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Call to action! Nurses in Monitoring Programs

Activism Article   (6,570 Views | 61 Replies | 818 Words)
by hppygr8ful hppygr8ful (Guide) Guide Writer Expert Nurse

hppygr8ful has 15 years experience and specializes in Psych, Addictions, Elder Care, L&D.

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Do you have any input regarding individualized standardize programs in substance abuse monitoring programs?

Many Nurses who suffer from addictions to alcohol and other substances are currently in monitoring programs all over the country. On their face these programs serve to protect the safety of the consumer as well as provide the impaired nurse with a path to return to safe practice. You are reading page 4 of Call to action! Nurses in Monitoring Programs. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

ArmyRntoMD is a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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Should be on a state by state basis. If you use weed in a legal state on your off time, that doesn’t impair your ability to safely care for patients. I’m talking about people arrested for using drugs, especially those who have diverted at work.

If you divert narcotics at work, you should permanently lose your license, no exceptions. ESPECIALLY if it’s being taken meant the patient went without their pain medication. I have reported several nurses for this (they’re usually travel nurses, but one was not). They were all fired but sadly they all still have their licenses. I check every so often to see. It’s appalling. Our patients deserve better than Nurse Jackie.

If you have mental heath issues severe enough that you are self medicating with narcotics, you really aren’t in a place to have patients lives in your hands. 
 

And it should require more than word of mouth. Just like red flag laws and guns. You shouldn’t lose your rights from the word of one person.

Edited by ArmyRntoMD

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Rose_Queen is a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in OR, education.

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7 minutes ago, ArmyRntoMD said:

If you use weed in a legal state on your off time

It's still federally illegal.

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ArmyRntoMD is a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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Well just like gun laws, the law is unconstitutional. The founders grew marijuana. 
 

My concern is whether nurses are a risk for patients. Junkies have no place working somewhere that they have ready access to drugs. It’s like an alcoholic working in a bar. It’s even worse because their addiction can directly prevent pain control in patients.   

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The founders owned slaves and thought that allowing women to vote was a horrible idea also.   Unfortunately marihuana laws are constitutional as they have been challenged in the courts plenty.  They are just a stupid idea.  The drug war got lost a long time ago.

Anyway I don't think that anybody either in one of these hideous programs or out of them is going to argue that nurses should be allowed to work impaired.  There should be restrictions and monitoring for such nurses to maintain patient safety.  However such folks are the vast minority of the nurses in monitoring programs.  I've met exactly one nurse in my years in monitoring who was impaired at work and stealing meds.  The majority are nurses who failed a pee test (weed is the usual culprit) or got a DUI without even an allegation of being impaired at work.  These programs have a place and so do second chances but not as constituted 

 

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hppygr8ful has 15 years experience and specializes in Psych, Addictions, Elder Care, L&D.

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24 minutes ago, ArmyRntoMD said:

Well just like gun laws, the law is unconstitutional. The founders grew marijuana. 
 

My concern is whether nurses are a risk for patients. Junkies have no place working somewhere that they have ready access to drugs. It’s like an alcoholic working in a bar. It’s even worse because their addiction can directly prevent pain control in patients.   

So I never actually diverted at work, was never in an altered state at work Bla bla bla - I was suffering from severe post partum depression, and chronic pain. I drank a lot, took sleeping pills and pain meds all legally prescribed - but one day I couldn't take the pain (Emotional/physical) any more and took an intentional overdose in an effort to end my life. Luckily I did not succeed. I ended up in monitoring because I landed in the ER of the hospital where I worked. I was reported bay them to the BON because of my High BAL.

I spent 5 years in a program that included AA meetings, intense counseling and yes random UDS. In a since you could say I served my sentence and have moved on without a glitch. And yes I have access to a full medcart and keys. Try to be a little more open minded because "There but for the grace of God go ………"

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ArmyRntoMD is a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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My job doesn’tre do drug tests, except at hire. If you are suspected of practicing impaired or diverting you are fired. We had one nurse with a saline lock in her leg, and a couple were reported by several patients that their pain wasn’t controlled. They were seen pocketing the morphine, and on camera they were not seen giving the medication to the patients. Later they still had morphine drawn up in syringes on their person. AND still have a license somehow! I mean is it truly possible to lose a license? I’m not sure!

 

Happy I dont know that quote. I don’t do religion, so I don’t know how that ends.

Edited by ArmyRntoMD

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hppygr8ful has 15 years experience and specializes in Psych, Addictions, Elder Care, L&D.

6 Followers; 3 Articles; 2,925 Posts; 33,059 Profile Views

4 hours ago, ArmyRntoMD said:

Happy I dont know that quote. I don’t do religion, so I don’t know how that ends.

I don't really do organized religion either but my Grandmother a devout Irish Catholic used to hammer this one into my head. "There but for the grace of God go you or I!" Meaning of course that no one is perfect and we are all deserving of redemption.

Hppy

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Yeah I’m a lapsed Irish Catholic myself and myself have no use for religion.  However there is much good in religious beliefs.  That saying is one of them

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ArmyRntoMD is a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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5 hours ago, ArmyRntoMD said:

Oh I wasn’t raised in a Christian culture so I don’t understand all of that. The only religion that ever appealed to me is the Norse religion. I like the thought of deserving warriors joining together in the afterlife for a major battle but I couldn’t find myself actually believing in spirits and imaginary beings lol.

My favorite quote is from the Norse: “The bold succeed wherever they go” and it is true. Nothing is yours unless you SEIZE it 

Edited by ArmyRntoMD

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Gingernurse81 specializes in Psych, Addiction/Recovery.

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On 1/5/2020 at 11:09 AM, ArmyRntoMD said:

Well just like gun laws, the law is unconstitutional. The founders grew marijuana. 
 

My concern is whether nurses are a risk for patients. Junkies have no place working somewhere that they have ready access to drugs. It’s like an alcoholic working in a bar. It’s even worse because their addiction can directly prevent pain control in patients.   

Junkie is a terrible term. And nurses are just as susceptible to self medicating than anyone else. 

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ArmyRntoMD is a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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Nurses are like police. People depend on us and we should be held to a higher standard. Addiction is a choice not a disease. The first time you use is a complete choice, and while more difficult, every single time after that is a choice. 
 

If it weren’t a choice, it supports my belief that it is too risky to rehire them because if it isn’t their choice, it is beyond their control and you can’t be sure they won’t use again. 
 

Addicts need help, including nurses, but there are other more appropriate fields with less responsibility. Maybe a social worker or other health field without access to medications.

Edited by ArmyRntoMD

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Gingernurse81 specializes in Psych, Addiction/Recovery.

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35 minutes ago, ArmyRntoMD said:

 

I am not here to argue whether it is a choice or not. And I don't think anyone agrees that a nurse should be allowed to work impaired. I am simply stating that 'junkie' is not the most appropriate term for those struggling with addiction. If what you say in public could make a potential recipient feel worse, judged, or criticized without reason, it's best not said at all. That's not a law of course, just an ethics thing.

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