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NEED HELP PLEASE, should i self report

Recovery   (7,999 Views | 19 Replies)
by dcdvs dcdvs (New) New

542 Profile Views; 5 Posts

I really need some advice here. First and foremost, I DID NOT DIVERT anything, however I had to take a random due to suspicion and that test came back positive for a pretty bad illicit drug. Im not looking for harassment but I lost my job and was told I needed to self report. My question is even though the drug test positive was for an illicit drug (a pretty bad one) what will happen if I self report and should I even self report? Its not an addiction thing, recreational basically. I am really worried and confused. Someone please offer some advice! Additional info,, no Hx of any criminal problems, no Hx diverting. just pos drug screen for suspicion bc I was sleep deprived and showed up with an illicit drug.... please help!

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sissiesmama has 22 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in ER, TRAUMA, MED-SURG.

1 Follower; 1,895 Posts; 21,935 Profile Views

Hi - I live in Louisiana - I know here the employers report that kind of thing pretty quickly. Our BON seems to go a little easier on the nurse if u self report.

Here even if it isn't a case of diversion, the BON requires the nurse to go to an evaluation - can't remember if it's an inpt or outpt.

You see an addictionologist and depending on the recs from him, the nurse could be sent to inpatient treatment, IOP or just a F/U with the addictionologist.

Hope that helps a little.

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4 Posts; 668 Profile Views

Hi,

I am in a similar situation...or I should say I was in 2009. Suspision of diverting due to a Pyxis report. I was tested and both tests came back negative. However during my intervention my Manager at the time did me the hugest favor of my life. When asked by Risk management if I wanted to self-report I fought this...she took me aside and told me I had two options.

I could self-report regardless of if I diverted or not and I would be granted FMLA for treatment and that with self-referral to IPN Florida the matter would be closed.

Or I could continue to defend myself retain an Attorney and in the end the BON would investigate, and find that in the best intrest of public safety I should be evaluated and they would refer me to IPN anyways, but I would also have a complaint and Link on my license in addition to having to re-pay investigation fees which would be about 3000.00 and whatever money I had to give my Attorney which could be upwards of 10K and still have to go through Rehabilitation as a Suspect.

I later found that she was speaking from personal experience.

In other words, I was between a rock and a hard place. Now, I chose to self-refer.

In the beginning I had a lot of anger in relation to the whole "Guilty until proven Innocent" concept. But I have to tell you my experience with florida IPN has been mostly positive. I go to my meetings and have made friends and life-long relationships with some of the people I have met in the rooms.

Initially it was a bit of a learning curve in relation to creating a habit of checking in every morning and having to drop a sample every two weeks or so but in the long run I have learned coping skills and have gained an insight into the illness of addiction most people never exerience. And now with less than 100 days to go I find that I will miss this strange and once complained about part of my life. I have not returned to clinical practice as I have found working in the informatics and education sector for private insurance to be much more lucrative. All of this has propelled me in a direction I would most likely have not taken had I chose the other option. Strange how the decisions we make influence our paths.....

This decision is yours to make. For me Self-referral was the best option and this may not be the same for you. Best of luck regardless of which path you choose.

Edited by RNtrainer
Clarification

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299 Posts; 5,138 Profile Views

I was just reviewing the mandatory reporting requirements of my state- an employer must report you for this. What they are doing is giving you the chance to "self report". For some reason the BON likes to hear from you before the employer- showing you are willing to take responsibility?

I don't think there is a distinction between recreational use and addiction in the eyes of the BON; it is all drug abuse/nurse impairment. It was actually better in my case to be diagnosed with addiction as I was able to enter the non-disciplinary program for a health condition.

Regardless of the drug they are all very bad in the eyes of the BON- one unauthorized Vicodin is equivalent to anything else. It is the other aggravating or mitigating factors that matter. Some of the factors I experienced: Were you impaired at work? Were you in a leadership position? Were you arrested for a crime? Are you honest, forthcoming, and actively seeking treatment?

Also don't beat yourself up about this: President Bush used cocaine, President Obama Marijuana- many people throughout history have used drugs, many more alcohol... we are all human- just try to find the positive in this experience.

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5 Posts; 542 Profile Views

Thank you all for your posts but Im still worried and confused some. This happened in SC and Im not sure of the rules for it all here. But, if I do self report, and say I have to go through a program, will the BON cover it since I am loosing my health insurance now bc of my terminiation? I feel like I really have no way to keep working and that im loosing my career path. I just don't know if anyone from SC has any relative info they could possibly share?

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299 Posts; 5,138 Profile Views

I thought my career was over too- while it was incredibly stressful at the time- my career is fine- and in fact I am a better person for the experience.

I did a quick search and see that SC has a non-disciplinary program for nurses. You can wait it out and hope that nobody reports you to the board. I don't think that my self disclosure really made that much difference as the investigator knew it was because my employer gave me 2 days to do it before they reported me.

The BON will not cover costs of a program in my state, unlikely in SC. In my state you pay for treatment and monitoring. I went to an assessment at a place that offered inpatient treatment- they recommended inpatient. I then went to a place that offered outpatient treatment- they recommended outpatient treatment. I went to outpatient treatment.

This is putting the cart before the horse but: Can you get a credit card or two? 401K loan? I also was able to get unemployment- my employer could not give the reason for letting me go as it was a medical condition (PHI)- all I would tell the unemployment office was I had a medical condition (even though they pressed a bit).

