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When Nurses Divert Drugs

when nurses divert drugs

When Nurses Divert Drugs

Ashley is a nurse on the Tele unit and is best friends with Lindsey, who works Med Surg. Ashley and Lindsey attended nursing school together and were thrilled when they landed jobs at the same hospital.when nurses divert drugs

Over dinner at Ashley’s place Lindsey apologizes for standing Ashley up the week before and being out of touch. “It’s just that I’ve been working extra”, she explains. Several time she rummages through her purse and jumps up to the bathroom.

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About Beth Hawkes (133 Articles)
Nice to meet you! I'm a Nursing Professional Development Specialist in acute care, a writer, speaker and career columnist.
  • A very sad problem. I am struck by the many parallels of nurse drug diverters and the Catholic priests that sexually abused children. Both preyed on a vulnerable, dependent group of people. When discovered both were transferred to another area or location. Supervisors of both groups did not really know what to do so they just moved the perpetrators from one location to another. Nurses belief in pharmaceutical agents as a way to resolve a problem vs. priests belief that they could molest and then resolve this by confessing. Both groups I believe had distorted boundaries and perhaps an unhealthy obsession with their profession which resulted in the wrong priorities. Both groups used uniforms/clothing as a symbol that they were trustworthy.
    Nurses diverting drugs is a very old problem. Drugs that are now Schedule IV were not even counted in my day. Valium and Talwin were two of the most commonly diverted drugs back in the day. They were readily available in big stock bottles that were not counted. By working in the operating room, I was able to escape most of the temptation to try drugs. We really did not have them available and you really had to have your wits about you when scrubbed. However, sometimes late at night on a very long case, amphetamines were made available by some of the surgeons and yes I did take them on occasion.

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