Pot Smoking and Nursing - page 10

Im angry. I work for a small clinic in Northern CA. There are three RN's on staff at all time. Recently our Office Manager decided to start drug testing of all staff including Doctors. Well, one... Read More

  1. by   micro
    I came back to reread your thoughts and ???????

    Medical Use Marijuana..........
    I honestly have only been involved with a situation once and way too early on in my nursing and to peripherally to make sense of it let alone remember today.........so experience I cannot talk about from nursing point of view......
    No, can't talk about it from a patient's point of view either.......except to say there is much misinformation out there and it seems to come from the "professionals" as well as the lay population..............

    I think there are big money and politics at play truthfully related to why marijuana is not more widely researched and utilized for various diagnosis that condition warrants.............but that is just micro's humble opinion.

    good thoughts and questions Jayborn.........

  2. by   thisnurse
    now what is wrong with jerking off in the bathroom?
  3. by   mcl4
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Jay Levan
    [B]mcl4, First, let me say that if you believe that you or any other parent can watch their children 24/7 I believe you have missed the train

    What a ridiculous response. Nothing was ever written in my orginal post to suggest this.
  4. by   hapeewendy
    this nurse, nothing wrong with it, but I think more fun would be had in a more spacious location such as the bedroom :P

    suzy k - ur response reminded me of a nurse i worked with who took tylenol #3's from our stock when I worked in the community, would anyone want her as their nurse when she was strung out on em?
    we see eye to eye on this topic

    I dont see where any of us hate eachother so I dont know where you got that one from Sandy
    sure things get ahem heated at times but really
    were a nice bunch (evil grin)

    and micro, once again, I agree with much of what you say , I know shocking innit?
  5. by   mcl4
    [Second, Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that alcohol is "Illegal for anyone under the age of 21yrs of age Can you estimate how many teens in this country are partaking of alcoholic beverages? Third, I am concerned for all children, not just my own, and certainly would not recommend any substance to any Child, however when they become "Old enough to Die for their Country" I believe they also should be granted the right to choose their own form of relaxation, meditation, and yes even which drug they wish to choose. Are you aware that anyone can now walk into any E.R. and claim Pain at a "10" level and get anything they want, Morphine, Demerol, Dilaudid, if they play a little game called "This medicine is not Helping I need something Stronger." Until the M.D. gives them what they want!??? OSHA says "Only patient can evaluate his/her pain Is that OK? [/B][/QUOTE]

    I do see the concern with alcohol usage with teens, but law currently prohibit usage of drugs for age groups over twenty one and there is objective criteria on when a person is no longer legally drinking. I wonder how you would explain to your teens that drugs are to be avoided when you chose to use at sixteen and I question why a person needs to use drugs in order to relax?
    People who go to an ER seeking out narcotics is another topic.
  6. by   mcl4
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Susy K

    After reading all the posts on the subject, Wendy, yours made the most sense to me. I fully agree. Just because alcohol is legal and accepted in our society does not make it any less a toxin than pot.

    In reality, society has chosen to continue to make pot illegal. Until laws change, which any of us can seek out legislators or engage in the legislation process to attempt to change a law, it is a clear area that we face criminal consequences if we chose to smoke pot or drink above legal limits. Being convicted of illegal usage of drugs could endanger your future in nursing and all the discussion about whether or not your employer has a right to say what you do on your own time is irrevelant. Who cares what we think we should be able to do on our own time since most health institutions have the option to fire you if you are unable to pass a random drug test. The employers holds all the cards in these situations.
  7. by   Q.

    I'm sure most of us would agree that if a nurse is found to be positive on a drug screen that she/he should be fired. I don't think that is the argument here. The argument is whether or not it is ANYONE's business is a nurse smokes pot on her own time, or drinks to excess on her own time.
    Just as if a nurse reported to work drunk. It is the same scenario.

    The argument is about whether we should be judging a nurse based on her lifestyle.

