Disclosing that I am on pain medication?

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Hi Everyone,

This board has been awesome, I have a question for you all.

I am starting nursing school (already accepted) and I have a sheet that has to be filled out by my doctor and I have to list any medications I am on. I have to take pain medictions (including anti-depressant) and I wanted to know if this would change my acceptance into nursing school?

I am currently working at a major hospital and love working as a tech and can't wait to be a nurse.

Thanks for your help!

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

Disclose it, unless your doctor advises against it. Should not be a problem. Your doctor is signing off on you anyway.

LightMyFire

137 Posts

Has 3+ years experience.

There shouldn't be a problem with disclosure but I am wondering why they would ask unless it's just stuff they are going to be expecting when they do their UA. I would think that if they refused you because of your meds it would be discrimination. We weren't asked but some meds would have caused a non-negative UA, in which case disclosure would have been necessary, along with the necessary documentation.

healthstar, BSN, RN

1 Article; 944 Posts

There shouldn't be a problem with disclosure but I am wondering why they would ask unless it's just stuff they are going to be expecting when they do their UA. I would think that if they refused you because of your meds it would be discrimination. We weren't asked but some meds would have caused a non-negative UA, in which case disclosure would have been necessary, along with the necessary documentation.

I know students who got kicked out of the nursing program because of their health condition. Schools know that that discrimination is unacceptable, but they don't say " you are sick and you can't continue nursing school" . Instead, they kick you out because you have missed so many lectures and clinical days by going to the hospital often or not showing up because you didn't feel good.

Anyway, I know so many people that are on pain meds and also taking anti depressants and they are still in nursing school. So don't be afraid, and try not to keep your mind there.

Guest 360983

1 Article; 357 Posts

I wouldn't disclose anything, including the antidepressants. I don't think my health should be discussed by anyone beyond myself and my healthcare provider. Your school simply needs to know that you are able to physically able to handle nursing.

Keep in mind you can always disclose stuff later but you can't un-disclose information.

Hopeful3

61 Posts

I have been taking pain medication for many years and never missed work from it. Unfortunately, there is such a stigma with taking medictions to control pain and many misunderstandings. :(

At this point, I am leaning towards just not putting it on the form. What a tough position to be in! I hate it.

Thanks everyone again!

happy2learn

1,118 Posts

I would disclose it. It wouldn't change your acceptance.

Honestly, the school does have the right to understand your physical and mental condition, as they need to make sure you are able to properly care for patients. Since you are taking meds and it can be proven by your doctor that you are doing okay, then it won't be an issue.

I know in some states the BON will want to know when you apply for licensure.

There is no need to hide it. Being open and honest about everything is the best way to ensure you won't hit a snag in the future.

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 46 years experience.

If you lie in any way and are caught later ... the punishment for lying is usually much worse than any negatives associated with disclosing up front. Lying to the school or to an employer is usually grounds for automatic termination with no chance of re-instatement later.

It's almost always best to disclose such things, show that you have everything under control, and deal with any issues up front.

LightMyFire

137 Posts

Has 3+ years experience.
I know students who got kicked out of the nursing program because of their health condition. Schools know that that discrimination is unacceptable, but they don't say " you are sick and you can't continue nursing school" . Instead, they kick you out because you have missed so many lectures and clinical days by going to the hospital often or not showing up because you didn't feel good.

In our program you are not allowed to miss any clinical days although they will usually allow 1 (and ONLY 1) if you can prove an acceptable reason. More than one and you fail the clinical component, which results in failure of the course. Medications were not an issue except when it came to drug testing and if you had an rx you were good to go.

Becca_Anne

49 Posts

Has 5 years experience.

You have to disclose, because most likely you'll have a UA before school starts and it will show up. If they find out and you haven't disclosed then you would be dismissed.

I have a health condition, (no pain meds) but I disclosed just in case something came up and I have not had any problems. It is true you can be dismissed for missing clinical days but that is for everyone. At my school you can miss 1 clinical day per term,but you better have a really good reason. More than 1 and you fail the term no matter what the reason. You can come back and repeat it the next year if they have room though.

MsbossyRN

126 Posts

Specializes in Flu clinics, Med/Surg, Acute Care.

I don't see why this would be a problem. I disclosed that I was on Zoloft and Ativan and I still got in. I was dealing with a very sudden lost of a loved one from septic shock.

OpenHeartLPN

58 Posts

You really need to disclose the use of these drugs. However, there is a down side. Narcotics are a mind altering drug, you cannot take patient's lives into your hands while taking them. I was taking pain meds after I had a tooth removed and while I was on the narcotic i could not take part in clinical. I could only miss 1 day and had to bear through it after that. Even though you have a prescription being under the influence of a narcotic while driving is illegal because it is mind altering and is considered a DUI. You cannot take care of patients while on these drugs. You may have to wait on nursing school until you no longer need these drugs or find another effective way of managing pain. I know it sucks, but if anything bad happens the drugs will be blamed, your school will lose its clinical rights, and someone could get hurt. Even if it doesn't have a negative effect on you, no school or hospital would risk being sued for taking this risk and you probably wouldn't want that risk either.

Good Luck