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Nurses being reported on their spare time?

Recovery   (2,119 Views 24 Comments)
by balld899 balld899 (New Member) New Member Nurse

142 Visitors; 2 Posts

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Greeting fellow nurses,

I’m writing to get some guidance and affirmation. Last week by friend came over while I was off and we decided to bring two days straight, she then peer pressured me to smoke from her e-cigg while telling me it was only Tabaco. I took to hits and I started to panic and she admitted to me it had weed in it. Then she left and I started to get anxiety and felt dehydrated. I had no work for additional two days who I knew I would sober from the drinking. But I felt so bad and decided to call 9-11 for possible observation and maybe fluid normal solution. When in the hospital I started to get scared because there was a nurse who was just was so hard with me and kept asking if I smoked cracked or did speed or coke. I kept telling him no and my anxiety kep getting worse and then said if I was depressed or trying to kill myself. These questions kept being asked I told him Im a nurse too and I can assure you I was just spending time with a friend while we drank and she peer pressured to smoke. I have not smoked weed in over 10 years since I get really bad anxiety and though I did the right thing and call to be seen. I was showing signs of sluggish pupils with elevated pulse and BP since I felt more anxious with everything that was going on. I asked another nurse and doctor if this would jeopardize my nursing license? I never got a straightforward answer, I however did not pee on a cup since I was not asked to but had labs done. I was not on the job, I didn’t put anyone at risk like a DUI or had the police involve. However on my discharge papers they noted alcohol intoxication and weed. Since anyone can drink can that be used against me or the fact that admitted I was snuck in weed while thinking I was having an electrical cigarette? I also want to point out that I was hired by two other places prior of this incident and was clean and had a drug hire screening three days prior to this hospitalization. I don’t do drugs and I do fear something happening, since I went on my own time and no police involve would it be a HIPAA violation if the hospital or doctor reported me. Is there a possible chance I can be reported? As you can see I don’t want to lose what worked for hard for when I don’t do drugs and only drink socially on my free time. I don’t want to put my nursing license in jeopardy. I would not put anyone in danger and I don’t drink and drive. I hope someone can give me closure or affirmation to this topic.

Thank you.

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sirI has 30 years experience as a MSN, APRN, NP and works as a FNP/WHNP(E)/Educator/MedLeg Consul.

12 Followers; 18 Articles; 135,798 Visitors; 12,956 Posts

Thread has been moved to a forum for replies from those with similar experiences.

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3,320 Visitors; 378 Posts

It is possible to be reported, this kind of thing has happened to other nurses. Telling them you are a nurse and specifically asking them if it will effect your license was kind of like a big advertisement for them to report you. They might not, though. 

Also... even on your own time, any drug use counts. Nurses have been put into programs by the BON for admitting to the BON that they voluntarily went to rehab, years prior, for alcohol. Nurses have tested positive for marijuana that they smoked weeks prior while off duty and got into trouble with the their BON. 

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5,624 Visitors; 724 Posts

Say no to drugs if you are a nurse. Your friend well not friend could cost you your job.

 

Edited by Workitinurfava

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RecoveryNurse2015 has 15 years experience and works as a Nurse.

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You could get reported. If you were that nurse, would you have fallen for someone saying 'they were slipped' drugs? I can't tell you how many times ER nurses hear that. Did she know that you're a nurse? When I got a notice  that the board of nursing had found out about my DUI, I was certain that all would be well if I could just make them understand that I was out for my birthday, when  a series of events which were out of my control lead me to drive after drinking alcohol. This was my first brush with the Board, I thought got away with a smack on the hand. They offered me a program, of which I took to be optional and I turned it down  What I didn't know was that the next time I slipped up, there would be huge consequences. What I forgot to realize  was that I entered into a legal agreement on the day I signed on the dotted line to hold a license to practice nursing in my state. We don't pay any mind to the part of it where we agree not to do things like to drink and then drive or smoke pot (which is illegal). 

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RecoveryNurse2015 has 15 years experience and works as a Nurse.

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Also, I urge you to take a look at the path you're on. The fact that you're fearful of board consequences says a lot to someone who's been there myself. If you explain what happened to your employer's HR dept before the board gets wind of it then there are certain protections for you. 

 

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Do not speak to anyone at your job regarding this.  Consult an attorney, just in case the ER nurses and MD decide to report it, as they have the right to.

Next, dump that friend.  No true friend would purposely put your professional license in jeopardy.

Good luck to you!

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catsmeow1972 has 15 years experience as a BSN and works as a OR RN.

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Regardless of my personal opinions on weed, I do agree that you are seriously risking your license. ‘I didn’t know” or “it was only once” are not going to garner any sympathy. My understanding is that marijuana can pop positive up to several weeks after use. Does it affect your judgement after that long? Probably not, but the fact that it’s there is enough to land you in a program. 

