Drug testing

  1. This conversation came up with a friend over a few pints, he works as an engineer at a quarry, probably has no chance of hurting anybody on the job, although he got blown up in his lab a few years ago, anywho, they have mandatory random drug testing. We, as nurses have a huge responsibily and could easily cause, of fail to prevent, the death or serious injury to a patinet, we at our facility have no drug testing at all, what about others?
  2. Poll: Do you have drug testing where you work

    • Yes

      56.10% 23
    • No

      43.90% 18
    41 Votes
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    About kewlnurse

    Joined: Feb '01; Posts: 789; Likes: 21
    RN/Golf Bum/Beer Drinker


  4. by   kaycee
    The hospital where I work just started drug testing new employees within the past 6 months. We have had recent problems with some RN's and CNA's that were stealing narcotics. One RN was actually withdrawing MS or Demerol from the PCAs and injecting it while she worked. I can't even imagine. I really don't know what my feelings are about drug testing. I guess if you have nothing to hide it shouldn't be a problem. They haven't started random checks on present employees, but maybe that will start.
  5. by   CC NRSE
    Well,..the hospital I work at does pre-employment drug screens. Our contract says they can also do random if there is suspicion. Only time I know of them durg testing,..was when the dilaudid count was off in the sure med. They tested everyone in the ER with acess. Turns out,...it was a pharmacy error!!!!!
    Sometimes,..it's not an issue of hurting someone else,..but hurting yourself. I have heard of cases where people were hurt on the job,..and were drug tested. If it came back positive (and there was no explanation ie,...perecription meds) not only did the person lose their job,..but did not qualify for work-mans comp. The company claimed they were under the influence and that contibuted to the accident!!!!
  6. by   Huganurse
    Most of the Hospitals and all LTC/subacute facilities test in my area. If someone tests positive they are immediatly turned over to the State Board of Nursing which can suspend the license and/or require entrance into a treatment program. The Board will follow up for a couple of years with random testing.
  7. by   RNed
    Don't support drug testing unless suspected drug use. I believe it is a slippery slope to other testing, such as, DNA testing for hereditary disease, risky behavior analyses, etc.

    We can deny employment of a RN, MD, RT, etc. who test positive for drugs and we report them to the appropriate licensing board because they have a license.

    What does Human Resources do to non-licensed applicants that test positive? Do we turn them in to the driver license department or gardners association or secretaries union or what ever ?

    If they were an employee and terminated do to drug testing does the future job reference include the information they tested positive for drug use? Assuming they use the facility as a reference.

    Do we have Human Resource or Employment Service people out there that can help with this answer?

    Just curious !
    Last edit by RNed on Oct 14, '01
  8. by   Doey
    The hospital I work at does do pre-employment drug screening but no random screening at present. A few years ago a nurse was caught diverting MS. He was immediately sent home (this was on nights), and escorted out of the building. The supe of course had to write it up and later in the day the state police as well as DEA officials came to the hospital to investigate. He had been doing this for quite some time but apparently things were getting out of control for him and he was unable to hide it any longer. He had put in his notice and was to start a new job soon. After this happened he voluntarily told his new employer what happened. The state board was notified so they would have found out about it anyway. I'm not really sure of all the details but he was offered a drug treatment program by the state and I believe his license was suspended pending continued participation in the program. He did do it for awhile, but as I'm told he became very depressed about disappointing everyone, his family etc., and not long after was found dead in his apartment with a needle in his arm and a suicide note. Very sad.
  9. by   deespoohbear
    We have pre-employment testing and random testing after employment. We had a situation in our hospital where a nurse was stealing narcs from the pharmacy after hours. She also forged a prescription. She also went to several docs' offices for appointments and got scripts. The docs soon caught on because of our small hospital and the pharmacy got suspicious. This nurse had to resign her management position and enter an impaired nurse's program that the state board runs. So, now she does paperwork (no direct patient care because of the program) and has holidays and weekends off. Sure has made for a lot of hard feelings at our facility. Most of the nurses feel like she got by with just a slap on her hands. She is working on an restricted license for several years until she satisfies the requirements of the impaired nurses program. This nurse retained all of her benefit time. I am not quite sure how I feel about this whole situation. She is an excellent nurse and I know but for the grace of God go I. Our facility has set a precedent though with this case. They will have to offer the same kind of assistance to other employees who have an addiction problem. This nurse has worked for our facility for 10 years and a lot of people believe that she is the DON's pet. Has been a tough situation all around for everyone. Anyone else with a similar experience?
  10. by   Agnus
    We do preemployment screening. After that we test only if there is a suspicion. I don't think it would be a bad idea to do random testing.
  11. by   nilepoc

    Yeah, similar experience, usually the reason they keep their position, is it is in the practice act.

    Drug addiction is treated as an illness as long as the nurse cooperates with therapy. Therefore the nurse can not be fired, while being treated. It would be like firing someone for breaking a bone. So nurses go on light duty. We have had three nurses get caught and one have an untimely death. It is serious business.

    Our policy is pre-employment screening, and after that the union makes it almost impossible to test anyone. In the rare case that drugs are missing, the unit gets tested, but only for that drug. So other habits can not be tested for.

    It is very hard to test someone you suspect is using. I don't know if it is right, but the three that were caught and the one that died, were all though to not be having a problem until they screwed up.
  12. by   debbyed
    Almost all the hospitals in the area do pre-employment testing and there is usually a clause for testing for suspicion.

    The hospital are not as strick as most the businesses/industry in the area. Most of the patients we see who have been injured on the job automatically have to have drug and ETOH screening done in the ER before they leave per their company regulations. Those who refuse outright loose their jobs. We have to be very careful not to medicate these patients until urine is obtained for a DOA.

    Employee's who are injured on the job at the hospital are not tested.