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Seeking advice/information

Recovery   (1,396 Views | 22 Replies)
by Nurse2007 Nurse2007 (New) New Nurse

94 Profile Views; 5 Posts

I hope I am posting this in the best spot, I was hoping many of you would be able to offer insight on this for me to pass on to a friend.  (this may get long)

I am seeking advice for a coworker.  Long story short she is experiencing some serious work place bullying.  I technically oversee her and have gone to my management to address the issue to which they replied "some personalities just dont mesh"

Quick background: My coworker does not drink, never touched any sort of drug/narcotic in her entire life (never even tried smoking).  She can count on one hand the number of times shes had a few sips of wine and has never had a DUI.  I'm trying to be vague about our work environment just to keep my post more confidential....but we only have to work 9 months out of the year-the other three months she spends doing missions work in other countries.  Yes, I know addiction can affect anyone but I'm just trying a paint a background.  We also work in a medical environment where med diversion is near impossible (we dont have a pyxis machine etc, we are not handling narcotics).  

So last week she receives a letter stating that she is being reported for possible illicit drug use.  It was multiple pages giving her the option to confess and enroll into their program, have an evaluation etc.  She was completely caught of guard obviously and called me hysterical.  I had no answers or advice for her but I told her do not sign anything you need to talk to someone first.  We have also come to the conclusion that this is an act of defamation through someone in our work place.  In the letter she saw she is assigned a 'case worker' who she called and this individual had no clue the accusations being held against my coworker and told her she has to schedule an intake phone call through our states nurse peer assistance program to find out what is going on.  To me that does not sound right as she does not need to enroll into a program.  I also think it is BS that she has to pay out of pocket for possible drug tests/evaluations when there is no proof that she is using anything.  She has a phone call scheduled for today but now that I'm doing more reading I'm wondering if she should be calling some where else?  Do you call the BON to get answers?  When she briefly spoke to an individual from the assistance program they told her she'd need letters of recommendation from 3 individuals etc.  This poor woman can not catch a break, she has no money for a lawyer either--should she be seeking legal advice?

Any sort of advice I can give to her??  Thank you!!

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SaltineQueen specializes in School Nurse, past Med Surge.

1 Follower; 817 Posts; 6,187 Profile Views

I would tell her that the only thing she should say in that phone call is something along the lines of - I am innocent and will not be answering any questions until after I have had a chance to talk to my attorney.  From everything I've read on this board, she can't NOT afford to have one that specializes in BON issues.  

Edited by SaltineQueen

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JadedCPN has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU.

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Your friend needs an attorney, stat. No matter how much it costs. 

Also, while a supportive friend is always appreciated, I would not get too involved and invested in this situation.

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5 Posts; 94 Profile Views

JadedCPN I agree I'm trying to keep my distance from this and she has ZERO support any where (we work in an area with really no management and she has no family, no spouse etc) I'm trying to offer her moral support where I can and maybe some insight but going no further than that.  Thank you

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JadedCPN has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU.

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I also want to add that, unless you left out a large portion of the story, the fact that you both jumped to the conclusion that this was done by "bullies" at your workplace is a big assumption to make that could end unfavorably for you.

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5 Posts; 94 Profile Views

JadedCPN--we are not saying with out a doubt it is and she would never of course bring that up in anything involving this but she conveniently received the letter of investigation about a week or two after she and another individual at work exchanged words on a policy disagreement.  Yes I am leaving out a large portion of the story just because I dont want an internet search bringing up this post with specifics.  Also I think its normal human response to want to figure out where the report came from.  Either way no mention is ever being made in the work place of this and she is carrying on as if nothing is going on in case it did come form inside our organization.

Like I said I'm not going any further with this it just seemed like everything she researched on this had to do with individuals guilty of med diversion or substance abuse at some point, nothing with her specific situation.  I am looking more for input from anyone who is 100% innocent of an accusation and how they carried out the investigation.  Either way I told her to just contact an attorney at this point (we weren't sure if that was going overboard at this point but it seems it would be in her best interest)  My hands are washed of this 

 

Edited: I see where you think we are 100% assuming it is someone in our work place by the way I wrote my original post--I was typing everything out quickly and vaguely-I should have said through a quick process of elimination she feels this could be from an act of defamation not that it definitely is (sorry I should have been clearer).  Just the reporting means dont add up with anything that she does or could have done other than a report from a random individual with concerns. 

Edited by Nurse2007

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380 Posts; 5,018 Profile Views

On 12/5/2019 at 10:46 AM, Nurse2007 said:

JadedCPN--we are not saying with out a doubt it is and she would never of course bring that up in anything involving this but she conveniently received the letter of investigation about a week or two after she and another individual at work exchanged words on a policy disagreement.   

