St. Cloud Hospital suspends nurse after 23 inadvertently infected - page 3

A St. Cloud Hospital nurse is suspended pending an investigation into claims that the nurse inadvertently introduced bacterial infections into 23 patients while stealing pain medication from... Read More

  1. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from justashooter
    a lower caliber of persons are taking up roles in nursing. the entire nation is being de-ethicised. we're all being told from childhood that bad behaviour is not really the result of our individual choices, but some "disease" that we can medicate (sedate).
    don't know what you mean about "lower caliber" folks entering nsing...would love if you would clarify.

    but i definitely agree w/you, that we live in an enabling society, where no one seems to be responsible for themselves.
    for the most part, we've created monsters....
    all because of these "diseases".

    it's not a pretty situation.

    leslie
  2. by   eriksoln
    Quote from SyberianPuppy
    I feel if we had better professional standards for nursing, stuff like this wouldn't happen as often.

    Letting someone be in control of patients after a 2 year vocational program is kind of ridiculous. Entry-level BSN might help deter some people who go into nursing just to steal drugs, etc.

    Note: Not meant to offend any ADN prepared nurses - you guys are great! I meant that it is easier for people with less than moral intentions to get into nursing if they can just stop by their local community college and sign up. Making it a 4 year program might deter this kind of thing.
    Quote from CapeCodMermaid
    WOW...you need to educate yourself on addiction and on nursing education. It is difficult to get into any nursing program these days. You can't just 'stop by the local community college and sign up.' Anyone regardless of their educational background can become an addict. And if you're going to start another war about who makes a better nurse, I'd rather have a hospital program trained nurse take care of me straight out of school than someone who spent more time with a book than a real patient.
    Quote from justashooter
    a lower caliber of persons are taking up roles in nursing. the entire nation is being de-ethicised. we're all being told from childhood that bad behaviour is not really the result of our individual choices, but some "disease" that we can medicate (sedate).

    I actually believe I understand what was meant by the BSN-entry level slant. I don't agree with it but I think they were saying:

    Since it takes longer, costs more money etc..............someone in the nursing program only because they see it as a nice way to set themselves up in a career that gives them access to narcs.............would probably quit.

    I don't think they're saying BSN is better except for the fact that it takes longer..........hence would deter the person I described above. Thats where the "lower caliber of persons taking up nursing" might come from too.

    Now, in my eyes, the program being longer doesn't really help. For two reasons:

    1. I don't believe anyone really is going into nursing solely to get access to narcs. Heck, if thats all that interests you.......the ADN program is enough to weed you out. There are just.........too many routes to the product that don't demand years of school to be bothered with becoming a nurse just for that.

    2. I believe a great many nurses who divert drugs actually started "using" on a small scale during nursing school. I mean, really........who among us didn't have a group in their class who took xanax and anti-depressants for "test anxiety" or because the pressures of clinicals were too much? These nurses then go into nursing, find out its not any easier and continue the behavior...............then, all of a sudden...........the hip replacement patients aren't getting their percocet, and we wonder why.

    A longer program doesn't help in this case.
  3. by   susanthomas1954
    Guys, over thirty years ago, I got removed from a charge position a nurse I worked with was stealing demerol from my little old orthopedic post op patients. I got removed from my position about two weeks before he actually got busted for stealing the demerol. I had been holding together a very dysfunctional group for about six months, and I really did not know he was stealing the demerol. As soon as he left, they begged me to take back the charge nurse position, which I politely declined. I began to like the urology unit, then I got the opthalmology unit, and THAT was fun. The point is this happened OVER THIRTY YEARS AGO. Nurses feeding addictions at the expense of patients is not new. I think more people just get caught now.
  4. by   AtheistRN
    Nurses are human, too. Feet of clay and all that. Should be gods, or demigods at least, but no.

    This ADN nurse did not just sign up for a class- 3 years of pre-reqs and a 2 year program, student loans, etc. Watchout! We are coming into your hospitals in DROVES.
  5. by   eriksoln
    Quote from Mike A. Fungin RN
    How is this happening so often to doctors, pharmacists, and paramedics? When you take a profession that's inherently stressful and physically demanding then throw in access to narcotics this kind of this is going to happen. We as a profession can do things to discourage the behavior or to make it more difficult, but it's never going to go away.
    No. It'll never "go away", because the issue of drug addiction as a whole will never go away................not in nursing or any other aspect of society.

    On the other hand, we fall very short of our responsibilities as nurses if we simply sit by and do nothing. Making drug diversion a "one strike you are out" zero tolerance offense is a step in the right direction. How's the saying go "Fool me once, shame on you, twice........shame on me".

    Simply sitting idly by and doing nothing would be like saying "I'm not going to eat, I'll just be hungry again tomorrow, so what's the use?"
  6. by   allennp
    t is not a simple issue with simple glib answers. Medicine in general has a high risk of addiction. With close proximity of drugs, stressful work situations and long hours, health care professionals have one of the highest risk professionals for addiction.

    Drug use surveys have provided ranges of up to 10% of physicians reporting current regular drug use and 3% having histories of drug dependence. In Britain it has been estimated that one in 15 physicians will have a problem with drugs or alcohol at some point in their life.

    The ANA has estimated that 6-8% of nurses may have a drug or alcohol problem. Interesting that binge drinking was reported by 16% of nurses. Overall use of prescription type drugs were higher in nurses that the general population and use of marijuana and cocaine were lower.

    Physicians have a higher social and economic standing in most health care systems and when identified with a substance abuse problem are often offered more alternatives in which to have it dealt with. Nurses are not, often being exposed by the hospital and considered more expendable. My opinion also is that nursing for some reason seems more hostile and judgmental on fellow nurses who have substance abuse issues, where physicians tend to be more collaborative and inclusive, perchance due to a higher level of education on this subject.

