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Do I have to disclose mental illness

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by NurseChaiPls NurseChaiPls (New) New

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Jory has 10 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNM.

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On 3/18/2019 at 10:30 PM, Kooky Korky said:

Part of the issue is that you lied, it sounds like.

I don't know what the school could and could not ask, but it sounds a little late for you to be deciding.

I think you need to talk to a couple of attorneys to find out what your options are.

I am glad you are doing well with school, but it sounds like your conscience is troubling you or you are worried that someone might learn the truth.

Thank you for serving and I wish you all the best.

Nobody should have trouble lying about questions that should not be asked.  

Only about 12 years ago, my former nursing school used to conduct interviews.  One of the interview questions was "How do you plan to balance the demands of academic requirements with family obligations?"

Guess what the #1 reason for student drop out was:  It wasn't grades, it was unable to balance family with academic demands.

The attorney for the school stated this question had to stop and was not legal..even though you were NOT asking if someone was married or had children, they could easily have a difficult family dynamic, elderly parents, etc...it's still a leading question.  

If you can't ask it in a job interview, you can't ask it as part of an academic interview. 

The only exceptions are sometimes religious-based schools will ask you to sign a statement of faith, but those are private schools and subject to different rules.

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LilPeanut has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in NICU/Neonatal transport.

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Agreed.  I have been controlled on meds for depression since I was 19. I don't put it on my applications.  I'm not a danger to myself or others.  I interpret that question to be regarding uncontrolled mental illness.

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CrunchRN has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health.

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I wouldn't disclose it. Beyond intrusive.

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

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7 hours ago, AutumnApple said:

As one who had to seek treatment post rape, I can share my experience with this topic with you:

 

The answer you seek doesn't exist.  It's in that proverbial gray area.  

 

One person may decide to reveal their history, and have no regrets.  The next person who does reveal their history could very well likely end up wishing they hadn't.  

 

What I find it all boils down to is:  Will not knowing ever become a problem for the facility?  If yes, be certain they will point out that  you didn't tell them your history after something happens.  If no, then no harm in not telling and probably best not to give others a front row seat to the theater of "my life".  That rule, in general, applies to life universally, not just with this specific issue.

 

I've never revealed the history I mentioned above to any perspective employer.  I never regretted not doing so. BUT the reason it never became a problem is because..........my past never became a problem for them post hire.  

 

The little dirty secret about not revealing you past is (whether asking you in the first place was appropriate or not has no weight on this):  Once we decide to keep that part of things to ourselves, it's ours and ours alone to manage.  If problems arise post hire, it's up to you to handle them without any accommodations from them.

 

I did once, after my incident, find myself slipping back into depression.  I had gone into travel nursing and it was great for me in a lot of ways, but not in others.  Being so far from home, away from the familiar and comfortable, had more of an effect on me than I suspected.  

 

I had not revealed my history to the company I worked for (and yes, they asked specifically, just like your facility did) nor the hospital they placed me in at the time (yes, they asked as well).  So.........I was on my own.  I had to seek help but at the same time keep things under the radar.

 

That's the reality we accept when we choose not to give perspective employers the whole truth.

Thank you for this. Thank you for your bravery in sharing. 

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thoughtful21 has 1 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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On 3/18/2019 at 6:15 PM, NurseChaiPls said:

... manipulative tyrants ...

In nursing we still have some manipulative tyrants... some of them are patients! 😅😆😅 Just throwing some humor into the mix.

I wish you the best with your decision and the path ahead.

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On 3/19/2019 at 10:04 AM, pixierose said:

Oh hell naw.

 

 

 

 

I read that in my friend's voice and started screaming. She says this all the time right before she starts cussing somebody out. 😂😂

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FolksBtrippin is a BSN, RN and specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Public Health.

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17 hours ago, AutumnApple said:

As one who had to seek treatment post rape, I can share my experience with this topic with you:

 

The answer you seek doesn't exist.  It's in that proverbial gray area.  

 

One person may decide to reveal their history, and have no regrets.  The next person who does reveal their history could very well likely end up wishing they hadn't.  

 

What I find it all boils down to is:  Will not knowing ever become a problem for the facility?  If yes, be certain they will point out that  you didn't tell them your history after something happens.  If no, then no harm in not telling and probably best not to give others a front row seat to the theater of "my life".  That rule, in general, applies to life universally, not just with this specific issue.

 

I've never revealed the history I mentioned above to any perspective employer.  I never regretted not doing so. BUT the reason it never became a problem is because..........my past never became a problem for them post hire.  

 

The little dirty secret about not revealing you past is (whether asking you in the first place was appropriate or not has no weight on this):  Once we decide to keep that part of things to ourselves, it's ours and ours alone to manage.  If problems arise post hire, it's up to you to handle them without any accommodations from them.

 

I did once, after my incident, find myself slipping back into depression.  I had gone into travel nursing and it was great for me in a lot of ways, but not in others.  Being so far from home, away from the familiar and comfortable, had more of an effect on me than I suspected.  

 

I had not revealed my history to the company I worked for (and yes, they asked specifically, just like your facility did) nor the hospital they placed me in at the time (yes, they asked as well).  So.........I was on my own.  I had to seek help but at the same time keep things under the radar.

 

That's the reality we accept when we choose not to give perspective employers the whole truth.

Why would keeping your mental health history private prevent you from receiving support during a present day mental health crisis?

 

 

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The school cannot run a background check on your medical records, so you don't have to tell them anything. I think this is a very odd request... and could get them in hot water for a potential disability discrimination lawsuit. Medical history isn't like work history- it doesn't predict future performance and it isn't anybody's business but your own. If a person is mentally competent enough to complete prerequisites and get accepted to a program, that should be enough of a screen. Clinicals will weed out anybody who is a threat to patients. Again, just a very strange request...

