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Detox nursing is sucking the life out of me

Addictions   (32,830 Views | 34 Replies)

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cisneroj has 2 years experience.

18 Posts; 534 Profile Views

Well as an LPN in South Florida its Detox or LTC. So I have been working in detox for 2 years now. At first I did it for the pay, detox pays much more then long term care, right now I get $24 an hour. The patients are demanding and always seek more medications. And yes you will see the same face more then once. Its hard when you see a 19 year old female who became a prostitute because she needed to get high. I got burnt out with detox a long time ago, I use to feel like the patients really don't care what you say. One patient I had has been to 47 different detox facilities and his insurance keeps paying. I hated going to work and I applied to so many LTC jobs and went on interviews and even took other jobs. There was one patient at the detox who thanked me, and she told me I am the only nurse that she ever had in a detox that sat down and just talked to her, she said I made her think about her future more then the therapist did. She had tears in her eyes when she said that I helped her. Its been 8 months and she still has not come back. Now I like coming to work, I know I cant save everyone, But if I can help just one person change their lives that one person could change the world.

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1 Post; 183 Profile Views

I believe "being lied to " refers to patients request for medication knowing they aren't due for 5 more hours. Happens to me all the time. Especially shift change.

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Nashvillejeanne specializes in Hospice and Palliative Nurse.

78 Posts; 2,448 Profile Views

Maybe I will help to hear a different perspective. I am just a mom and a RN.. but mostly just a mom who lost her oldest son to an OD in the summer of 2015. My heart broke the day his heart stopped beating. No, it shattered. I have yet to recover. Oh sure, I get up and go to work. I smile. I say I am ok. I lie. I still cry everyday, though not all day anymore. The guilt is overwhelming. I mean literally overwhelming. Why couldn't I save him? We nurses are "fixers". I was supposed to protect him. I was supposed to be able to help him. I could not protect him from this monster. Every bit of my retirement is gone, gone to rehab that did not help. One last relapse took his life one month after he was best man in his brothers wedding. I am grateful for that last happy memory. It is all I have left.

When people learn I have lost a son, and ask what happened. I have learned to be honest now. I find it helps to tell the truth...I still get that "look". I can hear it..."he did it to himself", "it was his own choice", "he was just a junkie"....

"His name is Ryan. He was 30 years old. He started on medication to treat an injury and when he could not get that medication anymore he went to heroin. He tried to get off it and could not. I spent my retirement trying to help him. I was handed a life sentence of guilt and sadness when he died. I have often thought of joining him, the missing him is that bad. It took his dignity, his soul and then his life. He was not a bad person. You would have liked him. His life had meaning. I loved him without judgment. If you know someone struggling do whatever you can do to help them and never give up hope"

Ryan is buried on my farm in Tennessee, under our oak tree. His grave was dug with our own shovel, and prepared by his brother, his cousins and friends, his mom and dad. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. We had a home funeral. A sundial is his marker and marks the time till we are all together again.

Visit Ryan at: Ryan P Frye at Virtual Memorials.com and say "hi" Learn more about my journey at:

Nashvillejeannelifeafterdeath@wordpress.com

You have a hard job. Addicts are fighting demons we can not begin to understand. Addicts are people with families that love them, they are more than the disease of addiction.....Remember that as you work with them. You may be the only one they have.

Thanks for all you do...

Just a mom

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11 Posts; 846 Profile Views

Hey all, I was wondering if anyone with detox nursing experience would care to share their experience? I have been a detox RN for almost a year and I feel like it has made me jaded and is making me question why I even became a nurse. Some days are better than others, like any position, but rough shifts have me leaving feeling like I don't even want to do this anymore. Has anyone else had experience in this area, like this? Manipulative pt's aside... I don't have anymore in me to deal with being spoken down to, lied to and yelled at. I'm sure this happens in any unit but does detox carry a bit more of this sort of thing?

- frustrated

I am not a nurse (applied for nursing school) but I have struggled with addictions off and on in my life time. I was hospitalized in December for "unresponsive-ness" (alcohol & prescription meds) and was there for 3 days. I know sometimes patience can be difficult, however, if it weren't for YOU guys (nurses) I would not be here. Since then, I have quit drinking and taking presciption medication all together and pursuing a nursing degree to help others as YOU have helped others.

You have inspired and saved many lives!

I know this profession isn't an easy job, however, I know that you have helped many regardless if you realize it or not.

Thank you for all that you do!

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149 Posts; 6,476 Profile Views

If you need a break, TAKE one. Caring for manipulative patients IS draining. There's no shame in leaving and coming back when you are recharged or, hell, not coming back at all. Take a breather! There's plenty of other nursing specialties that are hiring.

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149 Posts; 6,476 Profile Views

Nashville Jeanne, so very sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine the crushing pain. Your memorial for your son is beautiful.

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RNOTODAY has 18 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU, ER, OR.

1,116 Posts; 21,398 Profile Views

I work on a cardiac telemetry unit, but the powers that be decided we should "elevate the bar" and become a Progressive Care Unit. So in exchange for a slightly better staffing ratio we have become the ETOH detox. unit, in addition to cardiac care. We are bleeding, no, hemorrhaging RNs and CNAs.