I disagree with programs that treat a person with a single DUI the same as someone who as diverted. Especially after they have already done what ever the authorities have determined the appropriate punishment. Because these programs appear to be about money and it’s much easier for them to “treat them all the same,” that is sadly what happens. In my experience, I have never known a person that comes to the attention of these programs to escape without some sort of contract, even if the purpose is to prove that there is not a problem. 

Kniwing what you know about these things, i would say that you need to avoid situations where you are apt to run into this kind of thing. Right or wrong, it can still buy you a load of problems.

 

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Well, you are asking for guidance.. I'm going to give a hard pill to sallow..

Let's get something out of the way here: normal people who 'don't do drugs' don't binge drink for 2 straight days.  No one would call that social drinking.  I'm not trying to get al NA preachy on anyone but lets be honest, alcohol is a drug.  Which you are saying you can spend two who days abusing but you say you 'don't do drugs' repeatedly in your post as if that matters to the situation with your license you ask about.  And who cares you got two jobs and had a clean urine a few days before this?  I know why you felt the need to post that information.  You want us to agree that you don't have a problem.  You think the problem was two hits of weed? The problem was you most likely gave alcohol poisoning from binge drinking for two days, and that's why you had been asked those questions in the hospital.  Before even looking at anything with your license, I would suggest you look that this situation.

It doesn't matter if you peed in a cup.  They did labs as you told them why you came to the hospital I am 100% certain they checked for alcohol levels.

So, on to what you are worried about.  Can they report you?  Yes, but they might not.  It depends on the state.  They might be required to report you out of public safety.  HIPAA would not protect you in that case.  Yeah you didn't hurt anyone. And anyone can drink.  But again, people who don't have a problem with alcohol do not drink for two days straight.  That would worry me.  You didn't hurt anyone this time, but you also got peer pressured into doing something you don't normally do (the e-cig).  How can you say that in that state someone can't peer pressure you into something else next time?

I 2nd the idea ditching the friend, and talking to a lawyer.  Make sure they have experience in dealing with your licensing board in your state. 

I know I came down hard on you.  But I hope you at least consider what I'm saying and consider getting help.

 

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LilPeanut has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and works as a NNP.

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If someone slipped me a mickey - which if the story is what you are saying, that is what they did: they substituted a substance in order to intoxicate you more - that's illegal and if I was really worried about it showing up on a tox screen or affecting my job, I'd be filing a police report. It will suck for the "friend", but friends don't slip people drugs that they aren't aware of.  That's assuming everything is true exactly as you state.

I agree with the above poster though that it's a little concerning to be on a 2 day drinking binge. I would really look hard at your drinking. 

Also, don't blame "peer pressure" for anything really after you have graduated from school. 

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RecoveryNurse2015 has 15 years experience and works as a Nurse.

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13 minutes ago, chadprepton said:

Well, you are asking for guidance.. I'm going to give a hard pill to sallow..

Let's get something out of the way here: normal people who 'don't do drugs' don't binge drink for 2 straight days.  No one would call that social drinking.  I'm not trying to get al NA preachy on anyone but lets be honest, alcohol is a drug.  Which you are saying you can spend two who days abusing but you say you 'don't do drugs' repeatedly in your post as if that matters to the situation with your license you ask about.  And who cares you got two jobs and had a clean urine a few days before this?  I know why you felt the need to post that information.  You want us to agree that you don't have a problem.  You think the problem was two hits of weed? The problem was you most likely gave alcohol poisoning from binge drinking for two days, and that's why you had been asked those questions in the hospital.  Before even looking at anything with your license, I would suggest you look that this situation.

It doesn't matter if you peed in a cup.  They did labs as you told them why you came to the hospital I am 100% certain they checked for alcohol levels.

So, on to what you are worried about.  Can they report you?  Yes, but they might not.  It depends on the state.  They might be required to report you out of public safety.  HIPAA would not protect you in that case.  Yeah you didn't hurt anyone. And anyone can drink.  But again, people who don't have a problem with alcohol do not drink for two days straight.  That would worry me.  You didn't hurt anyone this time, but you also got peer pressured into doing something you don't normally do (the e-cig).  How can you say that in that state someone can't peer pressure you into something else next time?

I 2nd the idea ditching the friend, and talking to a lawyer.  Make sure they have experience in dealing with your licensing board in your state. 

I know I came down hard on you.  But I hope you at least consider what I'm saying and consider getting help.

 

Most stories like what she's talking about are complicated for the board. They can request a hair examination to establish that she doesn't have a 'pattern of use'. Or otherwise.

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1 hour ago, RecoveryNurse2015 said:

Most stories like what she's talking about are complicated for the board. They can request a hair examination to establish that she doesn't have a 'pattern of use'. Or otherwise.

I completely agree.  But at that point the BON knows something is going on.  

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