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New here and need some encouragement

Posted

My name is Lisa, and I'm an addict.

Good, got that out of the way. I've been in TPAPN since Aug 2012. Sober since July 19, 2012. I'm sure my story is no different, no better, no worse than most so I'll spare the details. I self reported to both my employer and TPAPN. In hindsight, only the latter was a sound decision. I really only self-reported to my employer in that I was requesting medical leave for inpatient treatment. (my hubby and I had already decided I was going inpatient for 30 days before I reported to anyone) Unfortunately, my employer didn't appreciate my honesty (yes that's sarcasm). And like so many other Texas TPAPN nurses, here I sit with no job.

Once I knew that I would NOT be returning to work after FMLA leave, I was fortunate enough to be able financially to not work for a little while. So I have spent this time focusing on my recovery, my self, my family, and of course my mental health...the things we nurses never have the time to focus on. And to be able to have this time off of work without the stress of worrying about an income (well not major stress), I am truly grateful.

I knew it would be difficult to find employment once on TPAPN. I've accepted this. My thinking was...no one wants to hire a nurse who is 45 days sober. I believed employers would be more receptive if I applied for a job at 5-6 months sober. So in the past 3 weeks I've applied for 7 jobs. I know that's not a lot. But NO ONE has called me back....well 1 did. She asked if I had any restrictions on my license so I felt I had to be upfront. My advocate has since explained to me the difference between restrictions on license and TPAPN. So moving forward I better know how to answer that question. Needless to say, I haven't heard back.

This is completely distressing to me. I'm ready to go back to work (part time). I want to go back to work. I was not cut out to be a stay at home mom. I'm just not built that way. I'm afraid the longer I stay unemployed, the more likely I am to get really depressed again.

The worst part is I've had such a good reputation in my area. I've worked at 3 local hospitals over the last 11 years, and developed such good relationships with doctors and nurses. In the past, when I was ready to leave a facility I picked up the phone and called in a favor. Going in for the interview was just a formality. I've never had to deal with a situation like this.

Although I never "came out" officially to my co-workers, they all know. Towards the end I wasn't kidding anybody. So of course when I email or text asking if I can use them as a referral...I get no response.

So what do I do?? I know there are TPAPN nurses out there with jobs.

Anyone out there in cyber land want to put in a good word for me?? Referral bonus!! YEAH!!

Anyone know of any PT day nurse jobs in the Dallas area where I won't work alone, or nights, or call....

All joking aside, if anyone knows of a nurse support group in the Dallas area please let me know. If not, lets make one. The worst part if feeling so isolated from my peers. Doesn't have to be a 12 step thing...let's just get together and vent, complain, and support each other through this. Maybe even help each other network for jobs.

Thanks for listening to me gripe.

MichelleRN34, ADN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Management, MDS Nurse, Rehab. Has 3 years experience.

Hi Lisa,

I'm sorry your going through such a rough situation. My situation was different so I don't have any advice. I'm here to listen anytime though. I'm sorry you feel secluded from you past peers.

Michelle

wish_me_luck, BSN, RN

Has 6 years experience.

Hi, Ms. Lisa,

There's a health care provider group (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, etc.) called "Caduceus". It is a group for addicts and alcoholics and it's only the health care profession. Call TPAPN and ask if they have a listing of meetings. They should. I know I am in HPMP in Virginia and they had a list. It is not listed publicly because these are confidential meetings (anonymous) and it is to ensure that only health care providers attending and not the general public.

I went through that at first. I just hit 6 months on the 13th but have been able to start looking for work since the end of July. I thought it was me. The calls trickled in and I've had 9 interview with three more calls this week. One from a hospital I applied to back in August. No luck so far though and I've tweaked my resume and interview style quite alot. Just keep on trucking our time will come. I know here IPN dosen't tell all the "dirty secrets' to an employer. So if your license in still clear this is a blessing as you don't have to tell all. As addicts I know we want to let our mouths get in front of us, and in recovery we are told truth in all. Not on this if you want a job. People that haven't walked in our shoes are unforgiving.

