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Just accepted, few questions.

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by FuturoEnfermera FuturoEnfermera (Member) Member

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hi. i just got my acceptance email yesterday morning! i'll be starting a bsn program this fall. i'm so excited.

i have a couple questions. the first has to do with the drug/alcohol screening and background check. i threw out my back last week and have a prescription for vicodin and muscle relaxers. is this going to be a problem? also, i'm 25 and do have an occasional glass of wine. do they expect us to not drink period? i'd rather not call them to ask and seem like i have a problem!

secondly, what is the first semester like? we don't have clinicals first semester so i'm just curious what everyone learned the first semester. was it fun? was it interesting? i'm done with the co requisites so i'm planning to take physics and general chem on mondays and wednesdays when not in my nursing classes (8 units of nursing only) and would love opinions on how doable this might be. i have two kids (4 and almost 2) but don't work for money. =)

thanks in advance! i look forward to being part of the nursing student board now!

sgp

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61 Posts; 1,595 Profile Views

:monkeydance: Congrats!!! :monkeydance:

As for the drug/alcohol screen, i would bring a copy of your prescription for vicodin, and just not drink wine a few days before you go. they don't expect you to drop all alcoholic beverages, but now you are representing your schools nursing program, so they want you to be professional.

1st semester, you do alot of Med-Surg, assessment, learning the basics kind of thing. we had a health assessment lab and a med surg class. its alot of information, so it will be stressful since you are taking other courses with it. I took pharmacology with my 1st semester (17 hours total) and it took alot of work but you can do it if you really want it!

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Daytonite has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

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i guess you've never had to do a drug test before. when you are drug tested, you will be asked, in writing, if you are taking any prescription medications and to list them. with opioids, you will have to produce the prescription (the bottle with the prescription label). you also have to bring identification with you so they can identify that you are who you say you are. if there is going to be a problem with the test and your vicodin, the lab technician will tell you at that time and you will have the choice of not taking the test that day. the test can distinguish between the different types of drugs in your system as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/drug_test - about drug testing

i'm sorry if i sound bad about this, but i worked for some time with alcohol detox patients. i understand you are nervous and have concerns about all this testing and stuff. you may just be naive. however, besides the naive, the only others i know of who worry about "an occasional glass of wine" are people who drink a lot more than they want others to know about. alcohol is not illegal and neither is "an occasional glass of wine". so, although i don't know you, i'm concerned by your question because it would seem to indicate that it's something that is also on your mind for some reason or another.

although the california board of registered nursing doesn't require drug testing for licensure, they do discipline for nurses with drug or alcohol problems. most employers will drug test. many employers will also have nurses arrested if they discover they are stealing (diverting) narcotics as well as report them to the state board of nursing.

http://www.rn.ca.gov/div/whatisdiv.htm - california board of registered nursing information about their diversion program for nurses who are impaired due to chemical dependency or mental illness

http://www.rn.ca.gov/div/div-faqs.htm - here is information on what happens to rns in california who are caught abusing drugs or alcohol.

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144 Posts; 2,559 Profile Views

well i guess it's good i didn't ask the school if i sound like that! =) no, i've never had a drug test. i had wine with dinner once last week and before that it had probably been two weeks or so. i guess i am just very naive! it just seemed odd that they would test for alcohol, since like you said, it's legal. sounds like i have nothing to worry about. thanks!

sgp

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No one else has mentioned it, so I thought I would take the opportunity to say it myself. Why are you drinking alcohol with those meds in the first place? Did your prescriber not inform you that drinking alcohol in combination with those drugs may cause increased CNS depression, among other things? In other words...it's very bad! Since it is only a glass every once in awhile, you should stop until you no longer need the pain meds. I'm not lecturing, just worried!

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144 Posts; 2,559 Profile Views

no one else has mentioned it, so i thought i would take the opportunity to say it myself. why are you drinking alcohol with those meds in the first place? did your prescriber not inform you that drinking alcohol in combination with those drugs may cause increased cns depression, among other things? in other words...it's very bad! since it is only a glass every once in awhile, you should stop until you no longer need the pain meds. i'm not lecturing, just worried!

thanks for the concern but i'm not. maybe i worded my question terribly or something?? i don't like feeling groggy so i try to only take the meds she gave me at night, if i'm too uncomfortable to sleep. i hardly ever drink. i don't drink at all the times i've taken the medication. i just had no idea how drug tests worked and why a nursing program would care if an adult drank once in a while. from what i gather, they don't care, and just want to see if you have something illegal or way too much alcohol in your system.

maybe some perspective would help. i'm the nerd who always freaks out and feels like puking before receiving tests back, assume that i've failed, and then set the curve for the test. i'm a healthy mom and straight a student. i do appreciate the concern, but was really just looking for information on how it worked (and maybe a few congrats?).

thanks.

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51 Posts; 1,304 Profile Views

That's good to know that you're not mixing the two! Do you have to schedule your test? If so, I would just recommend not drinking a day or two beforehand. If it's random, and you've just had a little the night before, I don't think it will be a problem..so long as you're not legally intoxicated at the time of the test. Of course, I'm just assuming that's how it would be, I've never had one, but we have studied the metabolism of alcohol.

I might be able to give you more insight into the first semster. What nursing classes do you take? We had History and Trends in Nursing, Basic Pharmacology, and Lifespan Nursing. It was very general most of the time...a basis for the things to come. So, it still shoudn't be taken lightly. Foundations are everything. I did enjoy it very much and it was fairly easy..mostly review for me (biology degree) and common sense. The nursing related things can be difficult, but you get better at it (charting, nursing "language" and abbreviations, nursing theories and their application, and care plans). Overall, I had a great time and I was so excited to be there and be learning the fundamentals. I guess it's all about your attitude.

Chemistry AND physics (why physics?) with nursing? Are you strong in math and science? If not, you might want to separate the two. Of course, it also depends on where you're taking them (community college vs. 4 year) and with which nursing classes you're taking them. I hope some of this helps!

CONGRATULATIONS!

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I know what you're talking about. I had to take a drug test for a customer service job once. I ate bread with poppy seeds in it. I had heard (since learned otherwise) that poppy seeds will show up as opiates on a drug test. I've never done any illegal drugs in my life, but I was scared I wouldn't pass the darn drug test.

I was over-reacting and everything was okay. I would just not take the vicodin for a few days before you go in and then bring the bottle with you and tell them about it, just in case. My guess is that medicinal levels of codeine in your system will show up differently than illegal drugs.

Congratulations on getting into school! I just heard last week that I start in August. Yay us!

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144 Posts; 2,559 Profile Views

chemistry and physics (why physics?) with nursing? are you strong in math and science? if not, you might want to separate the two. of course, it also depends on where you're taking them (community college vs. 4 year) and with which nursing classes you're taking them. i hope some of this helps!

congratulations!

thanks! =)

my first semester will be pharmacology 2 units (online i believe), introduction to professional nursing 3 units, concepts and practices of gerontological nursing 2 units, and therapeutic interpersonal and group communication in nursing 1 unit.

i'm taking chem and physics because i've not yet ruled out med school in the future and i'm done with the co requisites for nursing. i figured i may be able to fit some extra classes in during the semesters that leave room for the co requisites that i'm done with already. i'm taking chem 1 (since the nursing version doesn't count, ugh) and trig this summer so that should give me a better idea of how well i might be able to handle it. i love chem and really like math but i may have to drop one or the other this fall.

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