What should I know if I am a Nurse Suspected Of Impairment Or Diversion?
This is Attorney Joseph Paletta and I have had the privilege of representing dozens of Nurses who have been suspected by their employers of being impaired or diverting medications.
The scenario typically starts out with a Nurse arriving at work for her shift, and before she can report to her unit, the Nurse is confronted by her Unit Manager or Director of Nursing and asked to go to a conference room to answer questions. In that conference room, a hospital Compliance Officer or Fraud Investigator is frequently present, and questioning begins.
Typically in this interrogation scenario, a Nurse is questioned about narcotics which are unaccounted for in a pharmacy audit. Immediately, the Nurse will be accused of “diverting” or stealing that medication for personal use, and pressure is applied to the Nurse to confess to taking the unaccounted for medications. Because of the suspicion of impairment, a Fitness for Duty Test is also ordered which means that at the end of the meeting, the Nurse will be required to provide a blood and urine sample and then sent home.
It is critical that a Nurse NEVER under any circumstances admit to diverting medications regardless of the accusations. Continue to deny any wrongdoing, and when the meeting finally ends, your first action should be to contact me, Attorney Joseph Paletta. It is only by discussing the facts and circumstances of your situation with me that I can provide guidance necessary to wisely take the next steps.
Understand that in most situations, an investigation by the hospital merely precedes a separate investigation by the Board of Nursing and possible License consequences. If legal advice is not obtained and wise choices are not made, disciplinary action against your license can occur that could affect a career.
Joseph Alexander Paletta is a lawyer who will represent Nurses in the defense against Driving Under the Influence criminal charges AND in defense against the Board of Nursing imposing consequences against the Nursing License as a result of the DUI charges. Therefore, a Nurse need not hire two separate lawyers, one for each service. Look at the website www.palettalaw.com to see how Nurses have already benefitted from retaining Attorney Paletta. Email Attorney Paletta at email@example.com or call 24/7 at 412 391 7999.