Medical Professionals Abusing Drugs

  1. Lately I have witnessed some very scary things from people I know.

    1. I was invited to a party or get together with some people that work at a very well known hospital where I am doing clinicals. The people that invited me were all medical professionals a medic, nurse BSN, ER charge nurse MSN, nurse MSN student, physical therapist, unit clerk, trauma nurse BSN and respiratory therapist. When I get to this party they are all high and or drunk. They had exstacy, coke, nitris oxide (whippets), hard alcohol and crystal meth. I stayed with them and had some drinks as I watched the night unfold. this was about 10pm when I got there. The house is across the street from the hospital. they proceed to do all these drugs at once to my dismay. I was absolutly dumbfounded, here these are people that I look up to, as they are very very good at what they do in the hospital and they are doing illegal drugs. the worst thing about all this is that 2 of the nurses and the respiratory therapist had to be at work at 7am the next morning. At about 4am they start freakin out cause they have to go to work soon and are in no shape to do so. At this point one of the other nurses gets a large amount of coke out of her car and instructs them to do as much as they can so that they will be awake and sharp for work. At this point I was like you guys are crazy at least call in sick. They were like no way I can't do that, so I asked what would happen if they killed a patient due to their current condition. The charge nurse proceded to tell me that they would not kill anyone and that even if they did get caught they would not get fired cause the hospital could not afford to lose any nurses.
    I was like isn't that agianst the law for them not to fire you if you were caught?

    2. One of the ladies that was there at that party 30 years of age and going to school for her PNP recently attempted to kill herself. She had been doing Meth for three days on top of extacy, when she was having "guy troubles" then crushed up a bottle of tylenol and drank it with coffee. Later another guy who is an RT finds her in a pool of blood and vomit and takes her to the next town's hospital so her own work mates don't see her this way. Her tox screen came back positive for all these drugs adn she stays in ICU for a week as they could not stabilize her for a while. When she recovers she loses her house, quits her job and moves a couple hours away to live with her parents while she recovers. As soon as she moves there is she gets another nursing job.

    Now my thoughts on this are: why didn't this girl lose her nursing license after having all these drugs in her system? If these people were caught at work doing this they would be fired and lose their license right? and How on earth can these people be sooo smart but sooo stupid at the same time. Sorry for the long post but I was really confused by all this as I think that healthcare professionals should be upper class citizens and not engage in these activities and that they should be punished if they do. They could ahev killed someone. Your thoughts, experiences and knowledge on this subject would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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    About GiantHeart21

