Are you weaving a web so thick that not even Charlotte could manage to migrate it? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte's_Web.
I am writing an e-book, the New Charlotte's Web: Deceit, Deception, and Dishonesty, Drugs/Alcohol, and Nursing's Social Policy Statement.
Deceit, Deception, and Dishonesty is part of addiction and use. I get it.
Drug and Alcohol Use, Abuse, Dependency, and Impairment is no doubt an issue in nursing. I get it.
There are alot of nurses who are abusing prescription medication but think its "okay" because I have script. There is a thin line between using prescription medication as prescribed vs. using prescription medication prior to and while at work vs. impairment regardless of whether you are working 4, 8, 12, or 16 hour shift.
However, there are competing forces with drug and alcohol use, abuse, dependency, and impairment in nursing. Yes, there is a recognition that this is disease on one end of the spectrum and on the other end of the spectrum is the public and the State Nursing Board and Law Enforcement.
Guess what's in the middle? IMO, its Personal and Professional Responsibility & Accountability.
How does this apply in the workplace? Examples.
So you know what this means? Yes, Alcohol & Drug Use, Abuse, Dependency, and Impairment are medical issues but as a state licensed nurse, you are personally and professionally accountable and responsible for your actions and inactions in accordance with American Nurses Association professional standards of practice and your State Nurse Practice Act and Board of Nursing Regulations.
So guess what? You are a nurse and you are diverting drugs; you have a medical condition but you are accountable. You are nurse and you are showing up to work drunk; you have a medical condition but you are accountable.
You cannot be a state licensed nurse and NOT be accountable and responsible for your actions or inactions or conduct. This isn't Burger King and you can't have it your way. It works this way for most licensed professionals especially in healthcare, which is HIGHLY regulated.
The accountability and responsibility piece and the foundations for the legal, professional, and self-regulation of nursing practice is lost. This is what frustrates me is this connection is lost somewhere in the transition from nursing student to professional nurse to professional nurse and expert clinician.
Nursing schools are the new puppy and pill mills, teaching to pass the NCLEX and producing graduates who don't understand the role of personal and professional accountability and responsibility in nursing practice and the importance of legal, professional, and self-regulation of nursing practice. (Oh, snap, I guess I won't be invited to present on nursing law and rules for nursing faculty. Tear.)
This isn't picked up in the workplace of course and most nurses don't belong to a nursing professional or specialty nursing associations. So in my opinion the majority of us are showing up to work and just practicing until something happens and we are doing this without a plan for our nursing practice and without a healthy appreciation & understanding of JUST how important the legal, professional, and self-regulation of nursing practice is to our nursing practice and "the plan."
Sections of the Nursing's Social Policy Statement: The Essence of the Profession (2010) will be required reading for ALL of my law office clients going forward. http://www.nursesbooks.org/Main-Menu/Foundation/Nursings-Social-Policy-Statement.aspx.
If you are a law office client, take a guess what you will receive on your birthday, my birthday or around the holidays this year!!!
What's your point, LaTonia? Weave it, baby, Weave it! You can weave a web and weave it as thick, as sticky, as murky, and for as long as you can. Regardless of whether you weaved the web because of a medical condition, mental condition, etc. the "why" is a mitigating factor: you are responsible and accountable due to the professional regulation, legal regulation, and self-regulation of nursing practice.