Nurses Who Are Drug Addicts - page 6

I work with a nurse who I suspect is using drugs, and I think she is stealing them from the facility. Of those of you that have encountered this problem, what were the signs and symptoms? Thanks.... Read More

  1. by   JohnBearPA
    Quote from superchicken4000
    For $70,000 you would think they would receive good care. But they don't . Only during the day never at night. Why ? because the night shift nurse is stilling their meds. and is to high to do her job properly.
    You've got to be kidding here, right? Only receiving good care during the day shift? Are you speaking from personal experience or do you have any data to back that up? I've worked with several nurses that were caught diverting, at several different facilities, and let me tell you, they were all on dayshift except one that was on evening (3-11) shift. Addicts aren't always on the night shift my dear. Also, the absolute "never" really irks me. There are also great nurses that work nocs, and bad nurses that work days. How anyone can make a blanket judgement like that amazes me. My guess is that either you were a pt and had a night shift nurse that you didn't like very much for whatever reason, or you're a nurse that doesn't like the night shift nurses you work with. Either way, a bit of advice, please don't generalize things and lump all nurses in one category or another. Oh, and by the way, I'm a dayshift and evening shift nurse that absolutely loves the nurses that I follow, because they really have their act together and make my job easier in the morning! Night-shift nurses rock!

    Oh, just realized you're a pre-nursing student. I really would like to nicely suggest that you take a good look at your attitude, and learn not to generalize dear, because the way you seem to be going, you'll have a hard road ahead of you. When you're a nurse for a while, you'll understand what I mean.
    Last edit by JohnBearPA on May 15, '07 : Reason: checked superchicken profile
  2. by   Lacie
    Quote from JohnBearPA
    Oh, just realized you're a pre-nursing student. I really would like to nicely suggest that you take a good look at your attitude, and learn not to generalize dear, because the way you seem to be going, you'll have a hard road ahead of you. When you're a nurse for a while, you'll understand what I mean.

    Well put, JohnBear! You'll learn and fall very hard if you dont keep an open mind pretty much on any controversial issue particularly this one. I smell a troll on this one.
  3. by   superchicken4000
    Yes as a matter of fact I am speaking from personal experience. $70,000 latter and the biggest nightmare a person can incounter during a hospital stay .
  4. by   TCRNCOB61
    your post was so well put cattitude!! drug addiction is so much more than just about taking drugs then getting off them!! i think that nurses that have a good recovery program going (myself included) can be and are great caring nurses. we have much to prove that we can practice nursing safely and that makes us better nurses in my book. i have seen a few nurses on every shift that could use a good recovery program in their life, not because i think they are using drugs, but because of what maybe happening in their life.

    recovery has saved my life, made me a better person and i like me now.

    thanks for letting me share! jft

    theresa
  5. by   JohnBearPA
    Quote from superchicken4000
    Yes as a matter of fact I am speaking from personal experience. $70,000 latter and the biggest nightmare a person can incounter during a hospital stay .
    Sorry to hear that you had a bad experience, but you seem like you have a voice and a mind that's capable of realizing you weren't recieving the care and meds that you should have, so you should have said something either at the time, or shortly thereafter. Seems to me like you're making yourself the victim here, and not only that, but generalizing ALL nurses because of one or two that you've had personal contact with, at one brief time, at one facility.

    If I was in your position, I'd ask the hosp to see my chart, see what times I should have recieved meds, and see if I did or didn't get what was prescribed. If I was, in fact, not given appropriate care, I'd file a grievance with the hospital, and if I was very VERY sure the nurse was diverting, I'd file with the state BON against the nurse in question. Your chart is a legal document, available for your perusal, or your attorney's if you so choose. Also, your med schedule is set by your MD, so he also may be a resource to you.

    It's like people that don't vote, yet b*tch about the outcome of the election. If you don't take an active part, you lose the right to complain and play the martyr later. YOU are responsible for the wrongs that happen to YOU, and if you choose to just complain and generalize all people in one profession that work one particular shift, be ready for some fall-out.

    Best of luck to you, and hopefully you'll follow thru on this and make sure this doesn't happen to other people.
  6. by   ElvishDNP
    I definitely think addiction is a disease, no matter what you are addicted to. My heart goes out to anyone recovering from any addiction. It runs rampant in my family, esp EtOH abuse. So I have to keep wine, beer, etc. out of my house & out of my life. Kudos to you all who have overcome and are still overcoming your own battles.
  7. by   caliotter3
    The interest in and diversity of replies to this thread indicates a need for a forum devoted to nurse addiction and recovery. Brought this idea to the attention of the administrator.
  8. by   gitterbug
    <TABLE id=HB_Mail_Container height="100%" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0 UNSELECTABLE="on"><TBODY><TR height="100%" UNSELECTABLE="on" width="100%"><TD id=HB_Focus_Element vAlign=top width="100%" background="" height=250 UNSELECTABLE="off">Addiction is a disease, addicts cause themselves and their loved ones more problems than anyone can believe. As I write this a family member's ashes were scattered early this AM according to his wishes. Now, we are left to wonder if there was anything else we could have done, any way we could have been more caring, or helpful, or kind, or strong. His suicide note said he could not face another day of torment, so he blew his brains all over his bedroom. His was a mixed addiction, alcohol and drugs. So, even though I know He was in a downward spiral and would never really get well because he could not conquer his demons, I will miss him and wish there was some way we could have had one more day.
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  9. by   Cattitude
    Quote from caliotter3
    The interest in and diversity of replies to this thread indicates a need for a forum devoted to nurse addiction and recovery. Brought this idea to the attention of the administrator.
    I completely agree. I belive it's been asked before and denied. i think TPTB think it will become an area where too much medical/legal info is asked but that's why there are mods just like in all other areas.

