Nurses Who Are Drug Addicts - page 15

by jill48

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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


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    i have known nurses who steal drugs from the hospital. if you suspect a nurse is stealing and taking drugs, you have to be very careful that this is really the case. otherwise, the RN concerned will basically lose his career. besides, we don't want to be debarred because of a mistaken suspicion.
  2. 0
    Quote from sinagbayan
    i have known nurses who steal drugs from the hospital. if you suspect a nurse is stealing and taking drugs, you have to be very careful that this is really the case. otherwise, the RN concerned will basically lose his career. besides, we don't want to be debarred because of a mistaken suspicion.
    Actually, it is not the responsibility of the reporting nurse to be certain. That is for the administration folks to handle and even they defer to law enforcement when necessary.

    Any nurse who has a reasonable suspicion should be able to report her concerns to a manager. Concerns are not the same as accusations. They are the starting process in what should be a thorough investigation. And this investigation needs to be done by someone who has the authority to pull the nurse's usage records and look at her charting, etc.

    You're probably saying that we need to be careful about making accusations, and this is true. We should have objective data to report along with good reasons for having suspicions in the first place. One example would be that the questionable nurse's patients consistently complain that they are in pain when you follow her, even though the ADU shows they were given appropriate narcs.

    BUT, it is not the job of any floor nurse to either prove or disprove allegations.

    Be prudent in expressing suspicions. Keep your information objective--stick to what you see and hear directly, not what others report second-hand. (If others have things to report, they should do it themselves.) Keep emotions out of your information. Write down what patients say (and when) so that ADU records can be matched to the statement times. In other words, supply information, not supposition. Then let the higher-ups sort out what it all means.

    If a nurse loses her job over diversion, it is her own fault, not that of the reporting nurse. If she is falsely suspected, a proper investigation should bear that out. Either way, it is the responsibility of the reporting nurse to come up with the questions, not the answers.
  3. 1
    Quote from Cattitude
    So if you don't think it's a disease then what do you think it is? A choice? Do you think anyone chooses to be an addict? .
    Note: I refer to " you" figuratively not in refereence to cattitude or any one person in particular.

    Yes it is all about choices. You may not have chosen to become an addict but you choose the drugs to make you an addict , don't try splitting hairs. I am so sick of the poor woe me addicts look what I did to myself. If you can't make wise decisions for yourself you certainly can't make wise ones for your patients. Yes you got caught like you deserved to and need to pay the price like you deserve too. Personally, it is too much for society to bear your burdens of stupid decisions and shouldn't have to worry about what to do with you when you burn you bridges to a decent livelihood. You don't belong bedside nursing with your hand in the narcotics box, you have already proven your weakness . I firmly believe in the old addage, trick me once shame on you, trick me twice shame on me...if it were up to me I wouldn't hire any nurse with a drug problem to pass narcotics, and I wouldn't hire an alcoholic as a bartender.
    vickynurse likes this.
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    Quote from burn out
    Note: I refer to " you" figuratively not in refereence to cattitude or any one person in particular.

    Yes it is all about choices. You may not have chosen to become an addict but you choose the drugs to make you an addict , don't try splitting hairs. I am so sick of the poor woe me addicts look what I did to myself. If you can't make wise decisions for yourself you certainly can't make wise ones for your patients. Yes you got caught like you deserved to and need to pay the price like you deserve too. Personally, it is too much for society to bear your burdens of stupid decisions and shouldn't have to worry about what to do with you when you burn you bridges to a decent livelihood. You don't belong bedside nursing with your hand in the narcotics box, you have already proven your weakness . I firmly believe in the old addage, trick me once shame on you, trick me twice shame on me...if it were up to me I wouldn't hire any nurse with a drug problem to pass narcotics, and I wouldn't hire an alcoholic as a bartender.
    Many addicted nurses start out by taking medication for pain. So I don't understand how that's "choosing" to be an addict. You use pain meds, unfortunately sometimes an addiction develops.

    Or sometimes there are other things going on in the nurse's life and then yes the nurse is self medicating, so to speak. Whether it's street drugs, prescription meds, alcohol. If someone is using a substance, initially if it makes YOU feel better to say it's a choice, go for it.

    Not every nurse steals from patients. Not every nurse gets "caught". Some actually get treatment on their own! And not every recovered nurse works aroun narcs either.

