Is disclosing a mental health record that awful of a thing to do?

Posted

Specializes in Medical Legal Consultant. Has 32 years experience.

I was drug tested at work, the only thing that I was positive for was my prescribed Clonazepam. However, I know benzos are abused (I truly didn’t abuse mine), so I kind of expected the BON to look into this. They did and now I have to do an eval.

I’m worried about disclosing my psych history even though I’ve been going to therapy since before this “incident.” I have a history of a voluntary hospitalization from bad PTSD from an abusive relationship and anxiety since my last license renewal. I now have to sign over my mental health records. My work has never been affected by my PTSD or anxiety. If anything, it takes my mind off of it. I have plenty of evidence to show the board that I am a great nurse. Also, I have other healthy coping skills too; exercise, yoga, etc.

I am afraid that reaching out for help is what will screw me in the end. My attorney was very optimistic until I disclosed my mental health information to him. I’m in grad school too and I’m afraid that this will ruin school for me if they decide to do something to my license.

Is disclosing a mental health record that awful of a thing to do? In this case, I’m being forced to. However, was me reaching out the thing that will mark my license forever?

Dear Mental Health Disclosure,

I am so sorry this is happening. I suggest you contact an attorney who works in the area of professional licensing defense to assist you. You can find one at TAANA.org. They can help you with the ramifications of disclosing this information.

I wish you the best.

Lorie

Gentleman_nurse, MSN

Specializes in Behavioral health. Has 8 years experience.

Dear Mental Health Disclosure,

Wishing you positive energy that everything gets resolved in your favor. You did nothing wrong! You had challenges and responsibly sought out help. That makes you a great nurse. If that is held against you then the nursing profession does not deserve to have you.

Guest1137747

Specializes in Behavioral health and psychopharmacology.

I was under the impression that a medical review officer is required to change a positive drug screen result to a negative if valid prescription evidence is provided.

Does this mean a human being cannot take any controlled medications prescribed to them by a doctor and be a nurse???

4 hours ago, Workinhard said:

I was under the impression that a medical review officer is required to change a positive drug screen result to a negative if valid prescription evidence is provided.

Does this mean a human being cannot take any controlled medications prescribed to them by a doctor and be a nurse???

Basically you can not be impaired on the job, legal prescription or not.

Guest1137747

Specializes in Behavioral health and psychopharmacology.

6 hours ago, caliotter3 said:

Basically you can not be impaired on the job, legal prescription or not.

Taking a prescription as prescribed is not the same thing as impairment at all, not legally or literally. So that does not make sense.

So hospitals and nursing boards do not use MRO's or take legal prescriptions into account? That was my question. Impairment again does not fall in with that. Who is it that believes taking a prescribed medicine is impairment? You? BON?

I just find it very hard to believe that every single nurse in this country is not on any controlled medications. Nurses are people and using controlled medications appropriately is not a moral deficiency as so many want to believe.

No alcohol when not on shift either then I suppose. Not that I even drink. I'm willing to bet that is not an issue...

I might as well just quit school. Fml

Edited by Workinhard

Guest1137747

Specializes in Behavioral health and psychopharmacology.

@caliotter3 I did not intend for my post to sound argumentative or as if I am catastrophizing and I apologize for that. I am just a little confused and anxious right now.

TwoLayi, ADN, BSN, RN

Has 6 years experience.

On 1/24/2020 at 9:13 AM, Guest1137747 said:

Taking a prescription as prescribed is not the same thing as impairment at all, not legally or literally. So that does not make sense.

So hospitals and nursing boards do not use MRO's or take legal prescriptions into account? That was my question. Impairment again does not fall in with that. Who is it that believes taking a prescribed medicine is impairment? You? BON?

I just find it very hard to believe that every single nurse in this country is not on any controlled medications. Nurses are people and using controlled medications appropriately is not a moral deficiency as so many want to believe.

No alcohol when not on shift either then I suppose. Not that I even drink. I'm willing to bet that is not an issue...

I might as well just quit school. Fml

Nurses can be prescribed controlled medications and a medical review officer does review positive drug tests. Being prescribed a controlled medication does not prevent a person from becoming a nurse or getting a job. I think the real issue is why this nurse was being drug tested in the first place. Did the OP's employer suspect they were working on the job impaired? If the OP was displaying odd behavior or made an error, the employer might have ordered a drug test and reported the findings to the BON. If so, the BON may make the decision that the medication and/or mental health issues pose a danger to patient safety.

If it were a pre-employment or random drug test, I don't believe the employer would be reporting this information to the BON, but I could be wrong.

Annon16453799

Specializes in Annon.

Hi Guest1137747,

I am interested in your post because I also have been taking prescribed clonazepam for 5+ years. I am no longer on this medication currently. People in General can be so mean in General, and Nurses and Doctors are fallible humans when everything is said and done. So, yes when you are in the real world people will make mistakes. In the real world, people will justify their mistakes because they are not willing to actually understand what being responsible means.

It is your decision if you want to continue taking the klonipin, however do not be hoodwinked like I was if you can avoid it. When you graduate, you need need need absolutely need to make sure that you have health insurance that will help pay for your prescriptions. Scheduled medications have an inherent risk of dependency. When you graduate, you will be going through a lot of stress and no one else is going to be watching out or caring about you. I know three people including myself who are prescriped klonipin, and we all have taken it p.r.n. at some/usual occasion. p.r.n. pro-re-nata.

Pardon my colloquialism, but who gives a flying-flip about x.y.z. and the other thing. Do not tell anyone at work about anything personal that would give you "anxiety". That includes your manager. Whenever you take a drug screen all you have to do it write the name of the medications you are currently taking. It is pretty cut and dry, but no one ever sat me down to say this. Now this. . .

So, good for you! Now you know.

Annon16453799

Specializes in Annon.

Hi again Guest1137747!

I know I may have been perceived as a bit heated in my last post, and I want to follow up with something more encouraging and generally empathetic.

Have you ever watched a motivational speech or lecture by a C.E.O. or executive? They all have several common commands/themes:

-Recognize failures or shortcomings as a growth opportunity.

-Let go of negative thinking patterns/ reinforce a belief of self-efficacy.

-Demonstrate confidence, poise and respect.

-Realize that intelligence and wisdom to be seperate categories.

You are the C.E.O. of your own company. As a C.E.O., will you choose to lock up controlled medication in you place of business?

I wish good fortune upon you.

Edited by Annon16453799

Annon16453799

Specializes in Annon.

Hi again Guest1137747!

I know I may have been perceived as a bit heated in my last post, and I want to follow up with something more encouraging and generally empathetic.

Have you ever watched a motivational speech or lecture by a C.E.O. or executive? They all have several common commands/themes:

-Recognize failures or shortcomings as a growth opportunity.

-Let go of negative thinking patterns/ reinforce a belief of self-efficacy.

-Demonstrate confidence, poise and respect.

-Realize intelligence and wisdom to be seperate categories.

You are the C.E.O. of your own company. As a C.E.O., will you choose to lock up controlled medication in you place of business?

I wish good fortune upon you.

Enarra, BSN, RN

Specializes in Ambulatory Primary Care. Has 9 years experience.

Drug screen bring your bottles in its original container so they can jot down prescribing doc info etc good luck. And no don’t tell nobody it’s none of their business and since there is a lot of stigma on mental illness you will be talked about and discriminated against.

Edited by Enarra