Substance abuse while at work is a serious case, which is why an effective nurse attorney is needed if you get accused of this kind of scenario. However, some who thought they were guilty of the charges failed to hire a nurse attorney just because they thought it’s the doom for their RN or LVN license already.
This is the incident that happened to an RN in 2018. At the time of the initial incident, she was employed as an RN with a health care service facility in Fort Hood, Texas, and had been in that position for one (1) year and ten (10) months.
On or about June 7, 2018, while employed as an RN with a health care service facility in Fort Hood, Texas, RN failed to complete a medication destruction log and placed an empty medication bag into the locked medication waste container. RN’s conduct left medications unaccounted for, was likely to deceive the pharmacy, and placed the pharmacy in violation of Chapter 481 (Controlled Substances Act) of the Texas Health & Safety Code.
On or about June 9, 2018, while employed as an RN with a health care service facility in Fort Hood, Texas, RN engaged in the intemperate use of Lorazepam, in that she produced a specimen for a reasonable cause drug screen that resulted positive for Lorazepam. Possession of Lorazepam, without a valid prescription, is prohibited by Chapter 481 of the Texas Health & Safety Code (Controlled Substances Act). The use of Lorazepam by a Registered Nurse, while subject to call or duty, could impair the nurse’s ability to make rational, accurate, and appropriate assessments, judgments, and decisions regarding patient care, thereby placing the patient in potential danger.
In response, RN states she did in fact complete a destruction log and noted that a coworker had recorded a waste on it. The witnessed remaining volume was placed in two Ziploc bags and the bags were then stapled closed for extra protection to ensure that the fluid remaining was secure. The bag was then placed into the unit-locked waste container. The box was overfilled and it was difficult to push the sealed bag into the box. RN states she had to push very hard to get it in securely and not flip back out. She states it could be quite possible that if more wasted drugs were put in the container that it could have caught the lip and come back out. RN also states she has a male friend with Parkinson’s disease who takes medication for spasticity, as well as Ativan. One evening he prepared a meal and a pitcher of cocktails. RN recalls feeling very tired when she had just taken a nap. He left the remainder of the meal and cocktail mixture in the refrigerator, which RN eventually drank alone on a different evening, still unaware that it was mixed with Ativan. She was shocked to find out that the urine was positive for Ativan. RN would never intentionally jeopardize her position on the hospice unit or any other unit.
The above actions constitute grounds for disciplinary action in accordance with Section 301.452(b)(10)&(13), Texas Occupations Code, and is a violation of 22 TEX. ADMIN. CODE §217.11(1)(A) and 22 TEX. ADMIN. CODE §217.12(1)(B),(1)(E),(4),(5),(10)(A),(10)(C)&(11)(B).
As a result, the Texas Board of Nursing decided to place her RN license under disciplinary action. Her defense would have gotten better if she actually sought legal consultation from a Texas nurse attorney as well.
Any RN or LVN should never use any substance in and out of work as it may affect their performance, which may lead to further issues for the patients they are taking care of. Additionally, if you ever undergo cases such as this, it’s best to seek the assistance of a good nurse attorney as it could make the case better in your favor. Be sure to find a nurse attorney who’s experienced and knowledgeable in several nurse cases to ensure the best assistance possible.
If you also received a complaint regarding a case filed on you, you should hire a nurse attorney immediately before it’s too late. Texas Nurse Attorney Yong J. An is an experienced nurse attorney for various licensing cases for 16 years and represented over 200 nurse BON license cases before the Texas BON. You may contact him 24/7 at (832) 428-5679 for more information or if you want to schedule a private consultation.