" now, but hopefully one day it will be the social norm!


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