Three Clicks of a Mouse - page 2

As those who study the social habits of humans have observed, Internet forums are a reflection of society as a whole, no matter how exclusive the community. And as the spate of recent threads here on... Read More

  1. Visit  VivaLasViejas profile page
    3
    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.
    anotherone, poppycat, and mariebailey like this.
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  3. Visit  wish_me_luck profile page
    2
    I 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.
    poppycat and VivaLasViejas like this.
  4. Visit  mariebailey profile page
    3
    Quote from wish_me_luck
    (and I don't feel comfortable lying to the Board.)
    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.
  5. Visit  VivaLasViejas profile page
    3
    Quote from mariebailey
    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.
    Exactly. 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.
    anotherone, poppycat, and mariebailey like this.
  6. Visit  wish_me_luck profile page
    0
    I have an overactive conscience. Big time...I don't know why....
  7. Visit  SoldierNurse22 profile page
    6
    It 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.
    buytheshoes11, anotherone, poppycat, and 3 others like this.
  8. Visit  VivaLasViejas profile page
    3
    And people wonder why nurses with depression and other MI's don't seek help until it's almost too late......
    anotherone, morte, and SoldierNurse22 like this.
  9. Visit  SCTravelRN profile page
    3
    Great article Viva! And yes, these outrageous displays of a nurses' very personal information often results in delays in getting help. In SC, not only can this info easily be found on the BON's website, the sanction/discipline/surrender is automatically published in the state's nursing magazine (which is mailed out by the NA to every licensed nurse). I understand the need to protect the public and the concept of their "right" to know certain things. But anyone (INCLUDING a nurse) who is under a doctor's care IS a patient. And shouldn't every patient have an expectation of confidentiality regarding their diagnosis or other health information. I believe that the public should be able to know any professional's licensure status, but they do not need to know medical specifics. By releasing these details, what 'public good' is being accomplished, and how does this 'aide' the nurse in any way? Seems like double standards to me. Just sayin'...
    anotherone, poppycat, and VivaLasViejas like this.
  10. Visit  amygarside profile page
    2
    Thank you for sharing this article. It makes one reflect about things that are happening around us and what can we do as nurses.
    anotherone and VivaLasViejas like this.
  11. Visit  elkpark profile page
    0
    In my experience in several different nursing programs over the years, as a student and then as a faculty member, I have seen schools bend over backwards to assist students with emotional/psychiatric difficulties to identify resources available to them to get help and to continue to progress in school.

    In my diploma nursing program decades ago, faculty had to come to in the middle of the night to talk a student out of jumping off the dorm roof three times before they finally told her she couldn't come back after the leave of absence she took each time. I have personally been involved in assisting students with getting mental health help and staying in school a few times. I've never (personally) encountered a situation in which a nursing program was quick or arbitrary about "weeding out" a student because of mental health issues.

    What I have seen is that schools tend to be very good at respecting students' privacy about these issues, to the extent that most students in a program have no idea of how many students are having problems and being helped by their programs -- they are only aware of the few students who are unable to continue in school, and think that those individuals are the entire population of students having difficulties, and the school has a "no tolerance" sort of policy, when, again, in my personal experience, exactly the opposite has been true.

    The BONs, on the other hand, have a primary responsibility to regulate nursing licensure and practice to protect the public, not to help nurses. I don't feel they are out of line in the degree to which they do that. I do have problems with private information being unnecessarily released to the public. However, in the larger sense, we all agreed, by entering a licensed profession/occupation, to be held to a different, higher standard than the general public, and to accept a greater responsibility to the public than "regular people." That is a price of being licensed, and people should think long and hard about that before entering a licensed profession/occupation.
  12. Visit  mariebailey profile page
    1
    Quote from elkpark
    In my diploma nursing program decades ago, faculty had to come to in the middle of the night to talk a student out of jumping off the dorm roof three times before they finally told her she couldn't come back after the leave of absence she took each time. I have personally been involved in assisting students with getting mental health help and staying in school a few times. I've never (personally) encountered a situation in which a nursing program was quick or arbitrary about "weeding out" a student because of mental health issues.

    However, in the larger sense, we all agreed, by entering a licensed profession/occupation, to be held to a different, higher standard than the general public, and to accept a greater responsibility to the public than "regular people." That is a price of being licensed, and people should think long and hard about that before entering a licensed profession/occupation.
    The story you told is an awfully extreme example, elkpark. It doesn't do justice to the large # of well-managed professionals with mental illness. I do agree that we should be held to a higher standard. For me, that means I am both personally and professionally obligated to be compliant with my treatment regimen and take care of my personal health. It does not mean I should not be a nurse.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  13. Visit  elkpark profile page
    0
    Quote from mariebailey
    The story you told is an awfully extreme example, elkpark. It doesn't do justice to the large # of well-managed professionals with mental illness. I do agree that we should be held to a higher standard. For me, that means I am both personally and professionally obligated to be compliant with my treatment regimen and take care of my personal health. It does not mean I should not be a nurse.
    My point was definitely not that people with mental illnesses shouldn't be nurses -- just that we shouldn't be surprised at being held to a higher standard and closer scrutiny that people in other occupations, and nursing schools make a greater effort than most nurses realize to work with students who are having difficulties. I have known any number of great nurses over the years who had large or small struggles with different kinds of mental health issues, including myself. The purpose of that particular anecdote was to show how far the school had gone in trying to help her continue in the program.
  14. Visit  wish_me_luck profile page
    1
    I agree, Marie. Elk, I have a feeling you went to school a while back. It's not like that now.
    mariebailey likes this.


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