    And there is nothing wrong with jerking off in the bathroom, except while it's done at work, or done while looking at kiddy porn at work, or porn period at work. And some religions think jerking off is a sin. So my point is, there is more to be debated than pot smoking. So, like Wendy said, those of you who are quick to judge, take a look at your own lifestyle because I guarantee you we could pick you apart and find you just as filthy.
  8. by   roud123
    Hi there,
    Just wanted to point out an unsettling observation that I've made at my school (I'm currently in an LVN program) and that is that 75% of my classmates use Marijuana on a regular basis and are completely upfront about it. However, approx. 50% of those who use have subsequently dropped out in the first term

    things that kinda make you go HMMM!
  9. by   jstinerich
    Workplace Drug Testing
    Legislative Briefing Kit on Drug Testing

    (Access this report for detailed discussion of the issue.)

    Today, in some industries, taking a drug test is as routine as filling out a job application.

    In fact, workplace drug testing is up 277 percent from 1987 - despite the fact that random drug testing is unfair, often inaccurate and unproven as a means of stopping drug use.

    But because there are few laws protecting our privacy in the workplace, millions of American workers are tested yearly - even though they aren't suspected of drug use.

    Employers have the right to expect workers not to be high or drunk on the job. But they shouldn't have the right to require employees to prove their innocence by taking a drug test.

    That's not how America should work.

    However routine drug tests have become, they're still intrusive. Often, another person is there to observe the employee to ensure there is no specimen tampering. Even indirect observation can be degrading; typically, workers must remove their outer garments and urinate in a bathroom in which the water supply has been turned off.

    The lab procedure is a second invasion of privacy. Urinalysis reveals not only the presence of illegal drugs, but also the existence of many other physical and medical conditions, including genetic predisposition to disease - or pregnancy. In 1988, the Washington, D.C. Police Department admitted it used urine samples collected for drug tests to screen female employees for pregnancy - without their knowledge or consent.

    Furthermore, human error in the lab, or the test's failure to distinguish between legal and illegal substances, can make even a small margin of error add up to a huge potential for false positive results. In 1992, an estimated 22 million tests were adminstered. If five percent yielded false positive results (a conservative estimate of false positive rates) that means 1.1 million people who could have been fired, or denied jobs - because of a mistake.

    "I waited for the attendant to turn her back before pulling down my pants, but she told me she had to watch everything I did. I am a 40-year-old mother of three: nothing I have ever done in my life equals or deserves the humiliation, degradation and mortification I felt."
    -- From a letter to the ACLU describing a workplace drug test.

    Claims of billions of dollars lost in employee productivity are based on guesswork, not real evidence.

    Drug abuse in the workplace affects a relatively small percentage of workers. A 1994 National Academy of Sciences report found workplace drug use "ranges from a modest to a moderate extent," and noted that much of reported drug use "may be single incident, perhaps even at events like office parties."

    Furthermore, drug tests are not work-related because they do not measure on-the-job impairment. A positive drug test only reveals that a drug was ingested at some time in the past. Nor do they distinguish between occasional and habitual use.

    Drug testing is designed to detect and punish conduct that is usually engaged in off-duty and off the employer's premises - that is, in private. Employers who conduct random drug tests on workers who are not suspected of using drugs are policing private behavior that has no impact on job performance.

    Sometimes drug tests fail to distinguish between legal and illegal substances. Depronil, a prescription drug used to treat Parkinson's disease, has shown up as an amphetamine on standard drug tests. Over-the-counter antiinflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen have shown up positive on the marijuana test. Even the poppy seeds found in baked goods can produce a positive result for heroin.

    Alertness and sobriety are, of course, imperative for certain occupations, such as train engineers, airline pilots, truck drivers and others. Yet even in these jobs, random drug testing does not guarantee safety. Firstly, drug-related employee impairment in safety-sensitive jobs is rare. There has never been a commercial airline accident linked to pilot drug use. And even after a 1994 Amtrak accident in which several lives were lost, investigators discovered the train engineer had a well known history of alcohol, not drug, abuse.

    Computer-assisted performance tests, which measure hand-eye coordination and response time, are a better way of detecting whether employees are up to the job. NASA, for example, has long used task-performance tests to determine whether astronauts and pilots are unfit for work - whether the cause is substance abuse, fatigue, or physical illness.

