Best/worse experience in monitoring. Please advise

  1. Hey everyone, I want to be honest here. I work for one of the monitoring programs. I would love to hear your input. I am always researching and found this forum a long long time ago and it has truly impacted how I feel about the toll/burden/stress and onward these programs put on people. I am not here to hurt/catch anyone and never have been -just want to make that clear. I respect this as an anonymous forum like I respect my participants confidentially without question.

    My my question is what can we do to help? What can we do differently? I have read many posts here about people feeling they did not need monitoring - or at least not 5 years. Tell me I care and want to hear.

    Finally, as an employee of one of these programs I often struggle with feeling intrusive relating to simple things in a participants life that I need documentation for. How can we become more of a partner and less of a weight/burden? How can programs be more supportive?
    Last edit by HoldenC on Oct 11
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    About HoldenC

    Joined: Sep '18; Posts: 3; Likes: 4


  3. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    There is nothing good about these programs that I can attest to. They are simply punishment meted out in way too generous of a dose. I'm sorry but I don't know what else to say
  4. by   catsmeow1972
    Wow, where can I start.....I'll begin with a few...evaluations done by people who are clearly in the pocket of the programs. Extremely heavy use of inpatient rehab, especially when insurance is paying or the presence of money is sniffed out (this is less a program problem than an issue with the rehab industry but that the programs do business with such places is concerning). Cookie cutter contracts that make it near impossible to get employment especially for people in highly specialized areas. Immense expenses in fees and drug testing that may or may not be appropriate and irrelevant consideration if a person may be working or not. Lots of directives on how you can be punished for violating precepts of the contract (missing check ins, etc.) but nothing on how on how you might earn your way to less stipulations by 'following the rules." Even prisoners get time off for good behavior. Why can't we?
    Also, in a profession that functions on evidence based practice, programs ignore all of that in favor of forcing 12 step whatever anonymous meeting attendance. While that may be valuable for some, it's a complete waste for others. Why is it a near standard in contracts?
    Above all, I think people want to be listened to and not feel like they are being punished. Current medical philosophy considers addiction a disease. Why are nurses with a disease being punished by thier own?
    Monitoring is a necessity but not in its current, rather monstrous form.
  5. by   SpankedInPittsburgh

    Really couldn't have said it better Cats
  6. by   Ash2213
    One of the biggest issues is employment. I had to work in VERY unsafe conditions the first year of my 3 year contract because nowhere else would consider hiring a TPAPN nurse. Because monitoring imposes the many restrictions, no matter the DOC or offense, most hospitals don't want to deal with that. That in turn forces the (newly sober nurse) to work in places that will literally "hire anyone with a pulse" because their turnover is so high. It is disappointing.
    I feel like it can be good, can save lives, but is also forced on so many that don't need it. I myself, totally needed it. I would not have stopped drinking until I hit bottom. My DOC was alcohol though, this was proven in my psych eval etc. Why keep me from passing Adderall or Norco? Especially if I am being screened almost weekly? There are so many heavy burdens. The program should not be a one size fits all. Nurses deserve better than that. Also, what others said about the money to be made. So wrong. Sucking people dry at their lowest.
    Not being allowed to take Benadryl or Sudafed is another no brainer. Really? You make people re-start their entire program over an allergy pill? It is like there is no common sense.
    Forcing nurses to quit their jobs to attend IOP or inpt rehab when not really indicated because they have documented sobriety, is another no brainer.
    If you have really been reading these forums than you know the issues. There are false positives, why do monitoring companies act like this is automatic relapse. There are studies that have been done, I am specifically talking about Etg, Ets.
    Often times the program is really similar to extortion and blackmail. Sad. I hope there can be some changes made.
  7. by   catsmeow1972
    Quote from Ash2213
    One of the biggest issues is employment. I had to work in VERY unsafe conditions the first year of my 3 year contract because nowhere else would consider hiring a TPAPN nurse. Because monitoring imposes the many restrictions, no matter the DOC or offense, most hospitals don't want to deal with that. That in turn forces the (newly sober nurse) to work in places that will literally "hire anyone with a pulse" because their turnover is so high. It is disappointing.

    This first and only job I could get in the first year was in a place like this. The risk to my license was horrifying. Plus I had no choice but to move an hour away from my family who are my support system. I am in this kettle of soup over mental heath issues, yet I am treated like an addict (so I get the stigma of both, awesome!!) Family support systems is a cornerstone of both of those issues and yet the contract yanked me away from that. How is that supportive? I'll tell ya. It's not.
  8. by   SpankedInPittsburgh