Here in Florida we are required to go to meetings once a week. We only can miss six meetings a year or it's considered a relapse. I have heared of some horriable group leaders but I got lucky. We are all very close and even have pot lucks.

Edited by moorefun11
more info

Lisa- these people that you used to be friendly with- are you close enough to any of them to call them or see them in person & call in one of those favors??? if not- try dialysis clinics- they don't handle narcs- so that restriction doesn't matter. i know of a clinic here in central tx that is always desparate for help (yes, there is a reason, but it's a job & it's doable). but it's about 100 miles from you. best of luck- focus on the next right thing in front of you- it will eventually all fall in to place!!

TorsadesRN

Specializes in ER, Psych. Has 3 years experience.

Hi Lisa, and all the other nurses in recovery!

I just have to say how comforting it is to know there are other nurses out there in recovery. I felt so alone for the longest time like I was the only recovering nurse.

I am in PNAP. (PA) I self reported in April, went to rehab and will have 7 months clean and sober Tuesday.

It was been such a long journey in that 7 months. I didn't lose my license (thank God)!

My inspiring story is this..........I was luckily able to return to work after 4 months. I applied for a job, interviewed and offered the job on the spot. The DON who interviewed me was inspired by my recovery. She told me people deserve second chances. She hired me as a charge nurse on an adolescent inpatient psychiatric unit. I had to leave the ER and can't work any critical care while in the monitoring program. I thought I would never get a job while in the PHMP....but I did. And you will to. Don't give up.

As for the nurse's meetings. There are meetings for healthcare professionals all over. Unfortunatly, I have none in my area. Closest one is two hours away. So, I am looking into starting one for my area because the need is definatly there.

Hang in there.

We are not alone.

Hey Lisa,

I am in the CDDP program in NC in which our program seems just as difficult as other states or worse. The NCBON restrictions are for a year of NO narcotics, night shift, overtime, ICU, ED, Hospice, Home health, rehab or drug tx facilities. Plus, we have to work under the supervision of another RN. Our restrictions start the day of employment.

During the process of getting your license active, of course we have to do counseling for a lengthy period of time, drug screens which is 76.00 each and NA meetings. It is a financial burden esp. when you don't have the means to make ends meat. I understand your frustration; however, it does get better.

My best advice is to apply for as many jobs as you can. Search for facilities in your area and ask to speak to the DON to gather his/her name. Go to the facility dressed and prepared as if you have an interview. Ask to speak to the DON/hiring manager by first name. Face-to-face impression is always the best route. Sale yourself. Discuss how this situation has made you a better nurse and, more importantly, a better person. I found a job three months after my license was re-active. It started as PRN and now I am Full time. I was honest and upfront. My restrictions are projected to be lifted after 4 more months. APPLY FOR JOBS AS IF IT IS YOUR JOB.

P.S. Please don't put a job before your recovery. Equal efforts.

"We came to believe..." Faith

@TorsadesRN I am from PA and I was considering relocating after the year of my restrictions are finished; however, you said during the 3 years while in the program that you cannot work in the critical care?

TorsadesRN

Specializes in ER, Psych. Has 3 years experience.

Hi Austin,

With PNAP (PA's monitoring program) my stipulations are No ER, ICU, PACU, cath lab's, home health, no supervisor postition and no doctor's office for the three years in the program. I was lucky to land a job at an inpatient psychiatric hospital full time. I do have a 6 month narcotic restriction but I very rarely give a controlled substance. If I would, the supervisors I work with know I am in recovery and are awesome. They would give the med until my restriction is up.

Hello Austin,I to am from NC. Lost my dream job 2 yrs ago for diversion, turned into the BON & now going through all the hoops to try to get my license back. I wasn't able to get into the monitor program bc they said I wasn't an addict but in all reality I was. I surrendered my license as a result. Currently I'm doing the daily call in for UA's & doing my intensive therapy, getting ready to start my aftercare program. How far are you in the CDDP? Do you know any other nurses that have gone through this from NC? I'm so stressed & worried that I'll never be able to be a nurse again.

