really disappointed after my trip to the BON - page 5

We had our nursing school's "field trip" to the BON this week. I have to say it was so disappointing. I went in with the idea in my head that it would be fair and professional, but in fact it just... Read More

  1. by   jginnetti
    My experience with the BON is that they can be extremely arbitrary and very mean-spirited. I recently had my license revoked because I missed 2 urine screens although I provided legitimate reasons for having done so. A friend of mine who is a nurse anesthetist was caught shooting up Fentanyl in the OR during a procedure. He was already on probation, and his punishment? A 3 month suspension. That's how things are done in Connecticut. I wouldn't adivse practicing here.
  2. by   Magsulfate
    Quote from jginnetti
    My experience with the BON is that they can be extremely arbitrary and very mean-spirited. I recently had my license revoked because I missed 2 urine screens although I provided legitimate reasons for having done so. A friend of mine who is a nurse anesthetist was caught shooting up Fentanyl in the OR during a procedure. He was already on probation, and his punishment? A 3 month suspension. That's how things are done in Connecticut. I wouldn't adivse practicing here.

    When in these programs... I compare missing a u/a to getting pregnant... sure it might accidently happen the first time. But the second time,, there is no excuse. The priority of your day, of your LIFE, is to get in there and take those tests. That's probably what the board is also thinking and the reason for your punishment.
  3. by   jginnetti
    The first screen I missed was during my father's funeral. The second one was when the monitor called me at home (I was working 3-11) at 3 and left me a message to come in that day. I didn't get the message until midnight. The lab closed at 5. I have done urine screens for 10 years and have never had a positive one nor missed one prior to those occasions. People do accidentally get pregnant more than once. The point I was trying to make was of the arbitrary nature of how punishment is doled out. My friend the CRNA was caught in the act. I haven't gone near drugs or alcohol for over 20 years. It's true that nurses really do eat their young.
  4. by   Magsulfate
    Quote from jginnetti
    The first screen I missed was during my father's funeral. The second one was when the monitor called me at home (I was working 3-11) at 3 and left me a message to come in that day. I didn't get the message until midnight. The lab closed at 5. I have done urine screens for 10 years and have never had a positive one nor missed one prior to those occasions. People do accidentally get pregnant more than once. The point I was trying to make was of the arbitrary nature of how punishment is doled out. My friend the CRNA was caught in the act. I haven't gone near drugs or alcohol for over 20 years. It's true that nurses really do eat their young.

    These are considered positive for a reason. There are strict rules with these programs, and since you've been involved for ten years you should know this. If you missed two screens they've got to result in positive, or else everyone who gets drunk/high will just miss their u/a and make up a story to get out of it. Right?

    I have been involved in one way or another with peer assitance programs for several years now. First as a participant, then on the other side as an advocate. As a participant, I would have agreed with you and wished that maybe they'd give you another chance before they discipline you. But as an advocate, and seeing the other side and many many excuses later, I have to agree that something had to be done. How many missed u/a's do you think is okay? Do you think since you had good reasons that they should have kept giving you more chances? It just doesn't work that way, and I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but it is true. No one made you enter into the peer assistance program, you did it voluntarily to keep your license. It is a priveledge to be able to keep your license while recovering.
  5. by   jginnetti
    I understand what you're saying but you're missing the point I'm trying to make. How do you explain the drastic differences in the "remedies" between myself and the CRNA? The reason I have been doing screens is that I had an issue with drugs in the late 1980's. I've been clean and sober since 1989. My license was revoked in 1999 when the BON decided I hadn't provided CPR to a patient in a drug rehab program who died of a heroin overdose. I had provided CPR even though it was clear that this unfortunate young man had been dead for hours. In a malpractice trial following the revocation of my license (where the standards of evidence are much, much stronger), all the charges against me were dismissed after an expert witness (toxicologist) testified that the patient had been dead for 4-6 hours before I was summoned by the rehab counselor. Another expert witness, a Yale psychiatrist, testified that not only had I met the standard of care, I had exceeded it. Did I get an apology from the BON? No. Did my license get reinstated? No. People on the BON are human. They, like the rest of us, make mistakes. Sometimes they make good decisions. Sometimes they make very wrongheaded, arbitrary decisions. Would you want your anesthetist to be fresh off a 3 month suspension after being caught shooting up in the OR while he's on a case? I hope I've made my point.
  6. by   DolceVita
    I have to agree with Magsulfate. Also, I presume if they didn't report positive for missed screenings they endanger the peer assistance program if something "goes wrong" with a participant?