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AutumnApple has 12 years experience and specializes in M/S, Pulmonary, Travel, Homecare, Psych..

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3 hours ago, FolksBtrippin said:

Why would keeping your mental health history private prevent you from receiving support during a present day mental health crisis?

 

 

And now we get to the heart of the matter of why perspective employers ask this question despite it being borderline unethical.

 

If I choose to keep my past private, then have, as you called it, a "mental health crisis" post hire...............

 

More aggressive, penny pinching facilities will use the fact that you did not disclose your history as a means to say:  "Very sorry, we can't help you with this issue.  Had we known before hand we could have placed some protective measures in place but you kept us in the dark and that is, in our opinion, why things have gotten where they are now."  

 

Then comes the questions of whether you believe you are safe to go to work presently and/or if  you want to take a leave of absence until things "are safe for you to return to work".

 

And yes, things are very different for you after you need accommodations than they were before. 

 

This I know from experience.  I've had a handful of people I know whose "past" and mental illness became inconvenient for their employer and most of the time, the end results are not favorable.  

 

I also volunteer twice a week at a suicide hotline.  It's not uncommon at all for someone in the office (three or four times for me personally) to receive a call from someone in a mental health crisis  who is upset because their employer found out about their problem and are reacting poorly to it.

 

Yes, we have a right to our privacy.

 

Yes, the decision to accept said privacy comes with a price.

 

If we choose to keep things to ourselves, the attitude from others tends to be "keep it that way when problems come up too."

 

 

 

 

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Jory has 10 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNM.

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On 3/19/2019 at 9:00 AM, hppygr8ful said:

Sometimes schools want to know these things because they are looking for potential barriers to licensure. In California the application for licensure specifically asks if you have been treated for a mental illness (psychosis) or been prescribed antipsychotic medication or been treated for a addiction in the past 10 years. If you answer yes to these questions you can still sit for the NCLEX but your first years as a nurse could be done under monitoring which in my opinion is not conducive to a successful launch into a nursing career.

So if you hospitalization did not include psychosis or addiction with a legal record I would keep it to yourself.  Depression and PTSD that is in remission and well controlled is no one's business but your own.

Hppy

...and this is a great reason not to work in California.  So if someone had a baby 9 years ago and needed an SSRI to get through PPD or needed counseling (all mental illness is not psychosis) after the death of a family member, the BON wants you to spill your guts? 

But if you have a diagnosis of diabetes or epilepsy, advanced CAD, or CHF that can run the risk of passing out or having an attack while in the middle of patient care...they are OK with not knowing.

Even asking, is part of a stigma.  People are allowed to treat themselves and get better.  

If you want to know why so many people don't get treated for mental health concerns?  This is why.  

Edited by Jory

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FolksBtrippin is a BSN, RN and specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Public Health.

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6 hours ago, AutumnApple said:

And now we get to the heart of the matter of why perspective employers ask this question despite it being borderline unethical.

 

If I choose to keep my past private, then have, as you called it, a "mental health crisis" post hire...............

 

More aggressive, penny pinching facilities will use the fact that you did not disclose your history as a means to say:  "Very sorry, we can't help you with this issue.  Had we known before hand we could have placed some protective measures in place but you kept us in the dark and that is, in our opinion, why things have gotten where they are now."  

 

Then comes the questions of whether you believe you are safe to go to work presently and/or if  you want to take a leave of absence until things "are safe for you to return to work".

 

And yes, things are very different for you after you need accommodations than they were before. 

 

This I know from experience.  I've had a handful of people I know whose "past" and mental illness became inconvenient for their employer and most of the time, the end results are not favorable.  

 

I also volunteer twice a week at a suicide hotline.  It's not uncommon at all for someone in the office (three or four times for me personally) to receive a call from someone in a mental health crisis  who is upset because their employer found out about their problem and are reacting poorly to it.

 

Yes, we have a right to our privacy.

 

Yes, the decision to accept said privacy comes with a price.

 

If we choose to keep things to ourselves, the attitude from others tends to be "keep it that way when problems come up 

I see where you are coming from. 

Employers go straight to "we didn't know" to protect themselves from a discrimination lawsuit. Because the first step in proving discrimination based on disability is proving that the employer knew you had a disability.

But whether or not they knew before has nothing to do with their obligation after they know. They can't fire you for taking medical leave, even if they didn't know you might need it. Their prior knowledge is irrelevant. 

And let's be clear that just because you needed a psychiatric hospitalization at one time in your life doesn't mean you'll ever need another one. 

 

 

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

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8 hours ago, Jory said:

...and this is a great reason not to work in California.  So if someone had a baby 9 years ago and needed an SSRI to get through PPD or needed counseling (all mental illness is not psychosis) after the death of a family member, the BON wants you to spill your guts? 

But if you have a diagnosis of diabetes or epilepsy, advanced CAD, or CHF that can run the risk of passing out or having an attack while in the middle of patient care...they are OK with not knowing.

Even asking, is part of a stigma.  People are allowed to treat themselves and get better.  

If you want to know why so many people don't get treated for mental health concerns?  This is why.  

The question is specific to psychotic illness and the medications used to treat psychosis. (Haldol, Seroquel, Zyprexa etc....) As a psych nurse I know these are used for things other than psychosis but the BON does not seem to care.  The scenario you describe would not require you to answer yes as it did not involve a psychotic break! Still this is a huge breach of your privacy and the question should not be allowed.

Hppy

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