Quote from HouTx
I'm a bit confused - pardon my 'non California-ness'. If you are using medical marijuana - do you smoke it, eat it or what? Since hospitals are now non-smoking, how does that work from a practical standpoint.
Let's try to think of this from the patient's & employer's perspective. How would you feel if something bad happened to you or a loved one and you (or your lawyer) discovers that the nurse (who was involved) tested positive for a narcotic???? Hmm? How do you think a jury would feel? Any employer with a halfway competent risk management department would refuse to hire or maintain clinical staff who are consuming narcotics - no matter how 'legitimate' the reason. It's just too risky.
The user is NEVER able to objectively assess his/her own capability. People under the influence never realize how buzzed they are - cause their brain is too impaired to make this judgement. Maybe if there was a device they had to use periodically to check cognition or hand/eye coordination or something - just to make sure.... nah, I still don't think its right to subject unsuspecting patients to potentially impaired care providers. It's hard enough to deliver safe care under normal (understaffed, over-worked, stressed out) conditions.
I don't personally use marijuana - but it is available in all sorts of forms. Marinol (I may be wrong on the name) pills are actually a prescription drug of concentrated THC, you can bake it into foods, etc. It does not have to be smoked.
My question is not should nurses use narcotics on the job, though you raise a new point. If a nurse tested positive for prescribed marijuana after a mistake - versus testing positive for prescribed percocet after making a mistake do you think it would be handled differently?
My question centers around if whether RN's are allowed to use medical marijuana for their own purposes as an alternative to narcotic pain killers in states where medical marijuana is legal.
Taking a vicodin and taking a hit from a joint are an equally stupid thing to do during a shift - obviously. People who say you don't function properly when high on marijuana versus vicodin say it because there have been no studies to show potency equivalency between the two drugs. (i.e. 1 mg of xanax is equal to 6 mg of ativan).