controlled substance use reporting?


:argue:A few of us students were discussing pharmacology and we have some questions i wondered if some here might be able to help with. We were wondering what if any reporting a nurse must do if she/he is on a controlled substance, for instance...I know a nurse who takes Xanax...she has been on it for years, she has worked for years with no problem, but is she obligated to tell her employer that she takes it? same with a pain medication, one girl said she knew a nurse that had hurt his back, had surgery but still required a small amount of pain medicine....then the discussion branched further...if you take oxycodone every day for pain as prescribed? but what if it is tramadol? The book says it is a opiod medication but doctor ( i take this for chronic pain also) says that it isnt and that it wouldnt be considered such if i apply for a job- I thought i would be safe to get a job no problem and still be able to take it.

What do you all think? Thanks for your input. We asked in class but we got a lot of non answers and then the discussion took off from there. I was hoping that I could get some better answers here.

:saint:an angel's mommy


3,362 Posts

Specializes in ICU/Critical Care.

I think as long as a nurse has proof of a prescription then there should be no problem.

nrsang97, BSN, RN

2,602 Posts

Specializes in Neuro ICU and Med Surg. Has 22 years experience.

As long as you have a legit script then no problem. Before you have a drug test they give you the opportunity to disclose any medications you are on. I would disclose anything that would possibly show up in a drug screen.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

A prescription will allow your employer to keep you UNLESS you make an error. Even prescriptions can be abused. Also, check with your state BON. Texas differentiates between what the state says is ok and what the employer says is ok. Ultimately it is up to the individual to determine whether or not the medication is creating an impairment of judgment, even if temporary. If you are on RX that impairs your judgment then talk to your supervisor about a change in duties or some such. If you are the one who notices another nurse is impaired, it is your duty to report that nurse to your supervisor and, depending on your state rules, the BON.


1,304 Posts

Specializes in psych. rehab nursing, float pool. Has 30 years experience.

We were just informed at work, large hospital system that if an employee is injured on the job a drug test will be required. It was pointed out that even if a nurse has a prescription for a drug such as pain medications and such it would be considered coming to work under the influence.

Meaning you get hurt and your drug test is positive even with a valid script. Your injury will not be covered as it will be viewed as the drug you took contributed to the injury.

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