    This way everyone is treated equally...I hope.
  7. by   DolceVita
    Quote from jginnetti
    I understand what you're saying but you're missing the point I'm trying to make. How do you explain the drastic differences in the "remedies" between myself and the CRNA? The reason I have been doing screens is that I had an issue with drugs in the late 1980's. I've been clean and sober since 1989. My license was revoked in 1999 when the BON decided I hadn't provided CPR to a patient in a drug rehab program who died of a heroin overdose. I had provided CPR even though it was clear that this unfortunate young man had been dead for hours. In a malpractice trial following the revocation of my license (where the standards of evidence are much, much stronger), all the charges against me were dismissed after an expert witness (toxicologist) testified that the patient had been dead for 4-6 hours before I was summoned by the rehab counselor. Another expert witness, a Yale psychiatrist, testified that not only had I met the standard of care, I had exceeded it. Did I get an apology from the BON? No. Did my license get reinstated? No. People on the BON are human. They, like the rest of us, make mistakes. Sometimes they make good decisions. Sometimes they make very wrongheaded, arbitrary decisions. Would you want your anesthetist to be fresh off a 3 month suspension after being caught shooting up in the OR while he's on a case? I hope I've made my point.
    OK I get your point...sorry I misread.
  8. by   BabyLady
    Quote from EmsMom1
    We had our nursing school's "field trip" to the BON this week. I have to say it was so disappointing. I went in with the idea in my head that it would be fair and professional, but in fact it just seemed like the board was very biased against anyone with legal representation, and like their rulings were very arbitrary.

    The first case we heard was a new RN who had recieved a DUI 2yrs prior to starting nursing school. It was a misdemeanor and she had fully completed her sentence before nursing school. The BON put her on 6mo of drug/ETOH testing when she earned her license. So she had to call daily to find out if it were her day to test. Each of the first 4mo she was in full compliance and had two drug tests each month, all negative. On the fifth month she tested twice, the last time on a Friday. It was the last week of the month. Over that weekend she moved, she was 8mo pg, and that Mon. she forgot to place her call into the testing system. As soon as she realized (with a couple minutes of it shutting down) she called those she was working with at the BON, but it was too late. She was given a "positive" drug test even though her number didn't necessarily come up. Her argument was that she was under the impression that she had to take two per month, and that she just completely forgot but thought she was fine since she'd already done two clean tests that month.
    The BON suspended her license for 3mo, gave her a $1000 fine, and reinstituted 6mo of drug/ETOH testing.

    The next case was an LPN who worked at a hospital and told the RN that pt x needed his demerol from the pyxis and the RN retrieved it for her. The following day the same thing happened except shortly afterward the LPN started acting intoxicated, making odd statements, and threw up. She tested pos. for demerol. Turns out there was no order for demerol at all.
    The BON did not suspend her license, didn't fine her, nothing. She got put into PEER assistance. That's it.

    To me it was just shocking that a nurse could lie to the RN to get the drugs, and take them ON HER SHIFT, clearly putting pts in real harms way and she just got put into PEER, and this other nurse has not had a single instance r/t drug/ETOH use/abuse as a nurse, or even in the couple years leading up to her licensure and she actually got a suspension with a big fine.

    Do you think it was because she was an RN and the second was an LPN? It just seemed like the rulings were completely arbitrary and so unequal I was honestly really disappointed because I expected the board to be tough, and after the first case I thought "wow, they really are tough" but I expected them to be tough on everybody. It seemed like if you tried to make a case, your penalty was very harsh, but if you just worked out a deal, you got off easier. Some people seemed to get off with a slap on the wrist, and others more harsh, but they were all lighter than the cases that were fought by the nurses. But what if you actually feel the charges by the BON are unfounded? You just take a deal anyway?
    I don't see it as being tough, I see it as being morally and ethically unfair.

    I read the list of disciplinary actions in our state last night when I had insomia.

    Case after case of people on drugs, diverting meds, ALL allowed to keep their license and keep working. Some of them had been before the BON more than once...yet, given chance after chance.

    Then there was one RN...She had been licensed for 14 years and was a nurse manager at her hospital. She went out of town on vacation and got a DUI and didn't report it.

    It wasn't until she renewed her license, several years after the DUI, that they even "caught" it. When asked on the application if she had a DUI since her last renewal, yup....she messed up...she put "no" on the application for renewal.

    Granted, she shouldn't have done that. But by golly everyone that has had a DUI in their lifetime doesn't have a major drinking problem or is an alcoholic. Sometimes (not always, but sometimes)...it's just a matter of making the mistake of driving...thinking you were ok...and to find out when the police pulls you over, that you are not.

    Did they give her a warning? Nope.

    Did they let her do counseling? Nope.

    Did they suspend her license temporarily? Nope.

    They just flat out revoked it.

    No more practicing nursing for her....they have an abuse registry in my state...these are people that have ABUSED patients that are STILL working.