    There will always be opinions like yours. Always be one or two people completely on the negative side but that's FINE. It doesn't make me feel bad for me. It makes me feel bad for patients. For if you can think of your fellow nurses like this and have not one ounce of compassion, what must you think of the addicted patient who crosses your path? Or any patient who you dissaprove of? Are you telling me you're able to put aside your prejudices about addiction then? I think not.
    sissiesmama, HM2VikingRN, Magsulfate, and 1 other like this.
  5. 1
    It is very important also that if you suspect a nurse of diverting meds or being under the influence, that you NOT discuss it among co-workers. Take it directly to the supervisor. This type of accusation, if unfounded, can ruin someone's reputation if left as gossip.
    Magsulfate likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from traumaRUs
    It is very important also that if you suspect a nurse of diverting meds or being under the influence, that you NOT discuss it among co-workers. Take it directly to the supervisor. This type of accusation, if unfounded, can ruin someone's reputation if left as gossip.
    :yeahthat:
  7. 0
    Quote from Cattitude

    There will always be opinions like yours. Always be one or two people completely on the negative side but that's FINE. It doesn't make me feel bad for me. It makes me feel bad for patients. For if you can think of your fellow nurses like this and have not one ounce of compassion, what must you think of the addicted patient who crosses your path? Or any patient who you dissaprove of? Are you telling me you're able to put aside your prejudices about addiction then? I think not.
    I thought we were talking about addicted nurses. Am I suppose to treat you as an addicted patient or an equal co-worker? Sorry but I don't treat any of my co-workers like they are my patients-you are splitting hairs again. You can't be the nurse and the addicted patient at the same time. If you were my patient I would treat you like all the rest of the pain seeking addicts that come to my hospital (and don't we all just love them.) If you came to my hospital as a nurse I would treat you as an equal assuming you had no addiction problems. If you came as a nurse with an addiction to work I would watch you like a hawk and would not want you near my patients rooms with medicines.
    One thing I would not do and do not think it appropriate is to treat you like a patient while you are in a nursing role -we can not be equal that way.
  8. 3
    Quote from burn out
    I thought we were talking about addicted nurses. Am I suppose to treat you as an addicted patient or an equal co-worker? Sorry but I don't treat any of my co-workers like they are my patients-you are splitting hairs again. You can't be the nurse and the addicted patient at the same time. If you were my patient I would treat you like all the rest of the pain seeking addicts that come to my hospital (and don't we all just love them.) If you came to my hospital as a nurse I would treat you as an equal assuming you had no addiction problems. If you came as a nurse with an addiction to work I would watch you like a hawk and would not want you near my patients rooms with medicines.
    One thing I would not do and do not think it appropriate is to treat you like a patient while you are in a nursing role -we can not be equal that way.



    I have worked hard for my recovery and would hope to be cared for with compassion while in the hospital. My addiction started with pain meds for my migraines and a very abusive husband. My life is much better now with treatment for the migraines, depression and getting rid of said husband. I fight hard everyday for my recovery because I know just how easy it would be to just take a pill to make it all better for just a few min. but the problems would still be there.

    I chose recovery. I chose a good life.

    I am so glad I work with nurses who are understanding. I pass narcs. everyday now without fear because I have a good recovery program.

    Theresa
    Last edit by Tweety on Jul 1, '07 : Reason: personal discussions removed.
    sissiesmama, Magsulfate, and Cattitude like this.
  9. 1
    Quote from TCRNCOB61
    I
    I chose recovery. I chose a good life.

    I am so glad I work with nurses who are understanding. I pass narcs. everyday now without fear because I have a good recovery program.

    Theresa
    Theresa you're 100% right about NOT letting negativity beat you down. there's always going to be someone trying to push you back, waiting for you to fail. Some people in life just want to be miserable (this is generally speaking and NOT directed at any one person). I had a person in my life like that and guess what? They are no longer in my life. I refuse to surround myself with misery!

    Hold your head up and feel the love darlin'!!!1luvu::icon_hug:
    Last edit by Tweety on Jul 1, '07 : Reason: referenced edited posts
    Magsulfate likes this.
  10. 0
    i'll tell you where my skepticism comes into play.

    i have someone in my family who has been a user for most of their adult life, starting in their teen yrs.
    for more than 20 yrs, i have watched this person go to the meetings (even twice/noc), continual contact with their sponsor, therapy, finding God, family involvement/support and abstinence for yrs at a time.

    then relapse.
    sometimes for only a day;
    other times, would start using for months.
    and then the whole process of recovery would start over.

    i know this person is totally focused on recovery.
    but how does one know that they won't use again?

    as much as i love this person, it's hard to trust they won't relapse.
    now, being a nurse, don't you think it is even more dangerous to potentially slip?

    i very much honor those who are committed to their recoveries.
    yet i don't think anyone can honestly say that they'll never go back, even if it is temporary.
    just as anyone else who struggles with other types of addiction....gambling, eating, smoking, etc.
    to say that one will never go back to their old ways, just seems unrealistic.

    any thoughts, input, insight?

    leslie


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