Right now in my city, there is a big focus on nurses and drug diversion in the media. There have been many nurses that have been fired, lost their licenses and ended up with their pictures in the paper or on the news because they made the bad decision to divert narcotics for themselves. In fact, a very good friend of mine recently lost her job because of this…and after years of working right next to her and even looking up to her, I never suspected that she had a problem at all.
Whenever I hear about his, I wonder what brought great nurses to the point where they felt they had to break the law, put their careers in jeopardy and worse, put their patients in danger. Was it the stress of the job? Was it an injury they could not longer get narcotics for? Or was it simply an addiction that needs to fed? It is hard for me as a nurse to comprehend.
But, I can see if you are in a situation where you are so desperate for the drugs you make that decision. We are in a place where it almost seems easy for us to feed that addiction. Imagine if you are an alcoholic or recovering alcoholic and you work in a liquor store. Every day you have to be exposed to it.
What really gets to me when I hear about this; is the possible loss of that nurse’s career. Most of them did not do this to intentionally put their patient’s safety in jeopardy; they did it due to an addiction. On one hand this makes me want to give them another chance to redeem themselves, but on the other hand there are rules, and consequences to breaking those rules. This even goes for my friend, if she loses her license because of this, it is because of the choices she made, and I will have to support her as a friend and sadly, as a former nurses
As nurses we want to take care of each people that have a problem, including each other. Unfortunately, we don’t always take care of ourselves.
Rob Cameron is currently a staff nurse in a level II trauma center. He has primarily been an ED nurse for most of his career, but he has also been a nurse manager for Surgical Trauma and Telemetry unit. He has worked in Med/Surg, Critical Care, Hospice, Rehab, an extremely busy cardiology clinic and pretty much anywhere he's been needed.
Prior to his career in nursing, Rob worked in healthcare finance and management. Rob feels this experience has given him a perspective on nursing that many never see. He loves nursing because of all the options he has within the field. He is currently a grad student working on an MSN in nursing leadership, and teaches clinicals at a local university.
Away from work, Rob spends all of his time with his wife and daughter. He enjoys cycling and Crossfit. He is a die hard NASCAR fan. Sundays you can find Rob watching the race with his daughter.
By Rob Cameron