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Random tests?

Nurses   (1,633 Views | 23 Replies)

Medsport has 7 years experience as a LPN.

9,273 Profile Views; 352 Posts

I have been a floor nurse at various nursing homes for over 10 years now. I've never had to take a drug screen except for pre-employment. My current job is probably the best one I've had. The pay is good, I like most of my co-workers and the management is usually pretty laid back. Although call-offs, benefits and time off could be better. I heard one of the nurses got a random drug test recently. The person seems like a good nurse and I think it came from the BON. I know I shouldn't be concerned as I don't use illegal drugs. I do smoke cigs and drink occasionally.

But here's the thing, I am getting older and with all the walking and standing I have inflammation from time to time and may take something for the pain in which I haven't had a script for for a long time. I also have periodic UC flare ups and is why I started smoking (I know it may not be proven, but I do think nicotine helps). So with these issues I'm sure I could get a medical marijuana card as our state is now legal to do so and I've been thinking about it for awhile. I think it would also help with my anxiety and trouble falling to sleep. I'm pretty sure I could get fired if I got a positive test even if I had a card, but it may not be the case at all facilities. What do you guys think? Would a positive test affect my nursing license? It is becoming more and more acceptable so I'm thinking maybe I should just wait it out because sooner or later it may become legal on the federal level and then I would have nothing to worry about.

Edited by Medsport

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sissiesmama has 22 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in ER, TRAUMA, MED-SURG.

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Hi!  I live in Louisiana- I’m not sure if it’s like this in other states but here the BON stated that they will never allow a nurse to smoke on a med marijuana card and practice.  
 

Anne, RNC

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

3 Followers; 4,294 Posts; 31,059 Profile Views

I would come up with "Plan B" in a hurry. Some hospitals won't even hire nurses that smoke cigarettes.

If you're already "getting older", I would guess that marijuana is not going to be acceptable for nursing staff in your working lifetime ...and maybe it will never be in any lifetime.

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K+MgSO4 has 12 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Surgical, quality,management.

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Nicotine has been proven to assist only in pts who smoke cigarettes prior to diagnosis of UC.  It is often New Year that we see a spike in new diagnosis due to resolutions to quit. 

 

Marijuana has no proven effect on UC.  So stop using that as an excuse. 

If you are getting general aches and pains, see a physio and start yoga or pilates and ensure your diet is good.  If you still have issues, see a doctor. 

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Medsport has 7 years experience as a LPN.

352 Posts; 9,273 Profile Views

I don't work in a hospital, but could stop smoking anytime. I just don't want a flare up to come back. IMO, it seems like we are getting discriminated against for working in the medical field. What business is it of anybody what you do on your own time as long as you don't drive or go to work under the influence?

And k+, not looking for an excuse. All I know is it is one of the dx's that is acceptable for a card. It does help with inflammation and appetite as well. Also for your information, I have been working out for over 30 years and it was the high doses of Prednisone the "doctors" put me on over 20 years ago that started my joint issues. That's why I have been reluctant to go back to a doctor unless absolutely necessary. Yeah, I know they may have come out with better meds lately and maybe a medical center in a larger city would be more beneficial. But I prefer to use supplements, good diet and exercise. I think a lot of people are put on unnecessary drugs for HTN and diabetes for example that could have been helped with proper supplements, exercise, weight loss and a better diet.

Edited by Medsport

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SaltineQueen specializes in School Nurse, past Med Surge.

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You need to get scripts for anything you may be taking yesterday.  Of course there are better meds out there than there were 20 years ago.  If you get a "random" test and come back positive you likely will be fired, most certainly reported to your BON, and your world would become a whole mess of crap.  Have you ever read through the Recovery board here on AN?  

We don't make the rules, but we have to follow them.  I highly doubt it will EVER be acceptable for nurses to use medical marijuana.  

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LibraSunCNM has 10 years experience as a MSN and specializes in OB.

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What are you actually expecting us to say?  Yes, a positive drug test will affect your nursing license, no matter what the marijuana laws are in your state.  You can't possibly think that taking "something" for your pain for which you have no prescription, and gambling with using marijuana even though you may get a random drug test, are good ideas.

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11 hours ago, Medsport said:

from time to time and may take something for the pain in which I haven't had a script for for a long time.

You are not safe doing this, either.

 

11 hours ago, Medsport said:

Would a positive test affect my nursing license?

Yes.

5 hours ago, Medsport said:

What business is it of anybody what you do on your own time as long as you don't drive or go to work under the influence?

 

TPTB have made this their business and will not care what your individual positions on the matter are.

 

5 hours ago, Medsport said:

Also for your information, I have been working out for over 30 years and it was the high doses of Prednisone the "doctors" put me on over 20 years ago that started my joint issues. That's why I have been reluctant to go back to a doctor unless absolutely necessary.

