This is "how" Nurses divert drugs for their own use. - page 4

This is the "how" Nurses divert drugs for their own use. The extent to which this goes on depends on availability. In the hospital setting, Nurses who are in advanced stages of addiction pick ... Read More

  1. by   caliotter3
    As for testing, random or otherwise, I do not trust the process. It was widely known while I was in the military, that when they started testing for HIV (along with their "random" drug testing) that the testing process was as F****d up as possible. They would label the samples with the wrong soldier's identifying data! So should I believe that the civilian process can not also be tainted or incompetent?
  2. by   bagladyrn
    I think one of the biggest problems in dealing with drug addicted/diverting nurses is administration's refusal to acknowlege it even whe presented with written complaints and observations from multiple coworkers. I've been in this situation, and when I persisted in my concerns was threatened with being written up as insubordinate when I refused to hold narcotics keys to a cabinet this nurse had equal access to. Signs were classic and unmistakeable, in both the employee and in patient's who were being deprived of their supposedly given narcotic, both subjectively and objectively. After going all the way up the nursing chain of command with no result, other than threats, it became necessary to take it outside the nursing chain to the medical ladder and that provider had to go all the way to the top administrator with paperwork for a report to the BON before action was taken.
    Sadly, the individual was "encouraged" to simply quit, not offered any diversion program and lost her license permanently at her next job for narcotics diversion. Who knows if a last chance may have been missed?
  3. by   2121xxx
    i realize this thread ended about 6 years ago, but at the same time it is a timeless thread on a timeless subject, which is finding ways to alter one's consciousness (whether it be by riding a roller coaster, or vegging out in front of a movie, or by doing drugs).

    here are some of my observations, in no particular order:

    1) random tests might involve nurse managers or administrators who might, themselves, be using. They may not be diverting, but they may be using. Consequently, they are not very interested random drug testing, which may call attention to their own using. I have seen this for myself. It's like the situation in countries where law enforcement officers are corrupt - once the higher-ups are involved, it's very hard to root out corruption.

    2) it can be a very difficult and lonely chore to take on drug diversion. criticism and judgments will come aplenty, often from users who disguise their defensive tactics as "high road" arguments. One such argument is saying "now that they are randomly drug testing, what's next? DNA scans?" A lot of this comes down to laziness on the part of the higher-ups. thye are pulling a good check - why rock the boat?

    3) Certainly, random testing for pot across all levels all the way to the top would potentially show using on all levels. Even if the testing was confined to just the nursing staff, what administrator will want to lose a lot of good nurses because of having tested positive for pot? I have seen this happen. New owners came into a facility where I was working. They wanted to do drug testing. They were made to understand that if they drug tested, they'd lose a large percentage of their staff. They backed off.

    One nurse who used was talked with by the administrator. the nurse said, "Go ahead and test me, but I will then show you prescriptions for everything I am positive for." (Incidentally, the place she worked for had little opportunity for diversion.)

    So, if one is an administrator thinking of testing the nurses, one will have to contend with the fact that the testing will not root out all of the users, and will likely chase away some of the best personnel.

    This concept is not often spoken about: The best personnel can be drug users.

    4) Is there not a simple chemical test that can be randomly performed on liquid controlled substances to determine if these substances have been watered down? Like, take one drop, put it on a test strip and read the results? I would think that if the pharmacist announced that drugs were being watered down, and that there would be greatly increased scrutiny of the the drug movement int he med carts, that would certainly scare away a healthy percentage of the diverters. Certainly, liquid meds can be analyzed for purity. Maybe it is very expensive to do so. if expensive, then certainly having it be known that infrequent but certain tests will be performed randomly on the liquid drug stock could have a deterrent effect to a significant extent.

    Countermeasures to drug diversion is a percentage game. a countermeasure is effective if it cuts down a few percentage points form drug diversion activity. Some will say that such-and-such a countermeasure "isn't going to work, If someone wants to divert badly enough, they find a way around it." True, but partially effective countermeasures separate the men from the boys, or the women from the girls. It shakes out the one's who aren't as motivated to use.
    Last edit by 2121xxx on Jan 21, '09