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Would you tell the BON about brief relapse?

Recovery   (9,645 Views | 58 Replies)

LilRedRN1973 has 8 years experience and specializes in ICU, psych, corrections.

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I have to say I am shocked at the number of nurses encouraging dishonesty.

Sent from my iPhone.

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dirtyhippiegirl has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in PDN; Burn; Phone triage.

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Probably because most of us currently are or have recently gone through the terror of not knowing whether you will be able to pay your bills because you cannot find a job.

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No Stars In My Eyes has 43 years experience and specializes in Med nurse in med-surg., float, HH, and PDN.

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If you weren't caught drunk at work or you weren't caught in a DUI by the cops, and there are no records in the police/sheriff logs, and there has been no 'case' against you, don't say anything. I don't think this is lying even by omission, I think it is self-preservation.

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Here here! The board is an entity that practices law. It's not dishonesty, it is not handing a legal entity a case against you.

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LilRedRN1973 has 8 years experience and specializes in ICU, psych, corrections.

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Thank you all for your input. I really struggle with stuff like this because I am practicing a program of rigorous honesty and sometimes, there is a fine line between that honesty and being a martyr as someone mentioned above. I am back with my sponsor, back in my home group, meeting with my counselor and my Aftercare group again. I feel the board gave more than enough tools with which to stay clean sober. I also feel like I have a clear understanding of how important it is to use those tools after this relapse. After over 6 years of recovery, being clean and sober.....this was kind of eye opening to see how the disease just lies in wait for that perfect moment when we allow God to become a last resort rather than a priority.

If I were to be placed on contract again, I would definitely lose my current job and the job I was able to get so easily while on contract has no positions open at this time, nor do I foresee any in the near future. People tend not to leave that clinic because it is a good place to work and there are already 3 other nurses on contract working there. The consequences wouldn't necessarily be devastating if I were placed back on contract but it would be a definite financial hardship just when we are finally getting solid footing underneath us in the money department.

We lost our home due to my actions 7 years ago and it's still a foreclosure mess but we have managed to move past all of that and have really worked on bettering our life over the past 6 years. I also would lose almost 6 years with the state, which includes retirement. I am hoping to put in the years I need in order to retire from the state. So yes, it would be difficult (not impossible) to deal with the fallout from the board placing me on contract again. And they WOULD place me on contract again, I have no doubt of that. I would have surrender my license, which would mean no work for about 6-8 months while I fulfill the requirements then applying for a restricted license and 5 years of that.

Thank you again for all the responses. I know addicts and alcoholics (at least this one!) tend to be liars and can struggle with honesty. I wanted to make sure I wasn't falling into that hole. My sponsor just keeps gently reminding me that all of this is almost two years down the road when I have to renew my license. She suggests we wait and see where I am spiritually in the program before needing to make a decision.

Edited by LilRedRN1973

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LilRedRN1973 has 8 years experience and specializes in ICU, psych, corrections.

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The nature of my relapse consisted of going to the ER for severe back pain after lifting an extremely heavy inmate at work. I was given 12 Percocet and because I hadn't been going to meetings, working with my sponsor or having a relationship with my Higher Power, it was the open door this disease needed to sneak in there. For a little over 2 months, I took 2-4 Percocet a day on and off, along with 2-4 Tramadol (both medications belonged to my husband). I would go a week not taking them, think "I got this" and could clean myself up alone but would give in after about a week to the voice of my addiction and start taking them again for 1-2 weeks, then stop again. This ugly cycle went on for a little over two months. I was taking my husband's supply after I found the key to his lockbox. We now have a new lockbox that is done with a code and I was removed of the obsession after about two weeks of returning to my sponsor, the program and God. When I came clean to my husband, sponsor, etc. I also removed myself from pill room duties at work because I think putting me in there while trying to stay clean and sober after a relapse would be stupid. Now, if I have to be in there, I bring my per diem nurse in to "do some training" with her. This way, she is getting trained in the pill room and I'm not alone with narcotics. My current supervisor is aware I am a recovering alcoholic/addict and went through monitoring with the board but does not know about this relapse. I have no plans to tell him and feel it's the right decision for me. The people who are important in all of this know everything about the past few months and that's what matters I feel.

Thanks again, everyone :-)

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299 Posts; 5,099 Profile Views

I have to say I am shocked at the number of nurses encouraging dishonesty.

Sent from my iPhone.

I know this seems weird to people who have not been caught by the BON. There are many instances in which a nurse "uses a substance injurious to self" (Alcohol) to excess (and this can be one instance) and does not turn themselves in to the BON.

I would not say that we are encouraging dishonesty- just some balance in your right to medical privacy. A slip up is not a relapse. It is a learning experience. You should not have to fall on the sword and make it into a disciplinary matter.

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If you have not had a positive drug screen no records like a dui then no do not cause harm to yourself or your family keep your mouth shut and work your program hard and earnestly, but do not admit to the BON you relapsed especially if that is the only way they would know. You did your 4th step and your making amends why cause more pain? Let it go focus on today.

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I know this seems weird to people who have not been caught by the BON. There are many instances in which a nurse "uses a substance injurious to self" (Alcohol) to excess (and this can be one instance) and does not turn themselves in to the BON.

I would not say that we are encouraging dishonesty- just some balance in your right to medical privacy. A slip up is not a relapse. It is a learning experience. You should not have to fall on the sword and make it into a disciplinary matter.

This isn't my area of expertise but:

You really consider 2 months of abusing oxycodone a "slip up" and not a "relapse"? Diverting her husband's meds from a lockbox for a number of weeks seems more like a relapse to me.

The OP was also taking several a day and I assume she was also working at the time?

Does that change your impression?

I also disagree that knowingly attesting to a different sobriety date is acceptable. I am willing to wager if the BON discovered this it would be reason to pull a license.

Sent from my iPhone.

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

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Probably because most of us currently are or have recently gone through the terror of not knowing whether you will be able to pay your bills because you cannot find a job.

This.

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No Stars In My Eyes has 43 years experience and specializes in Med nurse in med-surg., float, HH, and PDN.

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And how is BoN going to find out, if the only others who know are the husband and the sponser? Do we know she was working under the influence? I don't believe she said.

I'd be willing to say she's had the fear of God put into her, and she seems quite sincere of putting the kibosh on the situation and is sincere about cleaning up her act. I'd give her benefit of the doubt. Any further activity would put her on the hot seat and she knows it.

Nothing like a good epihany to snap a person awake to the facts off any further trouble ruining her career.

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Lev has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency - CEN.

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Let's say the OP slips up again, but this time it lasts 6 months...and the OP won't go to the BON..I think this is an area where you must be very strict with yourself.

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