I'm not sure why you have the word doctors in quotation marks. Are you suggesting these people were bona fide quacks?

You're writing as if their intent was to harm you. Unless there is more to the story, you must surely know that was not the case.

 

5 hours ago, Medsport said:

I think a lot of people are put on unnecessary drugs for HTN and diabetes for example that could have been helped with proper supplements, exercise, weight loss and a better diet.

Yes, a lot of things would be unnecessary if only....but many of them are not primarily under the control of the health care provider.

If you are having medical/physical difficulties you need to establish a relationship with a provider and together come up with a plan that doesn't  jeopardize your career. What you are saying right now is that because of your beliefs about other people, you'd rather just freely make a choice that will almost certainly jeopardize your career.

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Lurkndmurk has 1 years experience as a LPN.

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Unless it becomes federally legal.. it won't matter that the state legalizes it. The BON is federal law; therefore, even if your job says its okay... your license can end up in trouble 😞 It's really dumb & i dont agree with it, but hopefully they'll just legalize it within a few years and then viola, problem solved 😉 

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CritterLover is a BSN, RN and specializes in ER, ICU, Infusion, peds, informatics.

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I just want to point out that even if marijuana becomes legal on a federal basis, it does not automatically mean that the state BONs OR any employer has to allow use.

It *would* make it more likely, but does not guarantee it.

Take alcohol use, for example. Drinking alcohol is legal. Drinking alcohol to excess is legal. Being an alcoholic is legal. However, both your employer and your state BON can take action against your job/license if they find out you are an alcoholic even if you don't do anything illegal while drinking/drunk.

(I realize that marijuana use is not the same as marijuana addiction; the point I am making is that "legal" is not the same as "must be allowed.")

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Lurkndmurk has 1 years experience as a LPN.

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6 minutes ago, CritterLover said:

I just want to point out that even if marijuana becomes legal on a federal basis, it does not automatically mean that the state BONs OR any employer has to allow use.

It *would* make it more likely, but does not guarantee it.

Take alcohol use, for example. Drinking alcohol is legal. Drinking alcohol to excess is legal. Being an alcoholic is legal. However, both your employer and your state BON can take action against your job/license if they find out you are an alcoholic even if you don't do anything illegal while drinking/drunk.

(I realize that marijuana use is not the same as marijuana addiction; the point I am making is that "legal" is not the same as "must be allowed.")

Actually, it definitely does. I asked the BON about this subject and they said they would have no grounds against it. 

Going to work high or drunk is a different story. The BON can't take action against your license because you're drinking at home. They can if you break the law such as DUI. Being an addict or an alcoholic is completely different as well. Prescription drugs are allowed & I definitely see leeway with federal legalization of THC in the near future. 

I definitely see stipulations and problems concerning this though, considering how long it takes THC to get out of your system. How will they possibly know if a Nurse is high or not? Its going to get interesting one day...

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CritterLover is a BSN, RN and specializes in ER, ICU, Infusion, peds, informatics.

885 Posts; 11,567 Profile Views

18 minutes ago, Lurkndmurk said:

Actually, it definitely does. I asked the BON about this subject and they said they would have no grounds against it. 

Going to work high or drunk is a different story. The BON can't take action against your license because you're drinking at home. They can if you break the law such as DUI. Being an addict or an alcoholic is completely different as well. Prescription drugs are allowed & I definitely see leeway with federal legalization of THC in the near future. 

I definitely see stipulations and problems concerning this though, considering how long it takes THC to get out of your system. How will they possibly know if a Nurse is high or not? Its going to get interesting one day...

Maybe your BON, but that is not universally true (and I suspect that what you heard isn't the official position of your BON, but just one staff member's thoughts on the matter).

On my license renewal, I am asked if I have a problem with alcohol (I forget the exact wording) -- not just if I've had a DUI or other legal issues due to alcohol.

Prescription drugs are not universally allowed either -- nurses have had action taken against their licenses for taking prescribed medications in the manner which those meds were prescribed.

Their grounds against would be concern for public safety, which I suspect is an argument that the BONs of some conservative states will absolutely make. I'm sure there are other states that will have no issue with it. But it is foolish to think that will be the case everywhere.

Keep in mind that there isn't a widely available test for marijuana intoxication the way there is one for alcohol intoxication. That makes it difficult to regulate, and the BON could certainly take a stance that they won't allow it at all. Again, public safety and all that.

Even if they decide they are going to allow it, questionable behavior + positive drug test = trouble for that nurse, even if the "questionable behavior" is, well questionable in itself and the marijuana was consumed/smoked/etc weeks ago.

I think some people with go the ADA route and it will be interesting to watch that unfold. However since the ADA requires a collaborative back and forth on accommodations and employers aren't required to agree to accommodations that are an "undue hardship" I think facilities/the BON will still have a decent argument that they are protecting the interests of public safety by not allowing it.

 

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