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Drug Testing, a Barrier to Employment....?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    I agree with T8. In most states, you risk loosing your license if you are found guilty of possession of illegal drugs, and if you get a DUI or other conviction for illegal substance use. This applies to nurses, physicians, pharmacists, etc. etc. Health care professionals need to be held to a higher standard due to the impact that errors in judgment while under the influence can cause. These rules apply not only to when you are "on duty", but at all times. I personally was involved in a case where a physician was taking both drugs and heavily drinking while on call, and had to help the nurses get this reported when they refused to take a telephone order from her when she was obviously intoxicated, and at home, but still on call. She lost her job and her license.

    (KLD)
    Again, where there is probable cause that is one thing and rigorous enforcement is indicated. But anecdotal reports do not prove that this is a statistically significant problem. I will direct my same questions to you as I did to T8 burst. Should a highly skilled surgeon with a superlative record and who has never treated patients while under the influence lose his/her license because he/she smoked a joint while on vacation? Shouldn't all drivers be pulled over at random and tested for urine drug testing because they kill far more people? Are the lives of people killed by such impaired drivers any less important?

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    • #17
      I wonder if it would be possible to run a DNA test on UTI bacteria, and match that DNA to a bacterium in a medical facility? If not let patients bring their specimen in (on your honor) then why not just send the person performing the test to the patient's home? An extra 30 bucks for travel? I'd pay it, not having to catheterize in a germ farm

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      • #18
        If I ran a company, I would say to my employees "what you do on your time is your own business. Just be consistently productive for me." If I DID need to perform drug inquiry for some legal reason, I'd have my employees sign an affidavit saying " I don't use drugs that aren't prescribed." We need to trust a little more in society....it would make us much healthier as people

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        • #19
          We trust people all the time, pretty much every time we drive. We ask society to not get behind a wheel, if they are not capable of paying attention while driving. If we drug tested everyone who drives, what do we test for. I have a prescription for opiates, who decides if I can drive while taking them?
          I have a prescription for Medical marijuana, can I drive on that? There was a campaign from the state police about not driving on prescription drugs, but really its up to each person to decide if they can drive or work on these drugs. Just like driving when you get really old, its really mostly up to the individual to self regulate a lot of this activity. There are ways to get around drug tests you know, so its really all about trusting those around you in the end.
          T12L1 Incomplete Still here This is the place to be 58 years old

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          • #20
            I've always wondered about narcotics in these drug screens. Chad takes prescribed narcotics, but as such would pop positive on a random drug screen or pre-employment screen. Would he be denied employment or be fired?

            And for what it's worth, I agree with PaidMyDues on probable cause to warrant a drug screen in the workplace once hired.
            Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

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            • #21
              Back in 2006ish, I was taking Darvocet when I applied for a job. I had to tell them I would test positive then fax a copy of the bottle label that showed doctor and that it was prescribed to me. I didn't have any problems. However, it might be different now with an oxy prescription. If he takes it for his disabling condition and they denied him employment based on the drug test, would that not be discrimination based on disability?

              I have wondered this very thing myself.
              T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

              My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

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              • #22
                That is how it is handled where I work. A physician's prescription (copy or the label of the bottle) must be submitted at the time of the drug screen, or shortly thereafter (if you don't have the bottle with you at work, for example) when doing the random screen, and they then administratively pass that test.

                (KLD)
                The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
                  I agree with T8. In most states, you risk loosing your license if you are found guilty of possession of illegal drugs, and if you get a DUI or other conviction for illegal substance use. This applies to nurses, physicians, pharmacists, etc. etc. Health care professionals need to be held to a higher standard due to the impact that errors in judgment while under the influence can cause. These rules apply not only to when you are "on duty", but at all times. I personally was involved in a case where a physician was taking both drugs and heavily drinking while on call, and had to help the nurses get this reported when they refused to take a telephone order from her when she was obviously intoxicated, and at home, but still on call. She lost her job and her license.

                  (KLD)
                  I agree with both T8 and KLD. When I was in the Army I fell under NSA as far as security clearances went. We were always on duty for both the Army and NSA. If T8 worked for any of our intelligence agencies he would also be subject to drug testing because drugs can do more then mess up your work but make you liable to blackmail for needing more and more cash for a habit. Aldrich Ames was an alcoholic and after his arrest more higher ups are getting tested and held to the same standards as the lowest employees. We fired a CIA Director over having the wrong papers at his home.



                  As for the never been under the influence while operating, hmm. I would think most doctors today sign agreements about illegal drugs and they apply on off duty and vacation hours just as military and VA doctors. Do you want a last second substitution of surgeons because yours decided that he has no surgeries planned tomorrow and you need emergency surgery? And how do you think most drunk or drugged doctos are found? During investigations into a patient death. We often don't hear about them as the doctor may be quietly suspended during an M and M in house review.
                  Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

                  Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

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