Published Apr 8, 2003
You are reading page 5 of Nurses Diverting Drugs?
Until this post, I never even heard of drug diversion before--i've heard of actually stealing drugs, but not diverting. Its sad, and it goes against all of the principles we nurses are supposed to be representing. Cheers goes out to all of those who actually do:roll
"I think it's hard not to judge nurses who are in this position, but you would not BELIEVE how many of us nurses end up in AA or NA. Nurses are so often giving every ounce of themselves away that they have no clue how to take care of themselves! Many CAN be rehabilitated and then "serve their time" by helping other addicted persons with their own experience. I just LOVE being able to do that for people."---------Zooboboey
That is sooo true, alot of nurses I know are excellent on the floor, and have so many terrible heartbreaking problems outside of work. Some nurses say they feel like they give and give but never receive (love that is).
I am not trying to pass judgement, accuse anyone of anything or trying to cause a stirr. I am just asking questions,giving my oppion and asking for feedback.
As a Pre-Nursing Major and I have posted several times to ask questions about the different area of nursing that are of interest to me. I came across the question about Nurses Diverting Drugs?. I was wondering if this topic is discussed in nursing school at any length? And if it is not Why? And no any of you think it should be? When I had considerd going to school for LPN the topic was mentioned during the pre-admission interview but not at length. I just do not understand and I cannot believe that any nursing student who worked so hard at getting into nursing school or a nurse would even consider doing such a thing. I am working so hard with my pre-requitsites for nursing school that I would not risk my nursing license for anybody or anything. I live in the city and there is drugs on almost every street corner and I live in an apt building with a bunch of "cokeheads" I cannot stand it. Unfortunetly because of my financial situation I have to stay put for now. I feel very sad for any nurse who either comes into the profession already addicted or who becomes addicted once they are working in it. Does anyone think that if the issue of drug abuse among nurses is stressed more in nursing school that it may help future nurses from becoming addicted? IS there a requirement for nursing schools to do drug tests of their applicants?. I am not saying this to weed out anyone potenally good nurses, but it will allow the student to try and rehabilitate themself with the promise of entering nursing clean and sober without risking the lives of patients and their license. I know there are facilities that have drug testing for their employees and the repercussions for drug use varies by each work place, but what are the rehabilitation options for nurses once they are found out to be diverting drugs?
Carmen, I really appreciate these questions! I think all these topics ought to be covered -- drug diversion, ethical behavior, yes, but beyond that. What about, how to take care of the caregiver, ME? How to prevent burnout. How to find healthy emotional support. How to help one another instead of being the first one to finish an assignment? What are the signs/symptoms of burnout, addiction, mental illness (chiefly depression) in the nurse herself? I graduated from nursing school in 1981 -- the premise was, give your all to the patients, give your all to the hospital, give your all and drop everything for the doctor. What about what we owe OURSELVES?
Any nursing instructors or students here who could tell us if these topics are covered in nursing school nowadays?
p.s. Under "General Nursing Discussion" there is a thread, "Nurses in Recovery" that tells you where you can complete a survey, if you're a nurse in recovery, that will help develop more awareness of chemical dependency in nurses and to form peer support groups. I think it is a great idea, it needs to start somewhere!
Also under "off topic" wayyyyyyyy in the back is a thread also called "Nurses in Recovery" if you wish to share about your own experience in dealing with addiction or alcoholism.
I am 17 years sober/chem free and would dearly love to answer questions privately or on this forum if you think you may have a problem or just want to dish with someone on the same road as you!
I have been an RN for 12 years, and unfortunately I have seen this happen more times than I can count. Unfortunately it is very common. Within the last 6 months 4 of my close associates at work have been busted for diverting drugs. 6 if you count the last two years. I feel sorry for the nurses that are diverting because they have an illness. I understand-not condone-why they have to keep on diverting because of the withdrawl symptoms. I dont know from first hand experience, but I worked a 7 month contract at an alcohol and drug rehab center in the detox section. What I dont understand is what causes the initial usage of the diverted drugs. I mean do they just want to try it to see what if feels like? and then get hooked?
When these nurses divert from the patients, it really increases the acuity of the floor or unit. a lot of the cronic patients who have been on pain medicine for a long period of time will start to have withdrawl symptoms from missing the doses that the nurse has diverted but charted that the patient has received. And as you know increased discomfort for the patient results in more usage of the call light and disatisfaction for the patient. I really feel sorry for these patients that arent getting their pain medicine, especially the chronic ones that are dying and with no family to comfort them, and that is their only means of comfort.
"Hey, drug abuse and addiction IS a sensitive topic, I am GLAD to see it. I'm a recovering alkie and had I not been so scared of what different drugs could do I'd probably be one of the diverters.
Telling on them is doing them a favor so don't hold back; the sooner they are found out the better.
These people taking narcs aren't doing it because they are theives, they are doing it cuz they have a compulsion and a mental obsession that without intervention will go on til they are dead, in jail, or in a mental institution. They live with the guilt and the fear of what they are doing every day. But without the drugs they fear they will die."
This is a previous post from Liddle Noodnik.... with all of these responses to the intitial question regarding diverting nurses, I have only found one person respond that admitted to be a addict. I am a RN who diverted drugs. To be completely honest, every day I work up, I prayed it would be the day that I would get caught, just so I could get help. I was sick. I broke my back in Feb 2000, and ever since, I was hooked on the damn opiates. I correlated my experience to an alcoholic bartender. Easy access. Listen, I could tell you many different ways I got my drugs, and you would be surprised. But that's not the point. The point is that I was blessed enough to be placed in a nurse diversion program throught the state of California. I went to rehab. I got clean. My pain went away. I was out of work for 1 year. Then I was placed on restrictions. I am finally back in the hospital, and it has been over 3.5 years.
I can't, for the life of me, understand why nurses can not sympathize with their fellow RN's who are sick. Truly, if you want to believe it or not, the compulsion and obsession of drugs and alcohol is a disease. I believe people are born with it, and it starts when someone drinks or uses for the first time.
Nurses are known for eating their young, or even their own. What I have noticed is that there are no programs which help prevent the diversion of narcotics or alcohol abuse. I never saw, in my entire career (11 years) one poster or one piece of communication that addresses drug diversion. Everyone reading this, please be aware, that there are so many RN's that divert drugs, or do drugs in the private time. I know this to be a fact.
Ruby Vee, BSN
we had a nurse do this. she logged out the prefilled morhine syringes,withdrew the drugs and refilled with saline.she also had a bad habit of not logging out of the acudose.if you have ever been involved in an ivestigation reguarding missing narcs,the experience stays with you forever.heads up.
years ago, the pharmacy where i worked was withdrawing the drugs, replacing them with saline and then selling the drugs on the black market. they investigated the nursing staff for a year before they got around to investigating the pharmacy!
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