HPMP Feelings

  1. Hi,

    I just wanted to put this out there so I may receive some support for what I am going through. I have never been so upset about something in my entire life. I recently received word that my license was being suspended,stayed and on probation or I could show cause that the allegations were not true- due to one doctor's opinion of me back in July of 2011 (the state board is just now making their decision-feb. 4th, 2013), the fact that I have bipolar, the fact that I did not bring my best in the interview with him but was scared, vulnerable and fragile. The report came back that I was not fit to be a nurse at that time but I might be fit in the future Mind you this report was from july 2011- just finding about it now and all the additional responsibilities I am now going to have to endure. I worked so hard in nursing school, passed my boards, had a terrific time findind a job which led me to three separate hospitalizations from being so depressed and hopeless about and even suicidal. These reports were undoubtedly brought to the doctors attention because I was forced to give him the records through the investigation by the state board. They are now demanding that I go into the PHMP program for 5 long years. I really don't want to change my current treatment program, seeing my own psychiarist and therapist. I am not sure if I can continue seeing my own or not. Does anyone know? I have felt powerless against this decision, highly emotional, crying alot and angry. My psychiatrist says I have to treat it like an accident that happened and others have told me that I need to fight it. The factual allegations that are listed are all true - My address, the fact that I have a license by the state of PA, the fact that I was examined by this doctor, the doctor's opinion, the fact that he examined me on such and such date, etc, etc,- Part of me doesn't want to do it because I feel say I feel like its discrimination and they are asking alot of me to go through this program and on the other hand I want to do what I am supposed to do to keep my license. Has anyone else gone through this and felt this way? All these emotions, not knowing what to do, wanting to fight it, seeing that they have all this against you, feeling like its discrimination, regretting what you said in the interview and just feeling all around terrible about it. Any helpful words to make this easier on me would be appreciated.

    The only one helpful thing that was said to me was that the state board had FAITH in me otherwise they would have revoked my license altogether but they are giving me a chance by having me go through this program for five years.

    By the way I must tell you that all this came about from when I was in nursing school and got arrested for driving quickly in a parking lot, parking in the grass and then resisting arrest. I ended up receiving a misdemeanor disorderly conduct, gave up my nursing degree because this happened 1 month before graduation and I was suspended then I went on later to get my degree from a different school, then later when I contacted the school to try and resolve it and sent a few letters to the school trying to do so, someone complained to the state board and that is why and how all this came about, then the investigation, then the examination and now that is how I am where I am right now. The state board found out what happened at the school, then found out about the bipolar and now I have to go into this program.

    I was wondering if anyone can tell me about this program, if anyone has successfully completed it, what the support groups were like, if they felt like they couldn't share because they were being so heavily monitored and what kind of advice someone has for someone just entering the program. Is it alot of running around to appointments, how has it changed your life, are you better or worse because of it. Can you work while being on probation. If you can, what do you tell your prospective employer?

    I guess I am so overwhelmed with all of this, the decision, what it means to me, all the emotions involved, dealing with the diagnosis, the impending situation and the unknown.

    I am certaintly not happy with myself and the way I performed in the interview that led the doctor to the opinion that he made of me and if I could have done it any differently I would have. Also because I was nutritionally challenged in the interview that didn't help either and led me to be coerced into some of his interrogation tactics which even had me confessing that I was not fit to be a nurse which is certaintly not how I feel, but despite his opinion of me I think I am a good nurse and isn't that what matters anyway, what you think of yourself? (this report was from July 2011, it took the board 20 months for the board to make a decision and during that time I had two positions working as a nurse) I am currently unemployed, looking and taking an rn refresher course)but also devastated at this decision. I also think that if I had heard from the board sooner than I could have had 20 months credit to my five year sentence. If they thought I was so unfit then why did it take them 20 months to finally tell me? That doesnt make any sense. Didn't they know I would be working? That just tells me that I am not as unfit as that doctor says I am(what he said at the time -July 2011NOT FIT TO BE WORKING AT this TIME) Now in feb 2013 tell me I have to enter a program for five years? And turn my entire life upside down?!!

    Also I regret in having reacted the way that I did seven years ago at that school and the surrounding circumstances that led to this. I have made alot of mistakes.

