I honestly dont know of any healthcare worker licensed or otherwise who would ever dare touch a patient if they had narcotics in their system however some people do take meds while off duty under an MDs direction and based on NHRMC policy they arent allowed to be taking any meds on or off duty that NHRMC sees as Narcotics some of which are by no means mental altering even. I know even though I take Lyrica 2X daily due to residual neuropain issues from back surgery I wouldnt be eligible to be hired by NRHMC based on their policies which does not and never has affected me (it can initally cause issues in patients but Ive been on it 5+ months since my surgery in fact). To me the policies of NHRMC are extreme to say the least. I can understand not wanting LPN/RNs or Nursing Assitants on the floor who have oxycodone or other legitimate narcotics while on duty but what if a patient has an as needed order strictly at bedtime, some of which are narcotic in nature, they would be denied employment simply for having a legal prescription that they take occasionally OFF DUTY. This is where NHRMC was wrong absolutely. I know nurses who take xanax or restoril (which is also a benzodiazapine) at night to help sleep because Ambien or Lunesta failed to work and work nights (which night shift workers geninuely have a higher rate of insomnia) and need it to get enough sleep and proper rest, yet the NRHMC policy also affected those as well unfairly.
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