Physical for new job

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    I just was offered a new job at a major teaching hospital.....they told me that employee health would be contacting me with paperwork and to schedule a date for a physical which he said was fairly extensive.

    Do you think they are going to ask me about medications that I take? Health conditions, particularly mental health conditions? Can I refuse to disclose? I'm worried.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
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    Yes, they usually ask for a list of medications, and if you take anything that may show up on a UDS, you'll want to bring your prescription bottle with you to the testing site.

    That said, you do not have to disclose your mental health diagnosis, if you have one, to your employer. It's none of their business as long as it doesn't affect you on the job, and there's no reason to expect that it will. In fact, I recommend that such private personal information should NEVER be disclosed, unless it becomes obvious during an exacerbation of the condition and accommodations are needed to continue working. There still is a lot of ignorance and stigma against "mental patients", and we are often seen as unstable and unpredictable even by people who should know better.

    Good luck to you in your new job!
    Sadala, poppycat, and Meriwhen like this.
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    The most extensive physical I ever had for a job....the doctor actually took a blood pressure and listened to my heart.... "wicked awesome murmur" he said. That was the end of it. No questions about my medications or mental health.
    Janey496, poppycat, KelRN215, and 1 other like this.
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    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    Yes, they usually ask for a list of medications, and if you take anything that may show up on a UDS, you'll want to bring your prescription bottle with you to the testing site.

    That said, you do not have to disclose your mental health diagnosis, if you have one, to your employer. It's none of their business as long as it doesn't affect you on the job, and there's no reason to expect that it will. In fact, I recommend that such private personal information should NEVER be disclosed, unless it becomes obvious during an exacerbation of the condition and accommodations are needed to continue working. There still is a lot of ignorance and stigma against "mental patients", and we are often seen as unstable and unpredictable even by people who should know better.

    Good luck to you in your new job!
    Most of these physicals have the person fill out a history form. Are you saying that you don't have to be truthful when doing that?
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    Quote from Laurie52
    Most of these physicals have the person fill out a history form. Are you saying that you don't have to be truthful when doing that?
    Well, it's not like perjury, where you are punished if you don't tell the truth, the whole truth, and so on. People omit things on their health histories all the time. And the way people with mental illness are treated in this culture, who can blame them?

    Frankly, I wouldn't be caught dead with my bipolar II diagnosis on an employee health record ever again; as I've learned to my sorrow, there are too many ways that can be used against a healthcare worker. For despite efforts at education and public awareness campaigns such as the one Allnurses is featuring this month, healthcare professionals are all too frequently guilty of stereotyping their psychiatrically "challenged" colleagues. Pardon the expression, but no way would a sane person disclose such a diagnosis if they have any choice at all.
    poppycat likes this.
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    Quote from Janey496
    Do you think they are going to ask me about medications that I take? Health conditions, particularly mental health conditions? Can I refuse to disclose? I'm worried.
    Sure, you can refuse to disclose...but should you pop positive on the UDS you may not be given the chance to explain your innocence :/

    Not saying that you should or shouldn't disclose medications or psych conditions--Viva does have a valid point with her experience--but bear in mind that there's a risk in doing (or not doing) so. You have to be willing to accept the consequences of whatever you decide. And only you can make that decision.

    If they do ask about medications you take, list anything that you've taken in the last week, prescription as well as OTC and herbals. Have scripts ready, especially for any controlled substances. And yes, you can be taking a psych med and/or a schedule med and still get hired without problem in many facilities.

    Best of luck whatever you decide.
    pinkiepieRN likes this.
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    Meriwhen is right about the meds. If everyone who takes Prozac or Ativan were to be excluded from nursing, there wouldn't be any nurses! It's when a candidate takes a batch of psych meds that HR/employee health can get very leery, and TPTB may find other ways to suddenly withdraw a job offer.

    If I sound a wee bit paranoid about this, it's because I got burned badly in my last job, which I lost essentially because I was honest about it when my mental health problems spun out of control due to severe work stress. You can bet your bottom dollar I won't make the mistake of disclosing again.

    But then, I'm of the opinion that a nurse's health history is PRIVATE, although controlled substances have to be mentioned because they'll show up on a UDS. But really, what are they going to compare one's med list with? It's protected information.....employers don't have the right to go nosing through the medical records her/his doctors keep, so how would they ever find out?

    In ordinary circumstances, I'm all about telling the truth. But again, considering the stigma that mental illness carries even among health professionals, I think admitting to a MH diagnosis is like shooting yourself in the foot. JMHO.
    pinkiepieRN, poppycat, and Meriwhen like this.
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    Thanks for the replies everyone.....I'll see what the paperwork they sends me soon says, but I think I'll be answering carefully.
    Meriwhen and VivaLasViejas like this.
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    Quote from Laurie52
    Most of these physicals have the person fill out a history form. Are you saying that you don't have to be truthful when doing that?
    Define "have to be truthful." If someone asks me a question that is absolutely none of his/her business and involves privileged information, I may (likely) omit to answer. I don't think that it is my responsibility to tell ANYONE about private medical information or treatment if it is not an impediment to my ability to function in my job.

    If, however, I am taking a medication that I know will pop positive on a drug panel, then I am obviously going to disclose that information.

    If I had a present or past condition that I was aware would likely affect my functioning at work, or if I was on a medication that that would likely affect my functioning at work, then I would disclose that as well.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
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    Quote from Sadala

    Define "have to be truthful." If someone asks me a question that is absolutely none of his/her business and involves privileged information, I may (likely) omit to answer. I don't think that it is my responsibility to tell ANYONE about private medical information or treatment if it is not an impediment to my ability to function in my job.

    If, however, I am taking a medication that I know will pop positive on a drug panel, then I am obviously going to disclose that information.

    If I had a present or past condition that I was aware would likely affect my functioning at work, or if I was on a medication that that would likely affect my functioning at work, then I would disclose that as well.
    OK, I don't want to seem argumentative, however, when you have a physical it is the business of the person doing the physical what your history is. I get a history on all my patients when I admit them. Getting a pmh seems kind of basic to me.


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