I hate being in a monitoring program

Nurses Recovery

Published

Can I say that? It feels taboo to say. My therapist gives a report to the board. I can't tell them or give any less than a smile and positive vibes in support meetings. I'm constantly worried I will blurt out one day: I hate it here. 

I hate monitoring. It sucks. It gets on my nerves that I should feel grateful for the one size fits all approach. I wouldn't resent it if I wasn't constantly told that I am being given a second chance, the not-so-subtle pressure to look at the bright side of things. 

I self-reported. I didn't read the fine print. I didn't have a court case, or a referral from my employer, but wish I did. In a moment of weakness, I called a hotline and before I knew it, I signed away 3 years of my life. Yes, that's right. 3 years. The flowchart that makes all the decisions said I needed 3 years. 

I hate so many little things about this program.

Check in everyday between 4am-4pm - Why not just call me on the day of? 

Weekly support meetings - Why not have weekly office hours in case of questions/concerns instead of another support group on top of everything else?

Random drug screenings - Why not limit this to participants with substance use disorders? 

Night shift - It is so hard to get a day shift position! Is every participant a night shift nurse or something??

Overtime - At some point, monitoring ends, so why not allow participants to make the same choices that they would make when not in monitoring? Why not allow people that chance to make ends meet?

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I hesitate even posting this on here. I feel this urge to defend myself against the people who will be quick to say how it saved their life, we should be grateful, you wouldn't be here if you didn't have a problem, etc. And listen, you saved your life, OK? You made the choice to get your life in order. And while most days, I can delude myself into seeing the glass as half full, I feel often like I'm going to burst because I always have to give some preamble about how this is a great opportunity. It feels like groveling, and if I don't get this out then I am going to end up bitter. 

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk!

Specializes in Psychiatry.

I hate it too.  I think everyone in the mandatory group therapy is absolutely lying.  They all say they don't mind a monitoring agreement.  I absolutely positively hate it. If not for this online group I would have thought I was the only one who didn't hate it. Thank you for posting.  It varies but we're allowed to ask to work more than 40 hours a week and more than 12 hours a day. 

It's absolutely bs. It's all about power and money  You're correct, we should get a notice when we have to test. It's stupid to have to check in daily.  I think they want us to make mistakes so they can extend our monitoring agreement. 

Perhaps someone will read your post and find a private therapist instead of self reporting like you did.  It's really great that you posted. 

Healer555 said:

I hate it too.  I think everyone in the mandatory group therapy is absolutely lying.  They all say they don't mind a monitoring agreement.  I absolutely positively hate it. If not for this online group I would have thought I was the only one who didn't hate it. Thank you for posting.  It varies but we're allowed to ask to work more than 40 hours a week and more than 12 hours a day. 

It's absolutely bs. It's all about power and money  You're correct, we should get a notice when we have to test. It's stupid to have to check in daily.  I think they want us to make mistakes so they can extend our monitoring agreement. 

Perhaps someone will read your post and find a private therapist instead of self reporting like you did.  It's really great that you posted. 

Our program doesn't allow overtime. They may allow critical care or night shift on a case-by-case basis, but no overtime. It would make more sense if they gradually lifted the restrictions while in monitoring so nurses in recovery could get acclimated while still in the program. I can't even say that in group without being met with variations of "YoU sHoUlD bE gRaTeFuL". That's why I hate the peer support meetings the most because it's when we have to play pretend. I keep a separate therapist for me and one that I go to for the board. I may give up the board one because I don't have to go, like it was recommended but it isn't in my contract. 

I wish board of nursing was more transparent. I was reading into Washington State and they have clearly outlined lengths of time based on severity and it seems so much more reasonable than the one size fits all approach here. 

I'm glad you appreciate my post! I feel constantly like I shouldn't complain or feel angry, as if that is going to ruin my progress somehow. It makes me feel less human, like because I have a mental illness I am not allowed a full range of emotions. It's just so fake. 

Specializes in Psychiatry.
dancinginthedark said:

Our program doesn't allow overtime. They may allow critical care or night shift on a case-by-case basis, but no overtime. It would make more sense if they gradually lifted the restrictions while in monitoring so nurses in recovery could get acclimated while still in the program. I can't even say that in group without being met with variations of "YoU sHoUlD bE gRaTeFuL". That's why I hate the peer support meetings the most because it's when we have to play pretend. I keep a separate therapist for me and one that I go to for the board. I may give up the board one because I don't have to go, like it was recommended but it isn't in my contract. 

