Drug diversion among nurses is a serious and common issue, and it can result in severe consequences. Unfortunately, not all nurses and nurse practitioners who are reprimanded for drug diversion are guilty. In fact, it is possible that you may have done something that could lead to an investigation for drug diversion. Surprised? Skeptical? Most nurses are until they find themselves under intense scrutiny. Learn more about the behaviors that may result in a drug diversion investigation, and what you can do about it, with help from the following information.
Charting Issues and Drug Diversion
Charting can be an annoying, seemingly ceaseless task. It is also necessary to ensure proper patient care. It documents which prescriptions that were given, and when, which can decrease the odds of a medication error. What happens, though, when the shift is hectic and out of control, short on staff, accidentally forget to chart a medication, or are so tired that you write down more or less than you administered? Perhaps nothing, or perhaps an error that can adversely affect your patient. Alternatively, you could be accused of drug diversion.
Not charting a medication – especially a narcotic or other controlled substance – can make it look as though you pocketed the drug instead of giving it to the patient. Alternatively, if you mistakenly write down that you gave the patient more than you did, or less, it could make it look as though you are attempting to alter records for the purposes of diversion. Worst of all, you may not be able to prove that you did not, in fact, attempt to divert drugs.
Suspected Diversion and the BON
Suspicion of drug diversion can be reported by almost anyone – a fellow nurse, your charge nurse, an administrator, a patient, even your next-door neighbor or ex-spouse. When there are charting discrepancies on top of this accusation, a full investigation into your practice may ensue. By this time, it no longer matters if you are guilty of drug diversion or not; the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) has access to your information, your charts, and they can request that you submit to a drug test. Refusal to do so, issues within your charts, and much more can lead to consequences, including suspension or revocation of your license.
Further, the issue does not have to relate to drug diversion; once the BON finds a reason to reprimand you, they can move forward with the disciplinary process. In such situations, it is crucial that nurses know how to protect their licenses. The first step is to contact an attorney.
Our Texas Nursing License Defense Lawyers
If you have found yourself the subject of a drug diversion investigation, contact Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law. Dedicated to your best interest, our Texas nursing license defense lawyer will fight to protect your rights and your license. In every situation, we pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Schedule your consultation by calling 512-228-7946 today.