    I am just wondering how this program has impacted you, how you view things now versus before whether or not it has helped or hindered you and if there has been any positives that has come out of it.

    I still feel that this is unfair and am having a hard time getting past that, I felt that the interview was unfair, I feel that his opinion was unfair. Only if I could go back. I would have said things differently and maybe there would have been a better outcome for me.

    I am not sure how you can fight against a diagnosis that is true. The fact that I am getting treatment for it makes me guilty and makes the allegations against me true, his opinion, the diagnosis, etc. And I am not sure how you would show just cause except show that you were working during the 20 months that they made their decision and that if you weren't fit you couldn't have done that.

    So what kind of rights do I have? This whole situation has a tendency to make one helpless and hopeless in itself. How does one go on when faced with phmp?

    Please tell me how you dealt with these emotions, whether phmp is as bad as I am thinking that it is and what advice you have for someone in my situation. What things can you say to help me feel better about this ( a different perspective maybe)

    And why the state board and doctor thinks bipolar makes you so unfit to practice nursing?I've always been able to function. I'm having trouble with this...And whether I should believe it or not esp. since I held two jobs already.

    Last edit by BeOne77 on Feb 12, '13
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    About BeOne77

    Joined: Oct '08; Posts: 103; Likes: 44


  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    Well, as I think you and I both know, bipolar doesn't make us unfit to be nurses in and of itself. As long as we are properly medicated (IMO, it's a must) and our moods remain relatively stable, there is no reason why we shouldn't pursue our careers as we wish.

    Your story troubles me, however, because I get the sense that your BP is not well-controlled at this time. I'm hearing a lot of despair, and anger, and yes, some denial---not that I blame you one bit for feeling any or all of these things. But you are trying to battle this from a position of weakness, not strength, and as long as your emotions are out of control you will have a very difficult course. You know this too, or else you wouldn't have written what you have about how unfair everything seems to be, and how helpless you feel.

    I have no experience with HPMP or any other monitoring program for nurses, so I will leave that for others who do have knowledge of it to discuss with you. I live in one of those states whose renewal forms are very ambiguous about whether mental illness affects, or might affect, one's practice; knowing I'd get shuffled into a program that's designed for people with drug and alcohol problems (I've never been a pill popper, and I've been sober for just over 21 years), I used the vague wording to my advantage and said "no" to that question.

    It IS the truth; my illness has not had a major impact on my practice, and since I don't have a crystal ball, I can't very well predict whether or not it ever will, now can I? If I were still working in a clinical setting, it would be different; but except for a few emergency situations and an insulin injection or two, I haven't touched an actual patient in years. I'm in administration, not direct care, so I don't lose much sleep over that.

    Returning to your dilemma.......I honestly wish I had some words of wisdom for you. Your pain is palpable; I wish there were some way I could take that away and reassure you that everything will be OK tomorrow. But you and I live in this same bipolar world---though our diagnoses differ slightly---and we both know that it complicates our lives beyond anything that 'normal' people can comprehend. We will always have to work harder, and be smarter, just to survive in this career that we have chosen. Our hills will always be steeper, our battles fiercer, our grip on life more tenuous. But we can't use that as an excuse to avoid doing whatever is necessary to stay in our profession.

    In your situation, taking into consideration the multiple factors that brought you to this place, I would swallow my anger and fear and do what I had to in order to remain in nursing. I don't believe there are any rules that say you can't see your own psychiatrist and/or therapist; you just have to see theirs too, and everyone has to work together to develop the best plan for your care.

    I do hope this is helpful in some way. I can't sugar-coat things and still be honest.....with me you have to take the stick with the carrot, because I too need the occasional boot in my posterior, and I expect no less from anyone else.

