Nursing is a very challenging profession that involves a lot of responsibilities. From taking care of the sick and injured to promoting the health of people and families, to updating doctors about the patient’s health, to assisting surgeons in surgeries. All such responsibilities are dealt with by nurses. When you have to play a lot of roles in your profession then you have to be an all-rounder. This is what a nurse is called.
A nurse is expected to have a calm personality as she has to deal with patients of all sorts of behaviors. This is why a nurse goes through a lot of documentation procedures before getting their official nursing license. A nursing license allows the nurses to practice their profession and trust us on this when we say that there are a lot of actions that can lead to a nurse losing their license. Smoking weed is one of them. Read below to know about it.
What is a weed?
Weed in general terms is referred to any plant growing where it is not wanted. It is a mixture that is a mix of two colors that are green and grey of the dried flowers of Cannabis Sativa. Weed has different uses. It is used to brew tea, make medicines and add flavor to foods like brownies and cookies. These are not the only uses. Among all the uses one that people talk about the most is weed being used by drug addicts. The majority of the people smoke weed but who we are most concerned about are the nurses here. Nurses also smoke weed. What we need to know is that do they have to face the consequence of losing their nursing license?
Legalization of weed
In the past few years, we have seen many countries legalizing weed which means people can easily use marijuana and it will be easily accessible to people. Marijuana legalization has been a contentious issue throughout the states who have legalized it. One certain thing is that this has created confusion among the health care professionals related to the use of weed. The law of some countries even after legalizing marijuana doesn’t allow medical professionals to consume it given the reason that they have patients’ live in their hands. While some countries allow them to use it but specifically mention that they may not be under the influence of any drug while providing treatment to the patient.
In some countries, there are no restrictions related to the use of marijuana for nurses and doctors. There the employers have voluntarily made no-smoking rules for cigarettes and prohibited the use of marijuana in the workplace. This is done to not let a doctor or nurse give an impaired performance. If they continue to go against their policies related to marijuana it might result in professional license suspension.
Drug testing of nurses
Drug testing is a thing for which a nurse should always be prepared. The first time a nurse is drug tested is when she is being recruited for a new post. Other than this a nurse can be drug tested if a patient complains about her unusual behavior.
When a nurse gets injured at work then also, they can be subjected to drug testing, and that too an unannounced one. One more reason can be a nurse’s mistake that has put the patient’s health in danger can also make them go through drug testing.
It depends on the preferences of an organization, some do it on a monthly or yearly basis through regular drug screening methods. They should be prepared for being tested at any time due to any incident that provokes the organization to do it.
What happens if a nurse is tested positive for drugs?
Failing a drug test can leave a nurse in deep waters. They have to face many consequences which we have discussed below but to the question of what happens if they get tested positive for their drug test let us tell you a procedure is followed. Their employer informs the board of registered nurses of that country. The board takes further actions depending upon the amount and reason for usage.
Can a nurse lose their license for smoking weed?
The above-sated information is enough to answer this question. But for clarity, yes, a nurse can lose their nursing license for smoking weed. Even though some countries have legalized marijuana, but have a restriction on the use of it by health care professionals and they can lose their nursing license for smoking weed.
What does the board do?
The board of the registered nurses of a state takes certain actions against the nurse who has been tested positive for drugs. They investigate the case and sit with a team of people for an inquiry. They can file an accusation to revoke the nursing license of a nurse or might conduct an additional investigation. The initial step that they take is to figure out whether you were working under someone’s influence or had a prescription for taking it. A letter is sent by the board to the accused nurse explaining the reason and is also advised to participate in the drug and alcohol treatment program if what they do is an addiction. A nurse getting enrolled in this program might affect the aspect of their life, profession, and income and make them skeptical about having their license secured.
How can a nurse get assistance in this regard?
What is the first thing you do if a case is filed against you? You find a lawyer for yourself. This is the same thing you need to do when the board files a case against you for using drugs. A lawyer will explain to you the policies of the state related to the usage of drugs by health care professionals and will guide you about the steps to be taken. The lawyer will also be there to negotiate with the board members. To summarize, a nurse can get assistance from an attorney when is accused of taking drugs or is testing positive.