H&P/Drug Screen B4 Starting School

  1. I'll be starting school in the Fall of 2007 and we have to have an H&P, drug screen, titers, and Hep B vaccinations prior to starting. I have ADD and take Ritalin...you KNOW that's going to trigger a positive drug test! What's the procedure if you have a positive drug screen? Are they even going to let me start school???
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    About NBMom1225

    Joined: May '07; Posts: 253; Likes: 173
    RN; from US
    Specialty: Surgical/MedSurg/Oncology/Hospice

    15 Comments

  3. by   oMerMero
    If you have a valid perscription for a medication, the school can not count that against you. Most likely the required physical exam is to clear you for the lifting requirement of the nursing world. Titers and the hep B vaccine are for your protection. The school is not trying to weed people out, they are making sure you are ok to practice nursing.
  4. by   naturalcuriosity
    Usually the place that did the drug screen will call and tell you that you tested positive for something and then ask you the pharmacy information so that they can call and verify. If the pharmacy verifies, then it is usually not even reported to the school as a positive. I know this because it happened to me right before I started nursing school last year.
  5. by   TazziRN
    You should be asked to list all medications taken right before you give the sample. List everything, including OTC meds that you've taken within the previous week. You'll be fine. It's when you don't list it and it's found that it's a problem.
  6. by   NBMom1225
    What a relief! I was starting to wonder if I was going to have to stop taking the meds!:uhoh21: I'd definitely bomb nursing school if that happened. Thanks for the input!
  7. by   TazziRN
    You can't take narcotics while you're working, but you can take them off duty if they're prescribed to you. Maintenance meds like Ritalin are not a problem as long as you have a script.
  8. by   naturalcuriosity
    Quote from TazziRN
    You should be asked to list all medications taken right before you give the sample. List everything, including OTC meds that you've taken within the previous week. You'll be fine. It's when you don't list it and it's found that it's a problem.
    They didn't ask me to list anything when I went. It was pretty much "pee in a cup and sign this form. Thanks." Maybe not even the thanks. haha.
  9. by   Megsd
    And do not, I repeat do not, take anyone ELSE's medication, especially before a drug screen. When you do have a positive screen, they want to see that it is prescribed in YOUR name. At a job one time my employer told me of a girl who sprained her ankle the day before her drug screen and because it was a Sunday, her dad or husband (with chronic pain) gave her a pill. The pill showed up on the drug screen and she could not verify it was hers, so she lost the job.
  10. by   NBMom1225
    You can't take narcotics while you're working, but you can take them off duty if they're prescribed to you. Maintenance meds like Ritalin are not a problem as long as you have a script.
    Tazzi, does that mean I can't take my meds during my shift, even if it's time to take them? I realize I can adjust my med schedule once I have a routine work schedule, but I would actually not be able to get my meds out and take them if I am on the clock, is that right?
  11. by   justme1972
    Quote from NBMom1225
    I'll be starting school in the Fall of 2007 and we have to have an H&P, drug screen, titers, and Hep B vaccinations prior to starting. I have ADD and take Ritalin...you KNOW that's going to trigger a positive drug test! What's the procedure if you have a positive drug screen? Are they even going to let me start school???
    I would go one step further and bring the prescription bottle with you to the drug test. That will save a huge step in verification and save time.
  12. by   santhony44
    Quote from NBMom1225
    Tazzi, does that mean I can't take my meds during my shift, even if it's time to take them? I realize I can adjust my med schedule once I have a routine work schedule, but I would actually not be able to get my meds out and take them if I am on the clock, is that right?
    Ritalin or other ADD meds should be fine to be taken during the shift. It's narcotics, things like Percocet or Vicodin, that shouldn't be taken while you're actually working. They can alter your mental functioning in a negative way. (There may be exceptions for people with chronic pain but that's another issue).

    Have you and your provider discussed the possibility of using one of the longer-acting ADD meds? That would make life a little easier; you wouldn't have to carry the medication with you and remember or find the time to take it. If that won't work for you for whatever reason, I would be careful not to let people know that you carry around a med like Ritalin. It does have some street value and could potentially be stolen from you.
  13. by   TazziRN
    Quote from NBMom1225
    Tazzi, does that mean I can't take my meds during my shift, even if it's time to take them? I realize I can adjust my med schedule once I have a routine work schedule, but I would actually not be able to get my meds out and take them if I am on the clock, is that right?
    Maintenance meds are fine. Narcotics for pain, such as Vicodin, are not. Those you cannot take within 4 hours of working. A lot of psych meds will show up on a screen, and a lot of nurses are on antidepressants. Those are fine as long as there's a script.
  14. by   LaneRN
    well I am taken hydrocodone for a back nerve problem that I am having I have to stay on them until august when I will have my first series of injections what kind of problems may this cause I know as long as i take the medicine with me when I go and have a perscription it will not matter

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