I wish board of nursing was more transparent. I was reading into Washington State and they have clearly outlined lengths of time based on severity and it seems so much more reasonable than the one size fits all approach here. 

I'm glad you appreciate my post! I feel constantly like I shouldn't complain or feel angry, as if that is going to ruin my progress somehow. It makes me feel less human, like because I have a mental illness I am not allowed a full range of emotions. It's just so fake. 

You don't have to go to group therapy? Lucky you. It's really awful.  A bunch of people saying they truly don't mind the monitoring agreement and then there's me biting my tongue.  It's absolutely a waste of my time and money but I have to see their providers who do nothing but take my money and time.  I also have a separate therapist that is really helpful.  I am counting the days until I am done and get my life back.  It can't happen soon enough. I keep telling myself this isn't forever.  I absolutely couldn't do this forever..

Healer555 said:

You don't have to go to group therapy? Lucky you. It's really awful.  A bunch of people saying they truly don't mind the monitoring agreement and then there's me biting my tongue.  It's absolutely a waste of my time and money but I have to see their providers who do nothing but take my money and time.  I also have a separate therapist that is really helpful.  I am counting the days until I am done and get my life back.  It can't happen soon enough. I keep telling myself this isn't forever.  I absolutely couldn't do this forever..

We have to do the peer support group through Birchwood. The moderator acts like she is catching up with her good girlfriends. Some people have interesting lives but honestly not worth paying 120/month. I got plenty of interesting stories for $20/month on Hulu. Everyone picks the next person to speak, and I keep my part short and boring so nobody ever picks me. 

Thank you for replying. I don't have any nursing friends who are in this, and everyone just says "that sucks" but in a pitying tone. It is nice to be able to share this with someone who gets it. Makes me feel better to be honest about my predicament. 

Specializes in Psychiatry.
dancinginthedark said:

We have to do the peer support group through Birchwood. The moderator acts like she is catching up with her good girlfriends. Some people have interesting lives but honestly not worth paying 120/month. I got plenty of interesting stories for $20/month on Hulu. Everyone picks the next person to speak, and I keep my part short and boring so nobody ever picks me. 

Thank you for replying. I don't have any nursing friends who are in this, and everyone just says "that sucks" but in a pitying tone. It is nice to be able to share this with someone who gets it. Makes me feel better to be honest about my predicament. 

I pay 100 a week for group therapy..I'd gladly pay 200 a week to skip.it..I tell no one I work with about this except my worksite monitor. I talk about generic topics and hope everyone else speaks briefly so it can be over and done each week.  I love when group therapy is canceled for some reason, feels like I won the lottery ?

I'm happy you came on here to this forum and joined the community.  We'll get thru it together for 3 years - that's about what I have left.

And there are plenty like us who are NOT GRATEFUL that we are in a monitoring program or are going to say BS like it is going to "save my life."  There are probably plenty of people though, where monitoring saved their life and that's true.  But they put everyone in a monitoring program with the help of some flowchart.  They are also more CYA, so they are just defending themselves.  

So if one of us screws up later down the road, they can just say "Well, we put them in rehab, monitoring, therapy, so we did our part."  

 

Specializes in Psychiatry.
Universe93B said:

I'm happy you came on here to this forum and joined the community.  We'll get thru it together for 3 years - that's about what I have left.

And there are plenty like us who are NOT GRATEFUL that we are in a monitoring program or are going to say BS like it is going to "save my life."  There are probably plenty of people though, where monitoring saved their life and that's true.  But they put everyone in a monitoring program with the help of some flowchart.  They are also more CYA, so they are just defending themselves.  

So if one of us screws up later down the road, they can just say "Well, we put them in rehab, monitoring, therapy, so we did our part."  

 

I have to wonder if many of us hate it and many who don't dislike it are just playing the game well and saying "the right thing " to the powers that be.  Reading the many posts here there are relatively few people who found it life saving but good for those who had their lives saved.  I read online for one state and they were honest enough to say this isn't treatment it's monitoring.  That's why I treat any interaction I have with anyone from the program like a determination of my fitness to practice nursing, my best interests are not what they are looking out for. They are not really providers, they are judges for the monitoring program. 

