November 5, 2013 at 5:56 AM #10436
I am an RN who worked in a nursing home. At the end of my shift, while counting narcotics, it was discovered that 2 methadone pills were missing. I was the only nurse on day shift. I was sent for a drug test.
The DON told me that I was suspended pending my drug test. The drug test came back negative. She scheduled a meeting with me. I told her I did not take the pills, ingest them, or give them to anyone else.
The nurse I counted with said pills have fallen out of the blister pack on her before. I suggested this may have happened to me.
The DON said that even though the drug test was negative, the Human Resources dept. said I would be terminated. This was my first med error. Seems harsh to me.November 5, 2013 at 7:38 AM #10437
Jason Hautala RNMember
Sorry to hear that. Why did they even bother with the drug test if the result (termination) was going to be exactly the same regardless of the outcome of the test?
Depending on your state, you may be able to fight it in court for wrongful termination, and might have a chance at winning, but even if you did win, they would make your life miserable until you quit or they found another reason to fire you, but you would get back pay as if you had been working during the course of the trial, which would probably take a couple of years and cost thousands in lawyer fees.
You can also talk to them about resigning from the position instead of being fired. This may make it easier to find the next job, but again, depending on the state, may make it harder to collect unemployment.
I know of a couple nurses who have won wrongful termination suits and were rewarded quite nicely, but it is a lot to pay out initially for a possible return of investment since there is no guaranty you would win this case, especially since you were the only nurse working when the pills came up missing.
Good luck. Hopefully they don’t report you to the state board of licensing for possible narcotic diversion, as that would follow you around and they will let you resign or lay you off. Maybe getting a lawyer to threaten a wrongful termination suit unless they were willing to lay you off or terminate you for some other reason would be worth the time and effort?
Good luck, hopefully other nurses here have some experience in such things. The only nurses I know who have been fired for narcotics missing were actually diverting … the good news is they eventually all found new jobs.November 5, 2013 at 8:36 PM #10472
Mary A. OchoaMember
Wow. That does seem a little extreme for your first offense. I agree, you should take it to court. What does their policy say about missing narcotics?November 5, 2013 at 8:44 PM #10473
Take those morons to court!! The fact your test came back negative should be enough!!!
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