This is my situation: I was recently certified as a CNA in the state of California. I was offered a position at a facility this Tuesday and went in to a clinic for a pre-employment physical and drug test. I was supposed to start orientation today, but the clinic had not sent my results to the facility yet. The DSD made it seem like I should have had my paperwork sent over by now and this delay is unusual. I called the clinic today to ask and they told me that the doctor there had called me earlier to discuss my results. He is unavailable until tomorrow, but no one else can tell me about the status at the clinic.
I'm fearing the worst. To provide some background, I used to smoke marijuana in college. After graduating I made the decision to quit so I could get my life together. I planned to pursue the medical field and to that end I spent this last year taking additional classes for grad school pre-reqs, volunteered at a hospital for a number of months, completed a CNA cert, and took the GRE. I ceased all smoking of marijuana for 7 months during this time and was very determined to reach my goals and put that all behind me.
This summer, from July to about August, I had some time to myself and nothing to do. No classes, work, etc. It was my first "vacation" in a while considering I had been in school/working/volunteering etc. during all of my breaks since graduating. I made the poor decision to smoke again with some of my friends who were home on break as well. I accept responsibility for the mistake and whatever consequences are going to come from it.
At the time, it didn't seem like a big deal. I knew I wouldn't be working or anything that required a drug test for a bit, so I figured I'd have it under control. I quit smoking around August 6th and waited a month before seeking employment and taking this drug test. I even took a home test to see if I passed and I did. I had/have NO intentions whatsoever of ever smoking while working in the healthcare field. I recognize the risks to myself and my patients and take this line of work seriously.
But at this point, the damage seems to have been done and I'm terrified. I'm afraid that everything I've worked so hard for could be lost. Does anyone know what will happen to me? Will the facility receive the report of my failed drug test and pass that information on to the California dept of public health? Even though I haven't been hired there, will they be obligated to report me? Will I lose my CNA cert? Can I just seek employment as a CNA at a different facility? I'm confident that if I tested again within a week or so, I would pass a drug test (seriously how could I fail after 40+ days of complete sobriety?). Will this failed drug test be grounds for potential PA schools or the like to decline me as an applicant?
Any and all advice is appreciated. I'm very scared of what's to come tomorrow and I don't know what to say when I speak to the Dr. about my test.
Have you heard anything back yet?
Yes. The doctor from the clinic called me and explained that I had failed the drug test. Said something along the lines of I had a little marijuana still in my system. He said he would report my results to the employer after telling me.
I called on my own and apologized to the DSD. I couldn't reach him, he was doing orientation with all the people who hadn't failed
. I feel terrible but nonetheless I left him a message explaining what I had done, what my intentions were, and thanked him for the opportunity. He has not called me back, but I suppose that's not surprising.
The potential employer can report the failed drug test to your licensing board.
This is not to enable anyone from doing substances, but isn't the use of recreational marijuana now legal in CA? If it is legal how can you be stripped of your certification?
Hopefully you're over 21!
It's an interesting question and I wish someone with more knowledge than me could give some insight.
It's legal in California (I'm 23) but still federally illegal. AFAIK, the Board of Nursing could still reprimand a nurse based on their own policies. In this case however, the California Department of Public Health is the group responsible for the certification of CNA's in this state. What their policies are is unknown to me and I can't seem to find any information regarding it.
Nonetheless, I've received an offer elsewhere and am taking it. I expect no issue (last time I was wrong however) in passing a drug test at this point. It's been nearly 50 days since I last smoked. I just hope in the course of a background check and the like that this doesn't come to light. I just want to move past this and start working towards my goals.
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