I'm here for a few years too. 

Specializes in Psychiatry, Community, Nurse Manager, hospice.
dancinginthedark said:

Can I say that? It feels taboo to say. My therapist gives a report to the board. I can't tell them or give any less than a smile and positive vibes in support meetings. I'm constantly worried I will blurt out one day: I hate it here. 

I hate monitoring. It sucks. It gets on my nerves that I should feel grateful for the one size fits all approach. I wouldn't resent it if I wasn't constantly told that I am being given a second chance, the not-so-subtle pressure to look at the bright side of things. 

I self-reported. I didn't read the fine print. I didn't have a court case, or a referral from my employer, but wish I did. In a moment of weakness, I called a hotline and before I knew it, I signed away 3 years of my life. Yes, that's right. 3 years. The flowchart that makes all the decisions said I needed 3 years. 

I hate so many little things about this program.

Check in everyday between 4am-4pm - Why not just call me on the day of? 

Weekly support meetings - Why not have weekly office hours in case of questions/concerns instead of another support group on top of everything else?

Random drug screenings - Why not limit this to participants with substance use disorders? 

Night shift - It is so hard to get a day shift position! Is every participant a night shift nurse or something??

Overtime - At some point, monitoring ends, so why not allow participants to make the same choices that they would make when not in monitoring? Why not allow people that chance to make ends meet?

---

I hesitate even posting this on here. I feel this urge to defend myself against the people who will be quick to say how it saved their life, we should be grateful, you wouldn't be here if you didn't have a problem, etc. And listen, you saved your life, OK? You made the choice to get your life in order. And while most days, I can delude myself into seeing the glass as half full, I feel often like I'm going to burst because I always have to give some preamble about how this is a great opportunity. It feels like groveling, and if I don't get this out then I am going to end up bitter. 

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk!

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Hey, I'm sorry you're going through this. It honestly seems like a racket. You should be able to get anonymous treatment IMO.  What did you self report for if not for substance use?

Healer555 said:

I pay 100 a week for group therapy..I'd gladly pay 200 a week to skip.it..I tell no one I work with about this except my worksite monitor. I talk about generic topics and hope everyone else speaks briefly so it can be over and done each week.  I love when group therapy is canceled for some reason, feels like I won the lottery ?

Wow how long do you have to do it? In our program, you can't work if you're in group therapy. I just had to do an IOP and thankfully the therapist just recommended individual therapy. I don't think I have to go to therapy at all. At this point I have done a year and never once messed up so I am going to ask my therapist to discharge me. I got through my first six months by going on anti-depressants to suppress basically any emotions so I was on autopilot. But now I'm off them I really feel the boredom and I think he does too 

FolksBtrippin said:

Hey, I'm sorry you're going through this. It honestly seems like a racket. You should be able to get anonymous treatment IMO.  What did you self report for if not for substance use?

Mental health issues. It was ***ed up though because I was recommended to call by a coworker thinking it was a helpline. It's not obvious from the way it's set up, like the website and the number are not to the board of nursing. It's run through the nurses association

Universe93B said:

I'm happy you came on here to this forum and joined the community.  We'll get thru it together for 3 years - that's about what I have left.

And there are plenty like us who are NOT GRATEFUL that we are in a monitoring program or are going to say BS like it is going to "save my life."  There are probably plenty of people though, where monitoring saved their life and that's true.  But they put everyone in a monitoring program with the help of some flowchart.  They are also more CYA, so they are just defending themselves.  

So if one of us screws up later down the road, they can just say "Well, we put them in rehab, monitoring, therapy, so we did our part."  

 

In group, a new nurse complained about the financial burden of the program. It was soooo hard because everyone gave some variation of "look at the bright side", and I wanted to be like "you're not crazy! This sucks!”

You are not alone. I hate monitoring too. Everyone I know in monitoring/probation that I've met from nurse support group hates it too. It's definitely given me severe anxiety and I count the days until I am finished. I just do what I have to do to finish. But yes, I HATE it and I don't think it's rehabilitative in any way. It's strictly punitive

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