An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Should doctors & nurses be drug tested?

Discussion in 'Prescription Drugs' started by JoanMcWench, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. JoanMcWench

    JoanMcWench Community Champion

    Why are people in the medical field most susceptible to prescription drug abuse? Is it just a simple matter of availability? That seems too simplistic a reason.

    Given the fact that everyone seems to be aware that this is a growing problem in the industry would it be helpful or perceived as an invasion of privacy to drug test the personnel regularly? I feel like it's a tad bit of both. However, doesn't one outweigh the other? Making sure those that are drug addicted are not treating patients seems more important than how one may feel about the inconvenience/invasion.
  2. AFKATafcar

    AFKATafcar Community Champion

    People deserve their privacy, though healthcare professionals are often drug and alcohol tested if a complaint is made. Likewise, testing is often mandatory after an on-the-job accident per their contracts with the hospitals or facilities they work in. There's no reason to drug test every healthcare professional, but the safeguards in place need to be improved in other ways to avoid issues.
  3. Jane

    Jane Active Contributor

    While I definitely won't want my surgeon being on drugs, it IS an invasion of privacy.

    And if we say it's for the greater good, then where would we draw the line? After all, drug/alcohol testing people who drive constantly would probably save even more lives because there'd be fewer accidents on the road that involve more people.

    It would become a slippery slope of deciding who is important enough, so to speak, to be drug tested more frequently.
  4. devinametallic

    devinametallic Active Contributor

    Wow, what a great question. I guess they should, considering they are taking a major career and taking care of people's lives. No one should be doped up during examinations and whatnot.
  5. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    Whilst I'm not generally in favour of random drug testing, I do agree that it is important to be confident that our medical staff are competent and capable and this includes being drug-free. Let's not forget that there's probably a certain prevalence of alcohol abuse amongst this profession too and this is something that needs to be monitored in some way.
  6. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    Every medical professional should be drug tested. That's one of the biggest hypocrisies ever: to be attended to by drug addicted doctors and nurses. Those serving in the medical field should live up to the essence of their profession. The risk of medical malpractices is also high. Intoxicated or non-sober doctors and nurses will likely commit grave mistakes and endanger the lives of patients.
  7. gracer

    gracer Community Champion

    I think it's not a problem if doctors and nurses should undergo drug testing on a regular basis. After all, medical professionals deal with lives and more often than not, the safety and recovery of their patients depend on them. The risk of putting a patient's life in danger because of an addicted medical personnel is completely unacceptable.
  8. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    I think most health professionals would be in favour of random drug testing in my opinion. If you've got nothing to hide then it shouldn't be an issue anyway.
  9. IrishHeather

    IrishHeather Active Contributor

    I am in favor of random drug testing for our healthcare professionals... The key word here being random, as with any profession where lives are on the line I believe that testing is not only needed but essential. If we keep it random and let them know at the time of employment that they could be screened at anytime I don't think it should be that much of an issue.
  10. Jane

    Jane Active Contributor

    I think this is probably the safest way to do it. By "safest," I mean, in terms of privacy, this would be the best route to avoid people freaking out over possible invasions of privacy.
    IrishHeather likes this.
  11. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Maybe there is already drug testing when they apply for a position or random testing when they are already working on the medical field. It is important that those who work in medical field will be cleared of addiction. Specially that the lives of their patients are in their hands.
  12. wahmed

    wahmed Active Contributor

    I think if your life is in their hands then damn right they should be tested
  13. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    There are many doctors out there who are functioning drug addicts, performing surgeries every day. My view on this topic might be regarded as a bit controversial, but I think that I would rather be treated by a doctor who is under the influence of drugs than not at all. I live in a country where only people with jobs and money can afford medical treatment. Everybody else will not be accepted or treated in hospitals, not even in emergency units. People often die outside the hospital, unless a conscientious doctor will treat them for free until someone can pay for the medicines required. But even that comes with a high risk, especially when gang attacks are involved. If a doctor tries to save the life of a certain gang member, he might get killed by the opposing gang.
    So, I don't care if the doctor is as high as a kite, as long as he does something that will help me to survive.
  14. djd

    djd Member

    I agree with some that privacy is an issue... but healthcare professionals are some of the most important to 'check', so to speak. My mother works as a hospital clerk and one of the nurses she worked with would get drunk at work and behave sometimes erratically. I think it's definitely important to make sure healthcare professionals are sober at least on the job - and I agree with a few others that random tests would be best for this.
  15. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    I really think they should get tested, it is important, because they are health professionals and a lot lives depend on them. So yes, they do and should be screened, I'd not like a surgeon who likes to get high to perform an important surgery on me. Heck, I'm not sure I'd let a nurse who likes to abuse drugs to draw blood from my arm. I get so anxious when I go to those places for that reason, there is always a doubt in my mind... what if? People can make a lot terrible mistakes under the influence of drugs.
  16. JonnyMacdonald

    JonnyMacdonald Community Champion

    Yes they should be tested. My friends who work construction have to be tested as it's a matter of safety. They don't mind it at all, they say it's better to deal with testing then have to work with people who are high/drunk.
    I don't see one reason why doctors and nurses should be exempt.
  17. vegito12

    vegito12 Community Champion

    I think that doctors and the nurses who care for us should be tested, as they have a big job to do and we place our trust and life in their hands which should make us feel safe. Regulation should happen on a regular basis, as it is very important to see if the doctors and the nurses are free from the drugs and sober when checking us. The medical profession people should volunteer to do drug testing when required and not be afraid of any tests that are required.
  18. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    I think that substance abuse amongst medical professionals actually goes on a lot more than we realize. They know more about medications than the general public do and therefore they may be more inclined to misuse them, believing that they know how to use them 'properly' and where to draw the line. I do think that they should be tested in some way, shape or form.

    Drug testing people who drive constantly is something which has started happening in the UK recently. They are now testing drivers at the roadside for cocaine and cannabis and many people have been caught and arrests have been made since they started doing it. Another point I would like to add here is that a few weeks ago I was walking through my local city in the middle of the day carrying my guitar (on my way to a guitar lesson). Two police officers approached me, stopped me and searched me and my guitar! It was a completely random spot-check and they really had no reason to search me. This kind of thing is very common in the UK.
  19. btatro

    btatro Member

    I feel like your statement could apply to so many other careers in addition to healthcare workers. As someone else mentioned, what about people that are on the road for work? If they are under the influence, they are posing just as much risk to others' lives. What about people in construction? It is possible that if they made mistake, that it could result in the risk of endangering a very large number people. IMO there really is no good option here. It is not OK to single out any one person or career, yet in some way totally valid.
  20. karmaskeeper

    karmaskeeper Community Champion

    Absolutely they should be tested. They are no different then any other employee. Let's face it they have the ability to get their hands on drugs more so they the rest of us. I have heard stories of nurses stealing medications from patients. I have also heard of doctors being high while operating on people.