    Drugs and alcohol in nursing have become a serious issue that are not just going to go away. It would be great if the biggest nurses site would also lend it's support as well. Or at least fair shakes to the subject.
  10. by   Cattitude
    Quote from gitterbug
    <TABLE id=HB_Mail_Container height="100%" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0 UNSELECTABLE="on"><TBODY><TR height="100%" UNSELECTABLE="on" width="100%"><TD id=HB_Focus_Element vAlign=top width="100%" background="" height=250 UNSELECTABLE="off">Addiction is a disease, addicts cause themselves and their loved ones more problems than anyone can believe. As I write this a family member's ashes were scattered early this AM according to his wishes. Now, we are left to wonder if there was anything else we could have done, any way we could have been more caring, or helpful, or kind, or strong. His suicide note said he could not face another day of torment, so he blew his brains all over his bedroom. His was a mixed addiction, alcohol and drugs. So, even though I know He was in a downward spiral and would never really get well because he could not conquer his demons, I will miss him and wish there was some way we could have had one more day



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    I'm so sorry for your loss.
  11. by   sandygator
    Originally Posted by burn out
    This is why I do not like to work with nor do I think rehabiliated drug users need to be floor nurses.

    I am a recovering addict/alcoholic, and a 33 year veteran of nursing. Celebrating 10 years of sobriety, thank God for that! My patients are lucky to have me, and you'd be lucky to work with me. :hatparty:
  12. by   kmblue39
    As a nurse who worked with a nurse last year who was diverting narcotics I can tell you that I greatly resented being put in that postion of working with that nurse, depending on them at night as integral part of the healthcare team, and not knowing how they put all of their coworkers and patients at risk. I don't care if they are functioning 'normally'. And I would have a hard time ever trusting them again. Of course they didn't mean to do it, and never meant to cause any harm. Just like the drunk driver who injures or kills someone didn't mean to harm anyone. You shouldn't be working under the influence or driving under the influence. My two cents worth being said, I can tell you from personal experience some of the symptoms:
    -pink pad/towel on the floor of the shower in the staff bathroom.
    -very helpful to the point of doing things for you, without even being asked.
    -Wearing long sleeved shirts under the scrub top and NEVER rolling the sleeves up, evem during the messiest of tasks.
    -Signing the MAR for nartotics not supposed to give (LVN=no IV narcs.)
    -Stable pts. not on pain meds for days then all of a sudden getting them as often as ordered.
    -Narcotics taken out on your patients that you don't know about/didn't give.
    -Taking PCA syringes out on patients already discharged. (Profile stays in the machine for a while after D/C).
    -Frequent trips 'downstairs' or frequently disappearing for any length of time.
    -taking the 'wrong' narcotic out, 'putting it back' and then the next person to take the 'wrong' one out creats a discrepancy.
    -VERY hyperactive behavior.
    I reported it and would do so again if necessary to protect my patients and coworkers. I'm all for recovery, etc., etc., but why should I now have to cover a recovering addict for all narcotics admin. on his/her patients when I have my own patients to cover, any LVN's, on the floor, and agency nurses (who aren't allowed to access the nacotics). Seems to me better for everyone concerned to get help, get in recovery, and then return to work in a setting free of all narcotics. Sorry this is so long. Still traumatized over last years events.
  13. by   sheilagh
    Definitely report your suspicions to your NM and let her or him follow up.Their are many warning signs,but most you don't see until you look back and go " Doh!",frequently absent from floor or frequent bathroom trips,their pt's consistently need pain meds the most when they work,always willing to give pain meds for other nurses to "help them out". But sometimes the signs are the most innocent thing and have no bearing to drug use,ex:worked with a nurse who was in the bathroom every hour on nights,CN reported suspicions and it turned out she had urinary issues and had to straight cath herself!

    :angryfireAs for the poster that feels she can judge others let me say this,only God and myself can judge what I have done and unless you can walk on water you don't fall into that category! I have been clean and sober for 18months amd have fought every inch of the way to regain myself,my life, and my career.I will soon be returning to nursing and will treat my pt's and license like gold.Their but for the grace of God go I, you never know what will happen in your life,you may dismiss recovering nurses as unworthy,but what about the nurse that may give negligent care and not think twice because they don't care,or the nurse that may abuse their family at home and you have no clue when you work with them! Recovering addict nurses have bleed sweat and tears to keep uor license and work under such stringent rules that most non addict nurses would crack under them.
    I just hope someday when you need someone's forgiveness they don't judge you too harshly

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