    My question to the board would be: Who would YOU rather have working on you?

    Someone with multiple infractions of abuse and drugs, or someone who made a serious error in judgment, ONE time...and it didn't even have anything to do with a patient or their place of employment.

    The obvious answer is neither...but seriously.

    I don't see how the BON justifies what it does.

    Also, if you do a research of court cases that involve your state's BON...you'll find out that very often, when they are challenged in court for pulling licenses....the court doesn't side with them unless there is the same level of proof as you would need in any other court case...not the "he said/she said" crap that is causing some nurses to lose their licenses.
  9. by   DolceVita
    Question: Would I ever know if a colleague was being monitored in this way? I mean without looking at the BON minutes?

    This information doesn't seem terribly private.
  10. by   BabyLady
    Quote from oregonchinamom
    when my 2 now 10 year old daughters were very small, i looked around at the young adults our society seems to be producing and didn't want that for my kids. i decided on 3 lessons that they needed to really internalize to become self-sufficient adults. here they are:

    1. live is not always fair: deal with it an move on
    2. work for what you want because no one is going to give it to you
    3. actions have consequences: your actions or inactions determine the course of your life.

    i think that this falls under both 1 and 3. was the bon unfair? maybe. deal with it and move on. did the nurse’s actions and inactions lead to consequences? yep. no matter what the lpn did or did not do is irrelevant. the rn got a dui and then did not comply with the bon. extenuating circumstances aside, her action and inaction led to her problems.

    does anyone remember personal responsibility? i don't know about you guys, but i miss it!
    however, if we practiced nursing care without any consideration for the individual circumstances of the individual...healthcare as we know it would go to hell in a handbasket.

    so why is it, that the bon encourages us to do this with the patient and the public, but won't do it with it's own professionals.

    don't anyone scream at my for saying this, but i have a feeling i know why:

    it's mostly run by women.

    women, by nature, hold grudges, have huge ego's, and think very little of seeing someone suffer if they personally don't care for them.

    you get a group of them to run an organization and you'll see red tape and no consideration for the individual like you've never seen it before.

    they probably look at each one of these cases and think: well, i never would have done ________________________, therefore, no one else in the planet should have either.

    that is literally, how most women think.

    the american medical association...pharmacy boards...crna's, etc.

    mostly run by men.

    men, don't hold grudges. they have an amazing ability to cast emotions aside and look at the facts...that is why most judges and attorney's are men.




    that folks...is why.

    we are shooting our own profession...in the foot.
  11. by   morte
    Quote from BabyLady
    I don't see it as being tough, I see it as being morally and ethically unfair.

    I read the list of disciplinary actions in our state last night when I had insomia.

    Case after case of people on drugs, diverting meds, ALL allowed to keep their license and keep working. Some of them had been before the BON more than once...yet, given chance after chance.

    Then there was one RN...She had been licensed for 14 years and was a nurse manager at her hospital. She went out of town on vacation and got a DUI and didn't report it.

    It wasn't until she renewed her license, several years after the DUI, that they even "caught" it. When asked on the application if she had a DUI since her last renewal, yup....she messed up...she put "no" on the application for renewal.

    Granted, she shouldn't have done that. But by golly everyone that has had a DUI in their lifetime doesn't have a major drinking problem or is an alcoholic. Sometimes (not always, but sometimes)...it's just a matter of making the mistake of driving...thinking you were ok...and to find out when the police pulls you over, that you are not.

    Did they give her a warning? Nope.

    Did they let her do counseling? Nope.

    Did they suspend her license temporarily? Nope.

    They just flat out revoked it.

    No more practicing nursing for her....they have an abuse registry in my state...these are people that have ABUSED patients that are STILL working.

    My question to the board would be: Who would YOU rather have working on you?

    Someone with multiple infractions of abuse and drugs, or someone who made a serious error in judgment, ONE time...and it didn't even have anything to do with a patient or their place of employment.

    The obvious answer is neither...but seriously.

    I don't see how the BON justifies what it does.

    Also, if you do a research of court cases that involve your state's BON...you'll find out that very often, when they are challenged in court for pulling licenses....the court doesn't side with them unless there is the same level of proof as you would need in any other court case...not the "he said/she said" crap that is causing some nurses to lose their licenses.
    good to know, of course there is a financial cost to that,,,,but ...maybe if it happened a few times the BON would clean up its act alittle....i dont imagine they like being second guessed and embarassed that way
  12. by   jginnetti
    thank you for this breath of fresh air and clear thinking. Most nurses are just too "obedient" (having been taught that in school) to think originally and critically about these issues.
  13. by   DolceVita
    BabyLady I wish I could say I disagree about some groups of women, but what you say can all to often be true.

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