MichelleRN34, ADN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Management, MDS Nurse, Rehab. Has 3 years experience.

Hello Austin,I to am from NC. Lost my dream job 2 yrs ago for diversion, turned into the BON & now going through all the hoops to try to get my license back. I wasn't able to get into the monitor program bc they said I wasn't an addict but in all reality I was. I surrendered my license as a result. Currently I'm doing the daily call in for UA's & doing my intensive therapy, getting ready to start my aftercare program. How far are you in the CDDP? Do you know any other nurses that have gone through this from NC? I'm so stressed & worried that I'll never be able to be a nurse again.

I'm in NC going through similar situation.

Thanks Michelle I sent you a private message I hope you got it, I'm still new to this.

Thank you all for your kind words. I realize how really lucky I am that I got help before I hurt someone or otherwise caused myself more hardship...I try not to beat myself up to much....but occasionally the feeling so angry at myself gets overwhelming.I asked my advocate about cadeous meetings and she didn't know. I'll call tpapn after the holiday but if any of y'all know of a group in the Dallas area please PM me.

Hello Lisa I am also in recovery and understand everything your going thru. I am so happy to be drug free and getting the help I wanted but like you its very hard to find the way back to employment after self reporting. I self reported in july and am in HPRP, Thats Health Professional Recovery Program. I have had a really hard time finding work. I almost got a job a month ago. When I interview I am honest in saying I had a personal Problem and self reported so I could get the help and support I needed. I have never told them I diverted. I explain the program to them and basically sell myself. Unfortunally my caseworker from HPRP told them I diverted and I lost that job offer. I was so depressed.Still am.

I am still trying to figure out what to reveal in my interviews. Will I ever work again. I am totally broke. I am going to meetings weekly. Seeing my addictionist monthly. I call daily for random drug screens. I have been clean since July10th. I am ashamed of what I did. I wanted to get caught honestly because I wanted help so bad. I didn't want to be addicted anymore. I wanted my life back.

I have been a nurse for 22 yrs working in Med Surg, ER, ICU. I am having trouble trying to think of what kind of job I can do. I can not pass Narcs for 6 months. I have to have a work site monitor so home care is out. I just don't know where to go from here. Any help would be VERY welcome.

Finding this form has actually lifted my spirts. Its a comfort knowing I am not alone in this journey.

Tka516, I wish you the best of luck in your job quest. I understand completely where your coming from. I lost my job d/t diversion & was then turned into the BON. It was the most difficult day & best day all in one. If that makes since. Difficult in that I seen how disappointed everyone was & best bc I no longer had to deal with my addiction alone & I could finally get the help I so desperately needed. I haven't been able to look for work yet & I'm scared that when I am I'll just get rejected. Sorry I couldn't give you any advice in your journey but just wanted to let you know that you've come to the right site. There's some really good people on here & everyone is very supportive.

Good luck :)

FHL18

Specializes in ER. Has 12 years experience.

Hi Lisa,

I am new to this site and I am also a nurse living in the Dallas area and in recovery. I would love to chat more with you if you are still on here. I still don't know how this site works but I sent you a "friend request"...whatever that means, but I have been looking for a support group for healthcare workers for months around DFW with no luck. I can't believe a city of our size doesn't have something like this. But I am definitely looking for other nurses to meet up with to chat and encourage one another in our recovery. Hope we can connect!

I finished my program in Nov 2013 but basically had to beg for employment at one of the most poorly run nursing homes I've ever worked at and only did since I had as part of my program requirements. I left there last July for my mental health and started working as a substitute teacher and have continued to look for nursing work in the meantime. This past week, I was about at the end of my ropes. I was going to give up on nursing for good. I had went on my last interview. Then, I got the call yesterday.....I am officially employed as a nurse again! It doesn't ever seem to get any easier. It took me three months to find a job with my license on probation and doing monitoring and a one year with it active showing past probation. Keep plugging along it will happen. Also, if my husband and family hadn't been there with words of encouragement and sometimes a kick in the ass it might not of happened so get a good support system.

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 18 years experience.

Good for you - The promises do come true -sometimes quickly sometimes slowly