    Joined: Sep '05; Posts: 53; Likes: 2

    32 Comments

  3. by   christymwinn
    I am really speechless!!! i can not believe that 1) they would do anything so irresponsible and so potentiously dangerous to a patient, or 2) that they were even more stupid to do it in front of someone that could ( and should ) turn them in.
    Something like that should be reported! I am not usually harsh sounding when I post any of my thoughts or opinions, but you are right-- they could kill somebody at work, any of them. How would any of us feel if our mom or dad or chold was in their care? You nee dto talk to someone about this.
  4. by   GiantHeart21
    Who should I speak with and what do you think about the girl not losing her license after having these drugs found in her system?
  5. by   christymwinn
    Well, as far as the girl not losing her job, most institutions have programs and probations for first offenses. If it was her first offense they are going to try and help her. If she violates her probation, then she can have her license revoked from her state board of nursing.
    Then, as to who you should talk to..... since it is an occurence that is dealing with more than one dept, you should probably talk with someone in human resources-like the director. HR would be able to then get the correct dept heads involved. I am not sure about what the policy and procedures are at your facility (or for your state), but you should be able to remain anonymous.
  6. by   Multicollinearity
    I am shocked. Stay away from them. Far away. I do know that I would have to find a way to report these criminals' drug use. I couldn't live with myself if a patient was harmed or died under the care of one of these drug users.
  7. by   traumaRUs
    I guess my first thought is: why did YOU stay??
  8. by   DeepFriedRN
    I would bet that she didn't lose her license because she technically hadn't been "caught", i.e., yes she tested positive for drugs, but she wasn't on duty, she was a private pt at a hospital that she didn't work at. For someone from that hospital to take her test results from there and use them to turn her in would probably be a hippa(sp? can never remember) violation, don't you think? In that case she could probably sue their behinds. Had one of our dietary personnel code on our floor once (symptomatic VT), we stabilized her and sent her to ER, they screened her and she was positive for coke. Nothing happened to her, she was back at work the next week. I imagine the same thing must apply?!? Or maybe she was sent to treatment, I don't know. But its not like the PTB didn't know, cuz EVERYBODY knew.
  9. by   JoeyDog
    This situation is why I am FOR mandatory drug screening for all medical staff. If they were housekeepers or something like that, it would be very unlikely that they would kill someone the next day at work. Oh you have no idea how much this infuriates (sp) me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  10. by   RobCPhT
    I am dumfounded about all of this. For me it's not really a choice if I can do illicit drugs or not. If I do I loose a great career. What is wrong with these people? When I started college I remember this one party where there was a Nurse a pharmacist and a few med students who were smoking weed and had amphetimines they were doing. I was kind of pissed, but this was no where near what you have experienced. Take the advice and stay away from these people. I mean also not to be a whistle blower, but some states require you to report this information. It's kind of a double edged sword.
  11. by   Multicollinearity
    What shocked me about this story is the group of so-called healthcare professionals doing drugs together. We all know that a some nurses or other healthcare professionals have substance abuse problems, just like the general population. I guess I just thought they would attempt to HIDE the drug use from anyone in the profession and do drugs elsewhere. But a whole group of 'professionals' from the same hospital, including the charge nurse?! That just astonishes me. I have to admit that a documentary popped into my mind where I saw a story of serial killers who found each other and 'hooked up'. I'm not saying these drug abusers are serial killers. But it's just so bizarre to me that there's so many at the same hospital and so hazardous about it. And they invited the OP. It's almost like they aren't worried about getting caught. Bizarre and so terrifying.
  12. by   snowfreeze
    Sounds like a student paper made up story looking for responses to me. But yes I have worked in a few units that did have a high number of pot users on a casual basis. I have never found a whole unit of workers at the same shooting gallery.
  13. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from multicollinarity
    What shocked me about this story is the group of so-called healthcare professionals doing drugs together. We all know that a some nurses or other healthcare professionals have substance abuse problems, just like the general population. I guess I just thought they would attempt to HIDE the drug use from anyone in the profession and do drugs elsewhere. But a whole group of 'professionals' from the same hospital, including the charge nurse?! That just astonishes me. I have to admit that a documentary popped into my mind where I saw a story of serial killers who found each other and 'hooked up'. I'm not saying these drug abusers are serial killers. But it's just so bizarre to me that there's so many at the same hospital and so hazardous about it. And they invited the OP. It's almost like they aren't worried about getting caught. Bizarre and so terrifying.
    i'm thinking they're not worried about being caught, is r/t grossly impaired judgment.
    i honestly don't know what i would do, if i were in the op's shoes.
    if i left the party, i don't know what that would have accomplished except to look the other way.
    i honestly don't care what one does on their own personal time.
    but when they are going to work within hrs of partying, then it's worrisome.
    if it were me, i would probably write an anonymous letter to the dept of public health (the governing agcy for all these people, i believe) and report what i witnessed w/o being too specific.
    and cc this anonymous letter to one of the bigwigs of the hospital.
    just try and think this through: do not respond emotionally.
    i'm sure this goes on more frequently than we think.

    best of luck in implanting the seeds of suspicion to the appropriate person(s).

    leslie
  14. by   Little Panda RN
    WOW, strange thread! There sure have been quite a few lately. Never seen or heard of a group of very well educated people act this way. But, I guess stranger things have happened .

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