Lorie Brown, Nurse Attorney and Founder of Brown Law Office, P.C. and EmpoweredNurses.org, and Ryan Fox, Indiana Employment Law Attorney with Fox Williams & Sink, discuss employment matters that Nurses might encounter such as discrimination, unlawful termination or retaliation, FLMA, not being compensated when working through your breaks or working overtime. They discuss matters with pre-employment such as drug screens and the importance of being honest on job applications as well as “blackballing”. Employment issues such as being written-up or discipline, suspension, discrimination as well as administrative leave or suspension pending investigation, mandatory overtime, termination, age discrimination.
We all have an ego which serves the purpose of keeping us safe. One thing it does in protecting us is it causes us to judge others which then makes us feel better.
Now you’ve got it. The biggest poison in nursing is judgement.
We, as nurses, don’t even realize how judgmental we are. Even though in nursing school we are taught to have a non-judgmental approach toward our patients, we still have that little voice in our head that says things like: “Oh, they are so whiny” or “That patient really needs too much pain medication.”
Sometimes we cover our judgments under the guise of our professional opinion. But this is a trick of the ego. We judge patients and even each other mercilessly. The nurse says, “I took over her care, she’s so lazy, she never does ____.” “My charge nurse is so mean and gives me the worst assignments.” And our judgments go on and on and on.
Judgments cause wars, judgments cause disagreements in relationships and judgments cause heartache and discontent.
And then there’s that sad part, we never know why a person behaves in a certain way. Maybe they are abused at home or have lost a family member or pet.
While judgments are part of the ego, they do not serve us. The first step is to recognize the judgments that you have without judgment of yourself. The second step is to release the judgment by asking yourself is it really the truth or is this just a judgment. The third step is to send the person love. They are a person just like you with hopes, fears, dreams and problems. The last step is to forgive. Don’t just forgive the person that you judged but forgive yourself for judging. After all, we are all human.
This may sound esoteric but give it a try with an open mind. When you are in control of your judgment and replace it with more positive thoughts, you will be much happier and I would not be surprised if your patients, co workers and family notice it.
What are your thoughts about judgment? What techniques do you have to deal with judgment?
Lorie Brown, Nurse Attorney, and Marc Lopez, Indiana Criminal Attorney, discuss what happens when a Nurse has been arrested, disciplined and/or investigated by an employer. They also discuss the best steps to take to avoid or lessen criminal charges as well as appearing before the Board of Nursing. Some of the other topics include controlled substances diversion, criminal diversion, Office of the Inspector General (OIG) Exclusion List, Nursys.com, ISNAP, Indiana Professionals Recovery Program (“IPRP”), expungement.
As you know, marijuana is legal in 9 states for recreational purposes and in 30 for medical purposes. However, even if it is legal where you live or visit, it may not be legal for you to use as a nurse.
Unfortunately, it stays in your system for a long time and there is no good way to detect marijuana usage. Frequently, I get calls from nurses who had a positive pre-employment screen and subsequently they lost their chance for a job and were reported to the Board.
The best advise that I can give is for you not to use marijuana in any form at all. Your licenses and your livelihood are too important to put at risk for this substance.
Other nurses have claimed they were at a party and unknowingly happened to ingest something like a brownie laced with marijuana. But, to tell the Board that you did not know they contained marijuana “is not a defense.” In fact, “I didn’t know is never a good defense” in any such situation.
If you don’t know for sure what is in an item or who made it, I would advise against having it.
As nurses, we are held to a higher standard than the rest of the public. Even if you go on vacation, don’t partake because it could likely still be in your system upon your return to work.
Marijuana has been touted to be a great stress reliever and nurses certainly have their share of stress. It also can help you sleep. Be careful even with CBD oil, make sure you use only the oil which does NOT have THC in it. There is CBD oil that contains only hemp, the female part of the marijuana plant, which has no THC.
I hope this information helps you to protect your license. I believe that Boards look at the use of marijuana by a nurse is like it being used by an airline pilot. Would you really want to get on a plane knowing that the pilot was using marijuana? Would you trust your child’s safety to a school bus driver or daycare teacher who you knew used marijuana?
This may be opening a proverbial “can of worms” but let me know your thoughts on this topic in the comments below.
Are you required to do mandatory overtime at your hospital? In Ohio, lawmakers are trying to ban mandatory overtime as a condition of employment. Nurses are very scared that if they say “no” to mandatory overtime that they will be fired.
Due to the nursing shortage, hospitals feel they have no choice but to have nurses work longer hours to cover more shifts. But, unfortunately, this creates a danger to the patients and to those who care for them because the nurses will be exhausted. Interestingly, Ohio was the state where a nurse was killed in an auto accident when she fell asleep at the wheel after working mandatory overtime. Her husband filed a lawsuit against the hospital.
It is sad that laws need to be put into place to make sure nurses are not working unusually long shifts. Laws are in place that limit work hours for airline pilots, truck drivers and others. Nursing should be one of those professions with limited work hours.
Minimum mandatory staffing would go a long way, however, under such a directive, hospitals may require having nurses work over to fill that minimum requirement.
Minimum staffing requirements were recommended to improve patient care but, if nurses are working longer hours to fulfill that minimum mandatory requirement, then that is not helping patients because the nurse will become exhausted.
Measures need to be taken to have an on-call system or other protections in place so that adequate staffing is maintained but not at the expense of nurses working mandatory overtime.
What are your thoughts? Does your hospital have mandatory overtime? Please let me read your thoughts in the comments below.