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- Feb 3 by adioI've seen several threads recently on this topic (haven't kept up with them, they may have been started by one of you all). With the "Do you have a physical or mental condition which impairs, or may impair, your ability to practice nursing safely?" question...
What if a person was diagnosed as having, say, bipolar disorder but it is well controlled? It is so controlled that their daily life, including work, is not impacted by the condition. In this case, the person could very well answer "no" to that question. Or is that not the case?
I know a couple nurses who have been diagnosed with various mental health disorders and have answered no to similar questions. They take medication, either regularly or occasionally see a therapist and/or psychiatrist, and have not had recent episodes (in years or so) of whatever they were diagnosed with.
Should those nurses have answered "yes" instead? I completely disagree with allowing the public access to such private information, whether the condition is controlled or otherwise. I'm just curious for those nurses and anyone else in similar situations.
- Feb 3 by mariebaileyQuote from adioIf you look the previous post, you will see 1 interpretation of that. It is an ambiguous question. I will not pretend to know the answer to that with certainty. It is probably best to call the board for clarification.What if a person was diagnosed as having, say, bipolar disorder but it is well controlled? It is so controlled that their daily life, including work, is not impacted by the condition. In this case, the person could very well answer "no" to that question. Or is that not the case?
Should those nurses have answered "yes" instead?
- Feb 3 by adioI was typing my post as they responded. This is all very interesting to me. Hopefully more people will weigh in on this.
- I admit I'm biased here, but I don't think a nurse should have to say 'yes' to that question when a) it's worded so ambiguously, and b) their illness is under control.
A few months before my license was due for renewal, I asked my psychiatrist if I should disclose, and he said absolutely not---there was nothing TO disclose at that point in time. Yes, I have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Yes, I suppose it could affect my ability to carry out my duties. But I have never been hospitalized, I'm compliant with meds, I see my pdoc regularly, and I'm following my treatment plan. He assured me that if it ever came up, he'd give me a letter stating that I'm able to practice safely (assuming, of course, that my condition continues to be well-managed), but recommended that I leave well enough alone since I have never drawn attention to myself with the BON.
Now, I figure if an M.D. who knows me well says I'm OK to practice, I'm good to go. After all, I just picked up the BP label a year ago; I've been this way for most of my life, including when I was in nursing school and when I received my license. I'm still the same nurse I was before the diagnosis....the only difference is now I know about it. And I'm in a far better place now than I was a year ago, or five years ago, or fifteen years ago.
- Feb 3 by wish_me_luckI was treated too. I answered "yes" because I have a mental illness. I didn't think it would be a big deal because I was treated and I wanted to answer honestly as mental illness is not a crime (and I don't feel comfortable lying to the Board.) I got put in the monitoring program. I had asked point blank what that question meant (afterwards, but I did ask.) I was told if you have a mental illness, you must put it down.
Yes, those other threads were probably started by one of us. Viva and I are your AN advocates on mental health issues (along with our lovely fellow peers with mental health issues and peers that work in psych.)
I know I am preaching to the choir on AN, but mental health is important. I am also trying to work things out and advocate in "real life", as well.
- Feb 3 by mariebaileyQuote from wish_me_luckThat's what my doctor told me to put, and the question is very ambiguous. It does not point blank ask you if you have a mental illness. It is not lying.(and I don't feel comfortable lying to the Board.)
- Quote from mariebaileyExactly. If the question had asked straight out "Have you been diagnosed with, or treated for x mental health disorder within the past five years?" I would've answered in the affirmative, because that much is true. But since there was some major wiggle room, and my doctor advised against disclosure, I didn't lose too much sleep over it.That's what my doctor told me to put, and the question is very ambiguous. It does not point blank ask you if you have a mental illness. It is not lying.
- Feb 3 by wish_me_luckI have an overactive conscience. Big time...I don't know why....
- Feb 3 by SoldierNurse22It still blows my mind that all this info is just out there for folks to see.
Can you imagine if they were to do this with any other profession? The backlash would be incredible.
- And people wonder why nurses with depression and other MI's don't seek help until it's almost too late......