    Drug tests don't prevent accidents because they don't address the root problems that lead to substance abuse. But good management and counseling can. Employee assistance programs (EAPs) help people facing emotional, health, financial or substance abuse problems that can affect job performance. EAP counselors decide what type of help is needed: staff support, inpatient treatment, AA meetings, and the like. In this context, the goal is rehabilitation and wellness - not punishment.

    Employers need to kick the drug test habit.


    SOURCES: American Management Association survey, "Workplace Drug Testing and Drug Abuse Policies"; R. DeCresce, Drug Testing in the Workplace (BNA, 1989); Under the Influence? Drugs and the American Workforce, National Academy of Sciences, 1994; J.P. Morgan, "The 'Scientific' Justification for Urine Drug Testing," University of Kansas L.R., 1988.


    Privacy - the right to be left alone - is one of our most cherished rights. Yet because so few laws protect our privacy, the ACLU's campaign for privacy in the workplace is very important - particularly in the private sector.

    The ACLU is working in the states to help enact legislation to protect workplace privacy rights. We have created a model statute regulating workplace drug testing. In 1996 the ACLU launched a public education campaign to help individuals across the nation become aware of the need for increased workplace privacy rights. Our educational videotape Through the Keyhole: Privacy in the Workplace - An Endangered Right was featured on national television and at union meetings and other gatherings nationwide.

    Much more work remains to be done. As of mid 1997, only a handful of states ban testing that is not based on individual suspicion: Montana, Iowa, Vermont, and Rhode Island. Minnesota, Maine and Connecticut permit not-for-cause testing, but only of employees in safety-sensitive positions. These laws also require confirmation testing, lab certification and test result confidentiality.

    Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Oregon and Utah regulate drug testing in some fashion; Florida and Kansas protect government employee rights, but not those of private sector workers. Only in California, Massachusetts and New Jersey have the highest courts ruled out some forms of drug testing on state constitutional or statutory grounds. The ACLU is now continuing our efforts to protect workplace privacy rights. You can help.

    1) Learn more about the issue. Order a copy of our video Through the Keyhole: Privacy in the Workplace - An Endangered Right and share it with family, friends, and co-workers ($7 plus shipping, call 800-775-ACLU to order.) Feel free to duplicate the tape at will.

    2) Get a copy of our 1996 report, Surveillance Incorporated., which documents the increase in various forms of employer surveillance and breaks down privacy laws state by state. This free report is available through our website or our 800-number.

    3) Write your elected officials urging them to support workplace privacy legislation. For tips on writing your elected officials as well as sample letters, visit the "In Congress" section of our website under "tips" or send a request entitled "tips request" to KearneyCLU@aol.com or fax (202) 546-1440.

    4) Want to do more? Contact the ACLU's Campaign for Fairness in the Workplace to find out how you can personally help to get legislation passed. Write ACLU Campaign for Fairness in the Workplace, 166 Wall Street, Princeton, NJ 08540, fax (609) 683-1787 or e-mail Rebloclu@aol.com.

    Become a member of the ACLU and help support our efforts to protect the right to privacy. Write us at ACLU-Membership Department, 125 Broad Street, New York, NY 10004


    This document is also available as a .pdf file, which is designed to be printed and folded into a one-page c-fold brochure. For more details on how you can use this flyer, read about our Take Back Your Data Campaign. You can also Download the Free Adobe Acrobat Reader (and find out more about .pdf files).

    Acrobat and the Acrobat logo are trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated

    Copyright 1997, The American Civil Liberties Union
  10. by   LasVegasRN
    Originally posted by thisnurse
    yeah micro so there

    i think nurses are getting out of hand. everything we do impacts our patients. even the way we wipe after going to the bathroom. im all for cameras in every nurses bathroom not only for the wipe check, but the thorough hand washing technique.
    we need to keep an eye on each other too. we have that obligation to our patients. next time im at the grocery store and i see a nurse with ding dongs or ho hos im going to make her put them back. i owe it to my patients and she owes it to hers.
    we need to start living an example. i wouldnt want any fat nurse taking care of me. it would take her extra time to get to me if i coded.
    i believe nurses should have to live in group homes, like convents.
    that way we can watch each other and our employers can keep tabs on us on duty and off. in addition we should be required to wear our uniforms on duty and off. we need to remember who we are and what we do. we need to remind everyone else as well.
    nurses shouldnt be allowed to have spouses or kids either. it takes away time that we need to continue our education and devote ourselves wholly to our patients.
    we should have to keep a mandated log that we have to compare with our nurse practice act. this will help us ensure we are living accordingly.
    micro you need to be ashamed of your dust bunnies. you might carry a fiber to work with you one day that could get caught in one of your patients bronchioles and cause respiratory arrest.
    we are after all not a part of the general population, we are much better than that. we answer to a higher calling and we need to live good clean healthy lifestyles.
    herees some ideas for you...this is what i do....

    on my mirror i have a note that says....WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR YOUR PATIENTS TODAY?
    i was going to have that tattooed on my arm but realized tattoos are against hospital policy ....self mutilation....

    on my bathroom mirror, right accross from the toilet i have our nurse practice act. i am in the process of memorizing it word for word. that way not only will i be in check, but i can watch all my coworkers too and let them know when they are out of line.

    these two little tricks help get me thru my days on duty and off.
    nursing isnt just a profession, like i used to think, its a whole lifestyle.
    maybe if we all can get our acts together we will get a raise and someday make 17 bucks an hour.
    in the meantime, lets keep watching each other and policing each other. it keeps our minds off silly things like nurse/patient ratios, understaffing, long hours, and other so called safety issues that supposedly comprimise care.
    and for goodness sake, LEARN THAT PRACTICE ACT!
    you have a duty to your patients, yuourselves and your coworkers.

    This was absolutely wonderful. :chuckle
  11. by   wrightgd
    WOW... what a topic, and what a variety of thoughts on pot and ETOH...

    Here's one more thought... Personally I find myself as a person who needs to be in control. Not of people, or situations, but of myself, my words, and my actions. To use or abuse these substances which could alter my ability to maintain that control does not apeal to me. This has nothing to do with whose time I'm on, or any privacy issues... this is anywhere and anytime!!

    I personally find it very offensive when others lose that self control as well. It comes across as juvenile and lacking intelligence. I don't care if you're a rocket scientist, if you lose the ability to control yourself, either physically, mentally, or emotionally, because of a desire to "get high", then you lose mega IQ points in my book!

  12. by   CATHYW
    your post, while done throughly tongue in cheek, basically tells the long history of nursing. early nurses did live together, and had to dress "modestly and appropriately" when not on duty. men were not a part of their lives except as family, and patients. "virgin" nurses were not supposed to provide care for men when they might be exposed to genitals. that was for old maids and widows. the foods they ate, their housekeeping, what they could do for recreation, etc., etc., was mandated and monitored by their employer, or educational institution. it was, indeed, a lifestyle. unfortunately, many nurses today see it as similar to working in a bank or something, minus bank hours, of course! when you leave the hospital, you do not leave your profession. when you remove your uniform/scrubs, you are still a nurse. if a friend, neighbor, or stranger were to be in need of your care and help, would you deny them, because you weren't in uniform at your worksite? of course not. that is what makes drs. and nurses unique above all but a few other professions. a bank teller would not need to be of emergency assistance when she was off duty. hr managers do their managing at their place of employment. there really isn't much call for an emergency interview for an hr manager to do, is there? that is the difference between medicine/nursing and other occupations. it really is a lifestyle.
  13. by   LasVegasRN
    CathyWilson, good point and well taken. Professionals (that's why they call us professionals) are held to a higher standard.

    I will say this: I would much rather have a nurse who smoked pot 2 months ago during her vacation take care of me than some of the extremely judgemental people in this thread.

    Coming from a nursing school in the bible belt taught me that the most pious, judgemental, closed-minded people are NOT ideal caregivers. It also taught me that people can have their beliefs and still be kind and caring WITHOUT passing judgement on others.

    So, posters.... which one are you?
    Last edit by LasVegasRN on Apr 23, '02