Do nurses get drug tested? It’s a common question for those in the medical profession. Since the use of illegal drugs is considered a violation of professional standards, most employers require their employees to submit to drug screening at some point in their careers. Even if you’re not required to take a drug test, it’s probably a good idea to do so; the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
Nurses being trained to work under pressure situations that require the use of proper techniques during emergencies, nurses are required to be alert at all times. The majority of hospitals have policies that require nurses to submit for drug tests periodically, before any major operation takes place, or after being hired.
Some hospitals do drug testing, some don’t. Some states require drug testing for all medical professionals and others don’t. You can experience this maybe twice in your career, depending on the rules of your state.
Why do nurses get drug tested?
Nurses have to pass a comprehensive physical examination every year, so they need to be fit and healthy. In many cases, nurses must know how to pass their drug tests because it is a condition of employment. The most common drugs being tested for are marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other prescription drugs that have been obtained illegally.
Drug testing is for the safety of patients who are put into care by nurses that may end up being addicts or alcoholics. As a nurse, you may get tested anytime in your career or before starting your career. But the majority of drug tests for nurses are done for the following reasons.
If you are looking to take the first step towards becoming a nurse, you should understand that there are several steps along the way that you should be aware of. One of the first things that you should know about is your drug test. Nurses usually have to undergo a drug test before being hired at a facility.
For the record, the job of a nurse is both rewarding and demanding. This is why some hospitals are using drug tests during their hiring process. They feel that these tests can give them an accurate idea of whether or not the candidate will be able to perform their job under extreme pressure. The more stressful situations they go through; the more drugs they crave.
Complains of patients or any anonymous person
Being a nurse isn’t an easy job, but a whole lot of things make it a lot harder. One of the reasons nurses get drug tested is because patients complain. Whether it’s a patient who is dissatisfied with the standard of care they received from your facility, or your patient is just looking to cause trouble just to cause trouble for you, they may come up with any number of reasons as to why they need to report you as possibly abusing medication.
Not only patients, anyone can complain about a nurse, but it may also be the patient’s family members, your coworkers, and the staff.
Social media can tell you all about your personal life. Anything you are doing you will post on social media. But before posting it, keep in mind that it is public and everyone is watching your actions.
If you post your picture of taking drugs, your friends can see it and may complain about you in the hospital. In such situations, a drug test may be triggered.
Your state may be one of the states where a drug test is required as a condition of an employment offer to a prospective nurse. You may also live in a state that allows employers and labor unions to test nurses for drugs and alcohol. This test is done mostly in those states where drug addiction is common.
How to do a drug test?
A drug test takes the form of urine sample analysis to detect the presence of certain substances in a person’s body. Many different tests have been developed to determine whether or not someone has been using illicit drugs. Different drug testing techniques have been developed and implemented for each category of testing.
There are several types of drug-testing a person may be a candidate for with employers and these may include urine, hair follicle, saliva, and blood tests.
Because of its non-invasiveness and high accuracy, a urinalysis is the most standard and popular form of drug testing. The procedure involves collecting a urine sample from the subject and submitting it for laboratory analysis to detect the use of drugs such as trace amounts of illicit drugs or controlled prescription medications.
A saliva test looks for certain by-products of drugs that can be detected in saliva rather than in whole blood.
Blood testing is used in drug testing when screening for both legal and illegal drugs. A general overview, a 5-panel screen, a 10-panel screen, a 15-panel screen, a 20-panel screen, a 25-panel screen, or a 30-panel screen may be conducted to examine for amphetamine, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine metabolites, cannabis metabolites, methamphetamine, and PCP.
Hair follicle test
A hair follicle drug test is a method of testing for drugs and other illegal substances (such as meth and marijuana) in the hair follicles of the body. The individual is required to cut a small amount of hair from the scalp and send it to a lab using mail. This process takes longer than other drug test preparations, such as urine tests and saliva tests, however, it’s considered one of the more reliable drug tests among employers and government agencies.
Why is nurse drug testing important?
Nurses that undergo drug testing come from many walks of life. The importance of this article’s topic is based upon job-related substance abuse, which has been identified as a major problem among nurses. Nurses who use drugs and alcohol at work not only put themselves at risk for addiction, they also put their patients and other nurses in harm’s way because of the negative impacts substance abuse has on judgment and performance. NHTSA identifies the following licit and illicit substances to impact safe nursing performance: # Alcohol and Other Drugs: Alcohol and other drugs were found to be the most commonly abused substances by health care workers. If you work as a nurse, your employer has the right to drug test you.