    It is a difficult problem but flinging these nurses out to the law and public does not help them, the public or our image.
  7. by   eriksoln
    Quote from allennp
    t is not a simple issue with simple glib answers. medicine in general has a high risk of addiction. with close proximity of drugs, stressful work situations and long hours, health care professionals have one of the highest risk professionals for addiction.

    drug use surveys have provided ranges of up to 10% of physicians reporting current regular drug use and 3% having histories of drug dependence. in britain it has been estimated that one in 15 physicians will have a problem with drugs or alcohol at some point in their life.

    the ana has estimated that 6-8% of nurses may have a drug or alcohol problem. interesting that binge drinking was reported by 16% of nurses. overall use of prescription type drugs were higher in nurses that the general population and use of marijuana and cocaine were lower.

    physicians have a higher social and economic standing in most health care systems and when identified with a substance abuse problem are often offered more alternatives in which to have it dealt with. nurses are not, often being exposed by the hospital and considered more expendable. my opinion also is that nursing for some reason seems more hostile and judgmental on fellow nurses who have substance abuse issues, where physicians tend to be more collaborative and inclusive, perchance due to a higher level of education on this subject.

    it is a difficult problem but flinging these nurses out to the law and public does not help them, the public or our image.

    i was arguing for "zero tolerance" in another thread for a long time. one day, at work, the issue of drug abuse came up at work with a doctor who i happen to respect on many levels (we were discussing a pt. who was refusing rehab). i brought up that thread and the angry reaction to my "zero tolerance" policy suggestion. she agreed with my counterparts that it was too harsh and went on to explain herself. she even almost had me talked into thinking maybe it is too harsh.

    then i told her this, which is the core of my argument for a "one strike you are out" policy with nursing:

    for me, the line that one must cross in order to deserve the lifetime ban from practicing as a nurse is "diverting drugs". thats the moral line in my mind in which there is no excusing the behavior. once you divert drugs from a pt. in need of said drugs, i am no longer interested in whether or not you have a unique "gene" that made you do it, what the environmental stresses were that contributed to your behavior or how you happened to be in the position you are in. at the moment that line, diverting drugs, is crossed, my primary concern becomes the pt. not the nurse. in order to protect the pt., said nurse must be removed from practice, and i see no reason to allow them back in. that is gambling, and worse yet, it is gambling with another person's money..........cause it is the pt. they do it to next time who suffers if we let them back in and were wrong for doing so.
    now, on the other hand, doctors are different. how? thats simple. they don't have to divert drugs to feed their addictions. they never cross that specific line. it may seem like splitting hairs, but a doctor is able to feed their addiction without directly stealing the narcs from the pt. in need. so, in my eyes, its a different story.

    my doctor friend didn't really have an answer to that. she said "yes, its a very complex issue to say the least, we've probably given each other a lot to think about.".

    so, when things are handled differently for nurses and doctors with regards to drug abuse, i don't look at it as another example of "hospitals expose us as being expendable." tbh, i see it as a sort of nudge/message that nurses unfortunately are held to a higher standard than doctors. we are more capable of hurting the pt., so i don't mind that...........we have to be.
  8. by   AtheistRN
    eriksoln,
    Are you saying that your zero tolerance is only for diverting? Does it extend to habitual drug users as well if they are not diverting but found to be under the influence or exhibiting erratic behavior, etc?
  9. by   allennp
    well I would have to say I disagree with your opinion. My view is that it is to simplistic.

    cordially'


    a
  10. by   eriksoln
    Quote from GeneraLee
    eriksoln,
    Are you saying that your zero tolerance is only for diverting? Does it extend to habitual drug users as well if they are not diverting but found to be under the influence or exhibiting erratic behavior, etc?
    Yes. And trust me, I realize there are holes in that approach, but its the best approach I know of.

    Someone who comes into work "impaired" but never diverted has not crossed the same line, in my mind anyway. They can be given a break...............sent to rehab....................made to follow a "re-admittance to practice" program and allowed back in, if they show they are serious about making the drug use a thing of the past.

    To me..........like I said, it takes a certain lack of judgement to "divert", which makes it a much worse offense than using and being impaired. No, thats not right..............its more than a lack of judgement. Its a complete disregard for the pt. and anyone else involved in the situation (co-workers etc).

    The "impaired nurse" has certainly shown a tendency for behaviors that are not inductive of "safe pt. care", but not to the same degree the one who diverts did.

    I can live with someone who smoked weed on the weekend coming in and falling asleep during report......................being sent to rehab and allowed to practice again. What I can't understand is......................the IV drug abuser who takes a cancer pt's morphine and uses it to feed their own addiction...................being allowed to practice again.

    I don't claim to be an expert on drug addiction. I have my reasons for seeing things the way I see them. What I can say, without pause is this.................................If I had a loved one, in the hospital dying of bone CA..................I'd have an issue with a nurse who is a known drug diverter caring for my loved one. I would not on the other hand be concerned with a nurse who............in the past had a few DUI's but then went to rehab.
  11. by   eriksoln
    Quote from allennp
    well I would have to say I disagree with your opinion. My view is that it is to simplistic.

    cordially'


    a
    Who are you talking to?
  12. by   allennp
    I was replying to your post, sorry I did not make that clear.
    cordially
    a
  13. by   eriksoln
    Quote from allennp
    I was replying to your post, sorry I did not make that clear.
    cordially
    a
    Oh. ha ha. OK.

    Sooooo............................how bout them Bears? Think they'll win the Superbowl?

    Anyway...........I don't get it. You say its "simplistic". What is? Do you mean "one strike you are out" is too harsh? Or do you mean it is not harsh and the doctor was wrong when she said "Its a complicated issue blah blah"? I'm kinda lost here.

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