Having a hard time with work and TPAPN...Help!!!

  1. Hi I am a grateful recovering addict sober for 8 months. I have been in tpapn since October 2007 for diversion of narcotics and dont have any real issues with them surprisedly. My problem is this...I was able to get a job in November 07 at a surgical hospital which ended in termination not because of my nursing skills or anything with narcotics but because they didnt want to deal with the whole TPAPN thing and found a way to get rid of me. This happened in March 08 and after a month long search I was able to find a great job which I love at a Nursing home as an MDS coordinator. I was informed by my new employer that the company was being bought out by another. They told me that TPAPN would not be a problem with new company and the take over but I have come to find out differently. I had worked under the old management for a month and the take over happened on MAY 1. Every employee had to submit to a drug test that day which I passed fine. I was told just prior to the takeover that the new company does not hire TPAPN Period but they could not fire me since I already worked there. Since then I have found out about secret meetings with my advocate and been asked again about my circumstances of my addiction. I keep getting poked with this daily and I am about to have a nervous breakdown. I cannot afford to lose my sanity over this however I cannot afford to be out of work any more. I was out of work for 3 months initially and then worked for 3 months and then off for 1 again until getting this job. I have applied to every hospital with 75 miles and met alot of silence. The jobs I have found are either not appropriate with my restrictions or I just get over looked because of my problem. I have not been fired but I feel as though its coming for whatever reason since this company is so afraid of TPAPN. I have a clear license and I was not charged with a crime. My job at this nursing home doesnt require me to even think about drugs. I have worked so hard and come so far but I keep getting beat to death with my problem. I feel as though I am trying for nothing because just when I start to feel comfortable or actually enjoy what Im doing something happens. Why bother. Any advice or similar experiences?
  2. Visit OSoStressed profile page

    About OSoStressed

    Joined: May '08; Posts: 8; Likes: 10


  3. by   TazziRN
    In CA the way they're treating you would be tantamount to harrassment. Have you thought about contacting a labor board rep to see what your rights are?
  4. by   HM2VikingRN
    I would also think about asking for acomodations under the Americans with Disabilities act. Arguably TPAPN could be viewed as a form of reasonable accomodation under ADA.

    Pull up your facilities policies on ADA. Put the paperwork together and submit it to HR.

    One other avenue is to consider an EEOC complaint.

    Wishing you the best.
  5. by   HM2VikingRN
    I would consider a request for accomodations under ADA. Arguably your TPAPN could be viewed as a reasonable accomodation under ADA.

    Q. Are alcoholics covered by the ADA?

    Yes. While a current illegal user of drugs is not protected by the ADA if an employer acts on the basis of such use, a person who currently uses alcohol is not automatically denied protection. An alcoholic is a person with a disability and is protected by the ADA if s/he is qualified to perform the essential functions of the job. An employer may be required to provide an accommodation to an alcoholic. However, an employer can discipline, discharge or deny employment to an alcoholic whose use of alcohol adversely affects job performance or conduct. An employer also may prohibit the use of alcohol in the workplace and can require that employees not be under the influence of alcohol.


    Check out the ADA policy for your facility.

    Wishing you the best.
  6. by   OSoStressed

    I went to work this morning and was there for about an hour when I was called into the DON's office. A corporate person and the DON was present for the meeting and basically because my Drug of Choice was Demerol and I diverted they chose not to retain me as an employee. The jist of it was that in my position was 3rd in line to be responsible for the facility if the DON and ADON were not present I would have to have the narcotic keys or responsibility for them and they could not have that. I spoke to the head of TPAPN who spent a great amount of time on the phone with the new mgnt yesterday on my behalf (I was not aware of this until last night) and he said that legally I have no recourse because with the takeover everyone was within a probationary period. Texas is a Right to hire/fire state and they dont need a reason basically. Its unfortunate but I am again unemployed. I figured I would spend the day having my nervous breakdown and start fresh looking tomorrow for a new job. I did find out that I am able to work in areas that I thought were off limits before like home health. This will open the doors a little for me I hope. I also found out that even though I have had 2 different jobs totalling 4 months of employment that It counts toward my 6 months of narcotic restriction which will be a little more pleasing to a potential employer. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason but I cant help but wonder WHY ME!! Oh and please dont say "This too shall pass!"
  7. by   TCRNCOB61
    Just keep doing the next right thing as you seem to be doing. Here in Fla. the narc. key restriction is usually for one year, so if it's the same there you are half way there! I thought my year would never end but it did. You will find the right job for you. Please don't give up.

  8. by   OSoStressed
    The narc restriction in Texas is 6 months, only 2 to go. The contract here is only 2 years. I have experience with IPN and 5 years is a long time trust me. There was another TPAPN nurse working there that got to keep her job because she was "JUST" an alcoholic, however, they made her leave the floor and do medical records. I went there today to have my meeting sheet signed for last month and I found out that when the Administrator found out what Corporate did she actually fought to keep me. She was in Tennessee at the Corporate office learning about them so she had no idea what was going on. Unfortunately they did not change thier mind and I am still unemployed. I dont know if I would have gone back if they had called me maybe out of despiration until I found something else. I spoke with the other TPAPN nurse today and she gave me the name of a TPAPN friendly Home Health company who she just happens to know the owners. They just happen to have an ad in the paper today and I just happen to have an application. She is going out to eat tonight with that owner and she is going to put in the good word for me. Everyone is looking out for any job openings and the original owner of the nursing home kept one facility 20 minutes away and she sent me an email telling me that she was sorry and that she will keep me in mind if that position opens in her facility because she has heard such good things about me. I truely believe today that it was all for the best and that I would have been paranoid all the time if they hadnt fired me just because of the way they are. I feel sorry for the ones that still work there. I am hopeful that it will all work out quickly.

    Thanks for your support

  9. by   caliotter3
    When our company got bought out by a new one, we all had to apply for our jobs and were placed on 90 days new hire probation, giving the managers an opportunity to get rid of people if they wanted to. Even so, our state is an at will state. Employers don't need a reason to terminate an employee. It doesn't change things for you, but you might be able to reframe things in your mind so that you don't feel so down. Good luck with the home health opportunity. You know that even after your restrictions are history, you can ask your supervisors to insure that your patients are those without prescribed controlled meds. Give yourself added insurance so that you can't be blamed for anything. I think you will like the decreased stress of working with one patient at a time.
  10. by   longhornfan1
    Been there done that. Took my "wrongful termination" to EEOC and had a successful mediation, but at the end of the day, I am still unemployed. Find my other posts for the whole tedious story. Good luck and yes, it will work out, eventually.
  11. by   Estuche
    Being on TPAPN makes any job hard, however if you follow the rules and restrictions IT CAN BE DONE. My biggest success with helping TPAPN folks find jobs is Dialysis. 1) No narcotics 2) No night shifts 3) Millions of location. Dialysis centers are a dime a dozen and being a RN you can write your ticket. Just be up front about TPAPN, why you're in it and most of the clinics will bend over backward to hire you. If you need any more help let me know.

  12. by   OSoStressed
    I got a job in home health, I start tomorrow. Things are looking better, thanks for all your support
  13. by   Estuche
    Just remember to jump through the hoops and play the game. I am on the tail end of my two years and I think I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. Good Luck
  14. by   Tweety
    Quote from OSoStressed
    I got a job in home health, I start tomorrow. Things are looking better, thanks for all your support
    Awesome. Good luck to you!