Everyone is running from the get-go, dealing with elderly patients being diuresed (fall-risk), ETOH and narcotic withdrawal, and open heart surgery patients with pump head and demanding families.

Off to work soon, hope I don't get peed or spit on, again.

P.S. What does hand sanitizer taste like, anyway? Apparently ours is 61% ethanol and the preferred drink of some...

Ummm yeah, that's just an insane decision... is this facility in the habit of making similar ones? 🙄

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Aleonard13 specializes in med-surg, MCH home visiting.

29 Posts; 3,299 Profile Views

hi

I worked in a detox facility for a little over a year. I felt EXACTLY the same! it sucked the life out of me. now I'm working in community mental health and I really enjoy it. :)

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Lurkndmurk has 1 years experience as a LPN.

156 Posts; 579 Profile Views

On 7/10/2014 at 11:14 PM, nursechrissyRN said:

I so feel your pain, I'm in Detox unit almost 2 years now, my first job. Starting to feel bitter, patients are so needy, demanding. I used to think that maybe I would make a difference in someone life, but not very much any more, I see the same faces over and over again, for most , I have no sympathy anymore, and I feel terrible about that. I'm always seeing patient's that didn't make it, in the obits. Been looking for a job for 2 years now, feeling like I'm "stuck" in addictions and can't get out, no Med surg floor wants a detox nurse, so I'm pretty much a "lifer" which infuriates me, this is not why I went back to school. Sorry for the rant. Good luck to you.

I'm not surprised that people are constantly returning. its unfortunate, but the statistics are against them.

One third of addicts who are sober less than a year will remain abstinent; of those who achieve a year of sobriety, less than half will relapse; less than 15% of those remaining clean for 5 years will relapse. So if you have 100 people who get clean, only 33 will remain sober for 6 months... then only 16 or 17 of them will continue sobriety for a year... then at 5 years you only have about 13 to 15 left. 😕

I mean, there is always room for error, but the majority of addicts struggle to get clean. My neighbor went to a rehab with 30 girls- only 2 of them actually maintained sobriety after ONLY A YEAR.

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LC0929 has 16 years experience as a ASN, RN, EMT-B and specializes in Critical Care.

70 Posts; 1,082 Profile Views

On 1/26/2017 at 4:05 PM, Nashvillejeanne said:

Maybe I will help to hear a different perspective. I am just a mom and a RN.. but mostly just a mom who lost her oldest son to an OD in the Summer of 2015. My heart broke the day his heart stopped beating. No, it shattered. I have yet to recover. Oh sure, I get up and go to work. I smile. I say I am OK. I lie. I still cry everyday, though not all day anymore. The guilt is overwhelming. I mean literally overwhelming. Why couldn't I save him? We nurses are "fixers". I was supposed to protect him. I was supposed to be able to help him. I could not protect him from this monster. Every bit of my retirement is gone, gone to rehab that did not help. One last relapse took his life one month after he was best man in his brothers wedding. I am grateful for that last happy memory. It is all I have left.

When people learn I have lost a son, and ask what happened. I have learned to be honest now. I find it helps to tell the truth...I still get that "look". I can hear it..."he did it to himself", "it was his own choice", "he was just a junkie"....

"His name is Ryan. He was 30 years old. He started on medication to treat an injury and when he could not get that medication anymore he went to heroin. He tried to get off it and could not. I spent my retirement trying to help him. I was handed a life sentence of guilt and sadness when he died. I have often thought of joining him, the missing him is that bad. It took his dignity, his soul and then his life. He was not a bad person. You would have liked him. His life had meaning. I loved him without judgment. If you know someone struggling do whatever you can do to help them and never give up hope"

Ryan is buried on my farm in Tennessee, under our oak tree. His grave was dug with our own shovel, and prepared by his brother, his cousins and friends, his mom and dad. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. We had a home funeral. A sundial is his marker and marks the time till we are all together again.

Visit Ryan at: Ryan P Frye at Virtual Memorials.com and say "hi" Learn more about my journey at:

Nashvillejeannelifeafterdeath@wordpress.com

You have a hard job. Addicts are fighting demons we can not begin to understand. Addicts are people with families that love them, they are more than the disease of addiction.....Remember that as you work with them. You may be the only one they have.

Thanks for all you do...

Just a mom

My heart breaks for you as the Mom of and addict daughter as well as an RN ....please reach out if you feel comfortable....I, thank God, don't know how you feel, but I know all about the rest of it....please don't let this define you....it's no reflection of you at all....sending love, strength and prayers from New Hampshire....♥️💪🙏🙁♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

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GBC_Student has 5 years experience as a BSN, LPN, RN.

1 Follower; 127 Posts; 2,146 Profile Views

Being a detox nurse might not be for you. There's no shame in finding a different path. I did detox nursing for three years. I've been an addictions nurse for five years. It's draining and I definitely am looking to find a new nursing career. Drug addicts are just like everyone else but turned up to 11. The drug seeking behavior, the lying, the verbal abuse towards staff, It's unending in addictions.

If you decide to stay in addictions you have to put very firm boundaries in place and become more detached. I'm not saying ignore the patients or don't do a good job but understand that it's all part of the game and we can't change the rules.

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