Quote from catsmeow1972
A liason between the programs and employers would be a grand idea. Someone that does more than claiming to "oh we educate employers on the program." Yeah, whatever. The assistance needed should be individualized. In my opinion a program participant should be able access this persons services solely for the purpose of employment help. This should not be the case manager. Not everyone needs employment help. Not everyone is in the same area of the state. This person could be one who runs interference between HRs in large hospitals in a state (I just think those are most likely able to work with stipulations) and program participants. Before long a database of contacts is built. I should think that an employed, thereby probably more likely to be successful participant would only add to the "successful completion and thereby our reason to continue to exist" statistics.
I think I just wrote a job description. I wonder if it's realistic.....
Although not NEARLY as comprehensive, TPAPN has attempted this with their advocates. Each TPAPN participant is assigned an advocate who is a volunteer that is supposed to be there to help in any way the participant needs, such as navigating the process, definitely getting the paperwork completed after getting hired. Originally they were supposed to attend the "back to work" meeting that happened with a participant and their new employer, explaining the 8 page document that had to be signed by he employer. It's the contract that describes all the restrictions, the quarterly reporting requirements, the need to allow the nurse to leave for drug testing if necessary etc. They also originally attended all the quarterly status meetings between the employer and the TPAPN nurse. Nowadays, there just aren't enough people volunteering to be advocates, so they aren't required at any of these back to work or quarterly meetings anymore. I'm actually thankful for that since I don't want a third party between me and my employer! My advocate also helped me during the job search by sending me information about interviewing, resumes, etc. Probably nothing I didn't know or couldn't find myself, but she tried. These advocates are often previous TPAPN participants so they know the ropes, but unfortunately mine was not, she was just someone who'd heard about TPAPN and wanted to help out nurses who'd experienced problems with drugs or alcohol. The advocates do not have any special knowledge or influence with area hospitals, though, and that would've made all the difference! That would be great. My advocate was nice and tried to be helpful, but after I got my job and got settled into TPAPN, I didn't need her anymore and I was able to drop the required weekly contact with her.
So yeah, the TPAPN advocates don't go anywhere near the level of support that you describe, but I do think that someone at TPAPN was at least trying to offer that type of help.