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California Imposes Stricter Rules Regarding Drug Abuse In Health Professionals.

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rkitty198, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med Surge, Tele, Oncology, Wound Care. Has 11 years experience.

I do believe that the public needs to be safe.

Yet I think that this is overkill.

What about other licensed workers? Pilots, Policemen, Firefighters?

What about our CNA staff? I have heard that a staff member that I have worked with who was in the ED the night before because of a light case of alcohol poisoning and then was returned to work the next day.

Or the Nurse who had a beer and the staff called her/him in to work and said "it will burn off."

Nurses are stressed, overworked, and sometimes take things to help them cope. It is not at all the best way to cope. But what about programs to help a Nurse when he/she is stressed before it turns to that point. I know we have had quite a few deaths on our floor, as we have an inpatient hospice program. It has touched us all to the core. Management wrote a tiny thing on our wipeboard in the breakroom, "good job that must have been tough."

I think they should offer things like grief counseling, massage, some holistic things within the field for us.

I know that drug abuse and alcoholism is a disease, you all can agree or disagree with me there, I dont care. But treating Nurses like they are horrible and taking their income away when these days it is the only family income is awful.

Why they couldnt give them something else to do, and remain under supervision?

No Nurse goes out there to try and hurt someone (most dont). When someone abuses substances, they are hurting themselves.

Again, this is just overkill.

Didn't someone post here that their BON doesn't have the staff to properly oversee this sort of thing. Are they going to add employees when they are downsizing everything else?

I know that drug abuse and alcoholism is a disease, you all can agree or disagree with me there, I dont care. But treating Nurses like they are horrible and taking their income away when these days it is the only family income is awful.

Why they couldnt give them something else to do, and remain under supervision?

No Nurse goes out there to try and hurt someone (most dont). When someone abuses substances, they are hurting themselves.

Again, this is just overkill.

I suppose drunk drivers should face counselling in lieu of criminal charges?

K.P.A.

Specializes in mental health. Has 2 years experience.

All it takes is "suspicion"? Would you sign a contract with this in it?

Licensees suspected of drug abuse must undergo a clinical evaluation at their own expense to determine whether they can still practice safely. During this process, their licenses will be placed on inactive status, meaning they cannot work, and they must submit to drug tests twice a week. They can't return to work until they have at least one month of negative test results.

He's too happy at work. He got to be on something.

All it takes is "suspicion"? Would you sign a contract with this in it?

Licensees suspected of drug abuse must undergo a clinical evaluation at their own expense to determine whether they can still practice safely. During this process, their licenses will be placed on inactive status, meaning they cannot work, and they must submit to drug tests twice a week. They can't return to work until they have at least one month of negative test results.

He's too happy at work. He got to be on something.

The wording there is a little vague. But I don't see it playing out quite like that. Still, better to dot the i's now.

nerdtonurse?, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, Telemetry.

We had a new nurse who set off everyone's alarm bells -- didn't want to help with changing a patient or hanging a new IV bag if you were up to your eyeballs, but she was right there if a patient needed their dilaudid IV. As a rule, I don't let someone give my patients narcs, and I don't give others unless the charge knows what's going on -- "Hey, JoJo, I'm in the middle of changing a WoundVac and Room X needs her dilaudid-- is it okay of Leiah gives it?" or "Hey, Leiah's doing the postmortem care on X and she told me Y needs her morphine, I'm going to go push it."

This chick was always "Jill on the Spot" to give an IV narc, and sure enough, they found out she had a SL in her ankle and was shooting herself up and giving the pts meds cut with NS.

Didn't lose her license. You take pain meds from a dying cancer patient, I think you need to be thrown out of the hospital -- and preferrably, off the roof.

Miss Mab

Specializes in mostly in the basement.

Ive been semi-following the development of these new rules for months now and have made occasional random attempts to get some discussion/interest going here, so thanks for posting this OP!

I side more toward thinking this program overhaul is over-kill. My main concerns:

---the complete removal of any 'incentive' for someone to step forward themselves and enter such a program voluntarily--long before any harm to anyone other than self comes about. Seriously why? An immediate suspension for months-years along with a public website publishing your name,license # and that you are currently in diversion? Btw--I'm not sure where the story got the 2 self=paid drug tests per week---as of last week the standard was 3-5 tests a week for the first year and then 1-2/week for any years to follow.

--Second, they've decided to forgo any MRO doc to review participant's test results. In short, this means once involved w/ the program, there can be no use of scheduled 'whatever' at all......prescription, legit new injury, or if 2+ years out. Zero tolerance. And yes, I do know there are many here who feel nobody should work while on chronic pain meds, for example, but this goes beyond that cannard as well. These rules have specifically been written to exclude any 'case by case' differentiation by the various boards. One size fits all, no exceptions. Btw, as an added bonus, they've chosen to mandate all 250+ tests per year must be what they call 'witnessed'. Ah, good times, I'm sure....As if anyone needs another reason not to DUI? Of course not, but do know these rules apply for you too. Oh well.

Look, Ive been fortunate enough not to have chemical dependence issues(never say never, right?) but also can easily remember many who do. However, this isnt ONLY about 'them'. This should concern all of us.

Expansions including mandating reporting of ALL RN employment and any HCF discpline/discharges are also under discussion. Is this the new Group One?

This first legislative group was just that--the first. I encourage you all to look more closely. I am also very disappointed that the CNA hasn't chosen to become more involved with this as it's clearly an issue that many have concerns about pressing more publically, at least on an individual basis anyway......

What a shame...