Malpractices due to drug or alcohol abuse have been a signature specialty of a nurse attorney when handling cases for some nurses. However, some nurses tend to forget this fact because they really felt like they should be responsible even if they never intended to commit such an error.
One such incident occurred on or about January 20, 2016, to an RN in San Antonio. During the said date, the RN engaged in the intemperate use of amphetamines and benzodiazepines in that she produced a specimen for a drug screen that resulted positive for amphetamines and benzodiazepines. Unlawful possession of amphetamines and benzodiazepines is prohibited by Chapter 481 (Controlled Substances Act) of the Texas Health & Safety Code. The use of amphetamines and/or benzodiazepines by a Registered Nurse, while subject to call or duty, could impair the nurse’s ability to recognize subtle signs, symptoms, or changes in a patient’s condition, and could impair the nurse’s ability to make rational, accurate, and appropriate assessments, judgments, and decisions regarding patient care, thereby placing a patient in potential danger.
This issue was filed as a complaint and sent to the Texas Board of Nursing. The Texas Board of Nursing has full jurisdiction in all cases that may affect the status of an RN or LVN’s license in the future. But they advise nurses to attend a hearing first before placing the sentence, which the RN attended for her career’s security.
The RN states that the night before the incident, she was unable to sleep and found an old Xanax bottle with one pill left in the bottle. She states she took the pill and then threw the bottle away. The RN states that after she submitted her urine specimen, the doctor performing the drug screen called to ask about her prescriptions. She states she provided her eleven (11) year old prescription for Xanax. The RN states she was called by a different doctor the following day, informing her that her urine sample would be failed due to the old prescription.
As a result, the Texas Board of Nursing placed her RN license to disciplinary action. It’s too bad that she failed to hire a nurse attorney for assistance, knowing that she had every reason to defend herself in the first place. Her defense would have gotten better if she actually sought legal consultation from a Texas nurse attorney as well.
So if you’re facing a complaint from the Board, it’s best to seek legal advice first. Texas Nurse Attorney Yong J. An is willing to assist every nurse in need of immediate help for nurse licensing cases. To contact him, please dial (832)-428-5679 for a confidential consultation or for more inquiries.