Dinsmore's Beth Collis Offers Insight to Health Care Professionals in Addiction Recovery
Dinsmore Health Care Partner Beth Collis was featured this week in a Washington Post article about a nurse's attempt to find employment after regaining a suspended license amid addiction struggles. Her insight for health care professionals in this situation are below:
Collis says it’s not uncommon for nurses to become injured, have pain medication prescribed, and become dependent on the medication to help them work longer hours or deal with emotional pain. ... Collis says more than half of the licensing cases she sees per year involve drug-related impairment.
The good news is, says Collis, “all of my clients find work again.” You may have to take a strategic detour from your original path, but you shouldn’t have to leave nursing altogether.
First, accept that some doors will be closed to you. Collis notes that hospices and short-term contract agencies, for example, simply cannot risk hiring nurses with a history of impairment.
So you need to focus on lower-risk environments that welcome your experience. Collis ... recommend mental health facilities, dialysis and plasma centers, phone advice positions, nursing education and case management as options where your history should be less of a concern and there will be fewer opportunities for relapse; addiction treatment centers in particular may see your history as an asset in relating to patients.
“If you have a story to tell, it’s best to tell it in person, and it’s best to have a personal contact who can make a personal reference,” says Collis. She also recommends sticking with your recovery program even after you land a job: “That first year will be the hardest time.”
To read the full article, click here.