Observed U/A, what are your states guidelines?

Nurses Recovery


So, i stumbled upon another thread from many years ago on this board googling about nursing boards requiring observed U/A. My state (Oregon) just began this the end of the year for all nurses on probation regardless of suspicion of altering urine, failed test, or dilute.

I very strongly feel this a huge violation of my civil rights, dignity, and privacy. Granted, i really wouldn't care if somebody just stood in the bathroom and watched me pee in a cup but it is very invasive- like get half naked then stare at my vagina while i pee. Um, not okay. I'm currently 20 weeks pregnant and have to sometimes bring my 1year old with me to test. In my case, i have been sober for 3.5 years (almost a year sober before i was allowed to return to work and even started U/A's), have been U/A'ed for almost 3 years while on a 24month working probation, never had a positive test, never missed a test, never had a dilute- have done no wrong. i have maybe 2 U/A's left possibly 3-- I'm almost there-- breathing and feeling violated every month. My probationer tries to be kind and stated all have to be treated the same- i wasn't during my initial case- I'm a garden variety alcoholic who never used on the job (not bashing those who did as it was a "yet" for me) my license violation states i did- not right. basically, i know others who have done much worse then me and not put through some of the stuff i was- so i wonder why on earth they seem to think that anything they do is "fair" to all.

As a women, they need to also make the look-at-your-vagina-process different for men and women-- it's ridiculous. Is there even such a thing as prosthetic vagina that keeps urine warm? That was my vent-- i apologize in advance-- just don't think anything about it is right- at the very least men and women should have different procedures, and not be modeled after DOT.

My question is does your state board also require this?? i know NC does-- what about others?? I'm genuinely curious and considering raising some hell for other recovering nurses once my probation is over. Anybody have experience with this??

Specializes in ER, TRAUMA, MED-SURG.

Hi! I've been out of our state's program since 2001, but in Louisiana we had observed UA collections. I always HATED it. I knew there wasn't anything I could do about it.

I have a few friends in the state's program here still and it's still the same.

Anne, RNC


195 Posts

In Texas, I was with Quest labs. There was no one in the room but I always felt there was a two way mirror (seemed to be mounted in the wall, kinda funny). For court, while on probation, there was a person in the room watching, even had mirror's around camode. As a man I found the process to be humiliating, different plumming or not. I felt much the same as you, I've heard others say its easier for me, its not ...... Peace


195 Posts

Just have to go with the flow (HEH,HEH,HEE)


52 Posts

I started my program in Connecticut, and our screens were observed 25% of the time. I transferred to Alabama after two years, and all of our screens are observed. I've also been clean for 3.5 yrs and screened all the way through a pregnancy - and I definitely don't enjoy this process. But it is what it is. And what it is for me is a lesson in acceptance and humility. It helps me remember what it was like when I was new to recovery, otherwise I can get too big for my britches and think I've got this all figured out. Don't get me wrong, there are days when I curse the whole drive to the lab. But most of the time I'm able to say (even if it's through clenched teeth), "thank you for this lesson." I did some crazy, ridiculous and often illegal things before I came in and now I would do anything to stay clean and sober and keep my nursing license. Unfortunately peeing in front of a stranger is one of the things I have to do.


32 Posts

NC here - I have been testing for almost 2 & 1/2 years. I am very lucky to have had the same woman observing me. I still have to lift my shirt and turn around but she has done it so many times that it's not embarrassing anymore. We just talk about how our weekends were and she makes me more comfortable! Good luck..you're almost there!


8 Posts

I definitely can relate to your story. I am from New Jersey and am in an alternative to discipline program called RAMP (recovery and monitoring program). We do not have to do observed UA testing. I was subjected to it once and felt very uncomfortable. We also can be subjected to hair sampling which is also not fun. The one time that I did an observed test it ended up being a mistake on the part of the lab tech. RAMP is a five year program that shields yr license until they see fit that you are ready to go back to work. It includes random drug screening 2 x a month, attending peer support as well as 12 step meetings. We work with a case manager and have lots of support from other impaired nurses and very compassionate peer support group leaders.

Good luck to you on your journey. Everytime you have to do an observed test try and remember that you are "fighting the good fight" and in being vulnerable you are "daring greatly" as Theodore Roosevelt said in his speech "The Man in the Arena". Take care.

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