    I got a dui on an off night from work. I was forced to leave my position in the ER for a year at a personal cost to me of a little over $40k despite the fact that i was never impaired at work in anyway. Then because I was stuck in the farce that is inpatient rehab I had to put my DNP on hold for a year despite the fact that I was carrying an a minus gpa at the time. Honestly it seems to me that there was a blatant money grab by the rehab "professionals" here as they would only let me out of "treatment" when my insurance money ran out. I'm sorry these programs are a gross example of overreaching and greed. From what I've experienced in my Nurse support group meetings over the last almost two years I've only met a couple nurses out of maybe 30 that said they would continue in 12 step meetings when not forced to go. Only a couple more State they intend to give up drinking. Forcing people into a voluntary recovery is asinine logic. Further the nurses who are in these programs who are actual addicts and alcoholics are overpunished and eventually discarded when they have a relapse. These things are an abomination and cause much more harm for the vast majority then the good they do for the few
  9. by   Babyj88
    My problem lies in the fact that people who are actually innocent and proves that with not only another drug test but a hair test. Both of these came back clean and evaluation states I have no problem but because of false accusations I still get place in hell for 2 years. Let's not talk about all the money not only the monitoring companies make but also the bon. And I feel sorry for people who truly had a false positive these people act like these labs are 100% correct and they are not. If they truly care about people that are "in recovery" then how come a case worker don't reach out to you? I can't even tell you who my case worker is. The only time you hear from anyone is if you don't pay on time. This system is just pathetic. Maybe when it first started and people had good intentions it helped people but now... nope it's all about money. I don't even drink but since I'm forced not to you best believe I'm drinking as soon as I'm out this hell...
  10. by   TNPAPnurse
    My big resentment right now is that I suffer from anxiety and chronic pain, and can't take CBD oil for it. Like what the actual hell, it doesn't even get you high! I understand not being able to take Kratom, but not allowing me some all-natural, legal relief is atrocious. Just because it might cause me to fail a drug test...Shame on the programs for not allowing me to take anything to help my pain. I know CBD works for me because I took it right before I had to sign my contract. If I could stay on it, I don't think I would ever abuse prescription drugs again! Instead, I'm racked with pain and every day I think about how good taking a Norco would feel. I'm not going to abuse it or take any, just sayin'...the pain I'm experiencing could cause a weaker person to relapse in an instant.
    Very bitter about this right now.
    Last edit by TNPAPnurse on Oct 12 : Reason: Left something out
  11. by   Mornursing
    I want to give you my opinion of what you should do differently based on my experience. I can't speak for everyone because each case is different but I can at least give you my thoughts.

    I was given three years with the program I'm in due to drugs being involved. The drugs were oxycodone and norco. This is the first time I had ever been in trouble with my nursing license and the law.

    I won't deny I deserved consequences for my actions since I was taking the drugs from my employer. However, three years is a little excessive in my opinion. I believe a year or a year and a half would have been sufficient enough due to it being my first offense.

    Employment is a huge issue. I believe these programs need to reach out to job sites or nursing jobs in general and ensure that they will work closely with these places if they hire nurses in the program. I dont care what type of job I get personally I just want a job. But because of my location and the fact i have a nursing license in one state as well as restrictions on where i can work, it created an issue of finding a job.

    It's sad to say that i was treated better with the courts than i am with the board of nursing and the program I'm in. The judge put me on unsupervised probation for 6 months. I went to talk to my probation officer for the first time and sign paper work. She asked how long I was on monitoring with the program I was in for nursing. I told her three years. She didn't believe me. I showed her the paper work and even she said that was way too long for my first offense.

    I hope you ment it when you said you do care and you want to hear nurses opinions. I think the program could be greatly improved and really help nurses who are impaired.
  12. by   TNPAPnurse
    Mine is 3 years as well. Never abused drugs at any other time in my life, never been in any legal trouble. The job stipulations are ridiculous and I'm forced to work at a place where they'll hire anyone with a license and a pulse, further jeopardizing my license!
  13. by   Kel65
    Being clean and sober 27 months, having an EGT come back invalid deemed to be unreadable due to possible UTI issues. And now waiting 12 days on the latest test results to come back wondering what will happen with another invalid. It gets tiring when you've put your soul into sobriety and have to worry about your fate based on lab results.
  14. by   Leigh37
    Hey!! I just enrolled into the program and I got to tell you... it has set my anxiety into overdrive!!! Feeling almost the same as when I was in and after rehab.
    I ended up addicted to prescribed pain medication after multiple kidney stones and 4 root canals in a small amount of time. I was totally honest with my employer as to why I took off work when I went to rehab... never did my addiction have ANYTHINGto do with work. I recognized my problem and chose to be truthful abdgo to rehab. I was told by my employer it was law that I had to self report with my issue and now here I am enrolled in what feels like a life long sentence of being under the KBN's thumb. The checking in daily and wondering how it will affect my day (seeing as I have 3 kiddos) and am run ragged as it is. Ex: were going to Disney soon and was basically told, too bad you still would have to find SOMEWHERE IN ORLANDO... to pee in a cup! I think that's just crazy! I also live in a small town and am still confused as to where I am supposed to find somewhere on a Saturday or Sunday to do a drug screen!! I am not paying 600.00 or more to go to the ER! Also 3 meetings a week seems a little much.. especially when you live in a town as small as I do. I shouldn't have to put myself in a place where other people I would never tell what has went on will now know. As I mentioned before I also think that the 5 year span of this agreement is nuts. Especially since as I said before this had nothing to do with my job therefore nothing to do directly with my license. I don't know, I am just so happy I found this forum. I also was denied a job at a Peds office (they knew everything) but was denied a job bc the KARE program and those in it are PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE!! It's one thing for your employer to know but the fact that any person could google and find my name associated to this program is just wrong. I feel like you are taking a "Health Issue" and splashing it everywhere! That is NOT necessary. The only people that need to know is myself, KBN and my employer. How is this not considered a HIPPA violation or similar. We're going through beyond enough as is without y'all making it PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE. I have also been told by many people in my IOP group that this is worse than drug court... and it's definitely a lot longer. I know I am rambling and hope this made some sense. It's hard to see what I am typing on my phone.