    All the best,

  4. by   NVirginia
    Reaching out to anyone who has been through the Virginia HPMP program. I am 4 years 9 months in with no relapse's and full compliance and all of a sudden I am being hit with very frequent testing. By very frequent I mean 3 tests in 5 days, and a hair test! I have called my case manager, with no return call of course, and just wondering if this is typical when you get close to the end. I hate to make waves this far into the program. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank -You
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from NVirginia
    Reaching out to anyone who has been through the Virginia HPMP program. I am 4 years 9 months in with no relapse's and full compliance and all of a sudden I am being hit with very frequent testing. By very frequent I mean 3 tests in 5 days, and a hair test! I have called my case manager, with no return call of course, and just wondering if this is typical when you get close to the end. I hate to make waves this far into the program. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank -You
    Hi there! I just saw your post and wanted to say, you might get more responses if you post this message (start a thread) in the Nurses and Recovery forum. Over there you'll find lots of nurses in similar situations. Best of luck to you.
  6. by   Nurseniki77
    How did it go with the HPMP? I am in a similar situation and very scared
  7. by   NVirginia
    Hi Nurseniki77 , First let me put your mind at ease, that you will get through this, so please don't give up. I got through my five years in (they actually keep you in longer, until they meet with the board which is quarterly. More money in their pocket) September. I don't think they would have even rememvered if I hadn't reminded them. Incredibly unorganized. But thank-you for asking.

    Now I'm assuming you are new to HPMP. If that's true let me give you a little advice my IOP intake nurse ( also a recovering addict) gave me . Stay off their radar. By that I mean, don't call them unless completely necessary. Alway get your forms in on time. I find that they don't really read them anyway just checking their own boxes. Iv'e heard they are very short staffed at HPMP. Don't give them a reason to remember you. And if you're doing the right thing you can only succeed.

    In my case they started testing even more frequent at the end. Even an unannounced hair test, which they are supposed to inform you, but in my case a complete surprise. Almost $300.00 and half a day work missed. This was after a dilute urine. One dilute urine. I was furious because I feel they expect us to be very responsible, understandibly, but they should follow their own rules as well. I called the director just to find out if this was common practice, anonymously, and of course he said no. Wanted to know my case manager's name but I didn't give it. Just took the lumps and got through it. That's when I joined this blog site. To vent mostly, and learn from others.

    So please reach out if you have questions. So many nurse's fail this program. Don't be one of them. It's doable. And you are getting a second chance, take it! Please let me know if you need support. I will help in any way I can. Us nurses gotta stick together. Good luck from one Nikki to another
  8. by   Nurseniki77
    I haven't started it, I'm not sure if I have to yet. I'm currently working with a large company that I have been offered a job with. The hiring process takes 2-3 months, but I am waiting on the board decision. My case has been in legal for almost 3 weeks. A lawyer suggested voluntarily going into the HPMP, but I don't know if I can emotionally take it, and risk losing this job offer, or my current job. I have been thinking of giving up nursing after 20 years. I was going through postpartum depression and three antidepressants caused mood disorder, my doctor said I was bipolar, and the hospital doctors said PTSD after a suicide attempt that was reported to the board. I have been off of antidepressants for months, almost completely off of mood stabilizers, I feel much better. However, this is causing major anxiety. I have a hard finding jobs as it is, this would hinder everything (I feel). It's sad that after all of these years I want to give up.
  9. by   NVirginia
    I am so sorry you are going through this. Certainly doesn't help with you depression I'm sure. We have very similar cases. In my situation my attorney told me the same thing. Voluntarily go in to HPMP and it will look good to the board. I didn't do it. And I'm glad I didn't because it took the board 4 months to hear my case, and you don't get "time served" when it comes to the HPMP and the board. You will still do the another 5 years after they make their decision. So better off to wait.

    Yes, maybe it looks good but your right, the added stress would be phenomenal and for what? You would have to have a work place monitor, no afternoon or night shifts and no narcotic administration . Daily check-in's, waiting in the lab to test. Sometimes for an hour or more. And your not a drug addict. You have depression. How dare they make you feel like an addict. I would think going to counselling might look good and be beneficial to you. I hope I'm not steering you wrong, but I don't see the advantage in going to HPMP right now. They are nothing but a money maker.
    This will pass I promise you. I know it seems dreadful, but you are not alone. No matter what happens you will get through it. Don't be ashamed, and try to stay strong. I'm sure you are an awesome nurse, that's why it hurts you to quit. Remember if you decide to give it up, nursing that is, it will only be harder down the road. Good -luck, and please let me know if you need an ear to vent.