Here are the links

LLR

LLR

http://www.llr.state.sc.us/AboutUs/MediaCenter/pidocs/ComplaintProcess.pdf

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5 Posts; 542 Profile Views

I don't have anything set back. Im young and wasn't really thinking about longterm I guess. Ive already started applying for jobs in different professions but this all just really sucks. I was thinking about trying for unemployment but I was terminated due to a pos drug screen for illicit drugs...so im thinking I wouldn't get any help there. This was actually my first time having insurance... would medicare/caid possibly help? and do you think its in my best intrest to stay away from applying to rn jobs at the time?

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510 Posts; 7,646 Profile Views

You have to ultimately make that decision. We can only share our experiences. As for me? I got caught a year ago, this month I get my contract. I was addicted and the board respected my decision to stay out of nursing this past year (until they sanction your license you can practice). The first couple months of this are very high intensity. I would suggest going to AA or NA, reach out! It is very isolating on this journey if you don't. In my state (Alaska) our insurance has to keep us on for a month after being let go- I would advise you call your insurance and see if they cover you for the interim.

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299 Posts; 5,138 Profile Views

You still have a license- no restrictions- you might have an easier time of getting a job now in Nursing and hope that the employer will keep you on if you have to step away from practice if the board requires that.

In my state I signed an interim order to agree not to practice until the investigation was complete (or they would have an emergency meeting to suspend practice).

You will likely have restrictions on your license if you are disciplined or admitted to the non-disciplinary program- I have a job where I don't have to give medications.

Insurance wise you will likely have the option for Cobra insurance (expensive)- or you could find a job nursing or otherwise that has insurance benefits. Unemployment is a possibility- the worst they can say is no.

The best thing to do in any situation is to do what you can; I spent so much time going down the what if road it was terrible. Right now there is nothing official that has happened except for with your employer. What would you do if you were fired for being late? Though if your employer reports you the BON might not like that you got another job knowing that you had broken one of your professional agreements. When I was unemployed I thought about temp work and Real Estate...

I am not advocating for impaired people to take care of patients, but from what you say this is an infrequent occurrence. I used to go to Raves when I was a young nurse on my off time... Lots of nurses have drinks (lots of drinks) on their off time. Unfortunately your drug of choice for recreation is illegal and can cause some heartache. I agree that this sucks for people that get caught up in it

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

8 Followers; 142 Articles; 9,777 Posts; 251,468 Profile Views

You have to be very low-income to be eligible for Medicaid, and Medicare is for the elderly and disabled.

I'm so sorry this happened to you. Absolutely, you should self-report, as it will look better for you if you go to the BON before your employer does. That shows you are taking responsibility for your behavior and mean to correct it. You would also do well to get yourself into a 12-step program, not only to make you look better in the eyes of the BON but to deal with whatever it is that causes you to use illicit drugs.

As to whether you should apply for RN jobs, you may not be able to if the BON decides to suspend your license or requires you to attend a monitoring program, although some programs may require you to work as a nurse under the agency's watch and with restrictions. This makes it difficult---but not impossible---to find RN work, so be prepared for a long job search. I wish you well.

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5 Posts; 542 Profile Views

I went ahead and self reported. I did find out that if I do have to go through the recovering professionals program that it will be covered financially. However, from what I understand I will have to go through an eval from a specialized MD im assuming. If I was to so negative on that screening and if I could get the point across to them that it was really a "once in a blue moon" type of occurrence, is the possibility that I will have to still do some type of treatment high? Or could they possibly understand it was a reaction due to a family loss...which I still shouldn't have done I know. Thank you everyone for your input, at least I don't feel as alone in this as I did yesterday.

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SionainnRN has 5 years experience and specializes in Emergency Room, Trauma ICU.

914 Posts; 8,428 Profile Views

Hi,

I am in a similar situation...or I should say I was in 2009. Suspision of diverting due to a Pyxis report. I was tested and both tests came back negative. However during my intervention my Manager at the time did me the hugest favor of my life. When asked by Risk management if I wanted to self-report I fought this...she took me aside and told me I had two options.

I could self-report regardless of if I diverted or not and I would be granted FMLA for treatment and that with self-referral to IPN Florida the matter would be closed.

Or I could continue to defend myself retain an Attorney and in the end the BON would investigate, and find that in the best intrest of public safety I should be evaluated and they would refer me to IPN anyways, but I would also have a complaint and Link on my license in addition to having to re-pay investigation fees which would be about 3000.00 and whatever money I had to give my Attorney which could be upwards of 10K and still have to go through Rehabilitation as a Suspect.

I later found that she was speaking from personal experience.

In other words, I was between a rock and a hard place. Now, I chose to self-refer.

In the beginning I had a lot of anger in relation to the whole "Guilty until proven Innocent" concept. But I have to tell you my experience with florida IPN has been mostly positive. I go to my meetings and have made friends and life-long relationships with some of the people I have met in the rooms.

Initially it was a bit of a learning curve in relation to creating a habit of checking in every morning and having to drop a sample every two weeks or so but in the long run I have learned coping skills and have gained an insight into the illness of addiction most people never exerience. And now with less than 100 days to go I find that I will miss this strange and once complained about part of my life. I have not returned to clinical practice as I have found working in the informatics and education sector for private insurance to be much more lucrative. All of this has propelled me in a direction I would most likely have not taken had I chose the other option. Strange how the decisions we make influence our paths.....

This decision is yours to make. For me Self-referral was the best option and this may not be the same for you. Best of luck regardless of which path you choose.

I guess I'm confused. You didn't divert and had negative tox screens but had to go through an addiction program? How does that make any sense? Am I missing something here?

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