Hate to burst any  hopes this is a random act from an encounter week or two ago.  There is NO WAY ANY BON works that fast.  Many people wait months and sometimes years to hear from the BON after an accusation is made.

This is my opinion only, but, if I were your friend, I would get an attorney YESTERDAY!  Work OT, do side gigs, whatever.  But do NOT talk to anyone else at the BON or peer assistance until you have consulted a lawyer who has experience in defending RN licenses.

Good luck, and hang in there!

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19 Posts; 111 Profile Views

I thought the Board had to give specific information about the complaint. It is a public office and I thought this was all public information. How can they present information about an accusation without showing who the accuser is? 

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KyBeagle has 27 years experience as a ASN and specializes in ED RN and Case Manager.

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@Nurse2007

Let me give one other potential view of this scenario.

I had been an ED nurse for 22 years. I had received several nurse “Art of Caring” awards. I precepted all the new grads. I was very well-respected by the ED doctors. I was on the ED trauma team & the hospital Code Blue team. I had only taken narcotics twice in my life- after an abdominal surgery & a difficult tooth extraction ( I even turned down narcs with my C-Sections). I could count the number of times that I drank alcohol on my fingers. I was the “good girl” way back in high school & college. Never smoked pot or took anything illegal. My husband & I routinely went on mission trips. I taught Vacation Bible School every summer.  I still had that “good girl” persona through my adult years... until 2014 when I was caught diverting Dilaudid out of the Pyxis. 

What nobody knew was that I secretly had an addiction for 3-4 months prior to my termination. My HUSBAND was shocked when I told him the reason why I was terminated. I worked with my best friend. She had no idea! I knew that I had a problem but was too ashamed to seek help. I discreetly looked into counseling or outpatient treatment programs but realized that I was too ashamed to tell ANYBODY. It was just “luck” that I was caught. A nurse thought I had accidentally signed out Dilaudid on the wrong patient. So the charge RN went into the Pyxis to see which pt it might have been- and noticed my multiple Dilaudid withdrawals that night on patients without an order. 

I knew that my time as an addict was ticking. I really thought that Pharmacy would catch me. I’m surprised that I did this for as long as I did. I WANTED to stop but COULDN'T. As crazy as it sounds, when I was terminated it was, at the same time, a blessing. My secret was out & I got into treatment.  This occurred 5 years ago. I completed treatment & my state’s 5 year Monitoring program. I’m back working in the same hospital that terminated me. I hold ZERO resentment because they most likely saved my life. 

I just wanted to illustrated another viewpoint to your story. I’m not saying your friend is guilty. She may be completely innocent. But when you described her... you were also describing ME. Again, neither my husband nor my friends had ANY idea that I was using. I was too ashamed to tell ANYONE. I wanted help but was too ASHAMED to seek help on my own. Just something that I would like for you to keep in mind. 

That said- I DO agree with the other posts in that your friend needs to seek legal guidance before talking to the BON. Not a criminal attorney. She needs to find an attorney that’s experienced in working with your state’s BON & has previously represented other nurses before the Board. 

Best of luck! Keep us updated!

Edited by KyBeagle
Correction

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Megan1977 has 38 years experience as a MSN, RN.

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2 hours ago, Fun4two said:

I thought the Board had to give specific information about the complaint. It is a public office and I thought this was all public information. How can they present information about an accusation without showing who the accuser is? 

Dealing with the  BRN is a completely different experience altogether. Seriously- your friend needs a BRN attorney ASAP!! It is not a level playing field. 

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KyBeagle has 27 years experience as a ASN and specializes in ED RN and Case Manager.

114 Posts; 1,326 Profile Views

3 hours ago, Fun4two said:

I thought the Board had to give specific information about the complaint. It is a public office and I thought this was all public information. How can they present information about an accusation without showing who the accuser is? 

I don’t know in which state the OP lives. In Kentucky, all details of the investigation are confidential from the public until it’s concluded. That worked favorably in my case. I was rightfully reported to the BON by my employer. However, I also requested entrance into my state’s confidential Alternative to Discipline program. Since I requested enrollment in the KARE program through the BON’s compliance branch, the investigative/disciplinary branch “dropped” their investigation. Upon completion of KARE after 5 years, my license is free & clear with no disciplinary marks on it. 

If I hadn’t requested the confidential program, had been investigated & found “guilty” of wrongdoing, the information would have been public & easily accessed online by anyone - forever! 

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295 Posts; 1,157 Profile Views

I just came across this post since it was on the front page of the website, 

I'm not at all familiar w/ the whole recovery/diversion process, but if your friend is, indeed, not guilty of diverting....couldn't she go and pay a lab on her own dime to draw up a drug test for her to clear her name? 

Just a thought... so she could at least have proof that she's not on any non-prescribed meds.  Then again, if she does happen to be on anything that wasn't prescribed, she would probably say no to the drug test and you'll have your answer.

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