Hospital work is a vocation that requires dedication. You have to put in long shifts and may work on holidays and other special occasions that you would prefer to spend with your family. As if that weren’t bad enough, your demanding job also takes its toll on your physical health.
Almost everyone who works in health care will feel the physical impact of the profession. Research shows that almost two-thirds of nurses report chronic pain in their upper bodies, and more than a third of nurses have chronic pain in their lower extremities. Even more worrying is the prevalence of severe back pain. Between 40% and 98% of nurses have to deal with low back pain.
The sad truth is that those working in hospitals, including nurses, develop chronic pain and also have easy access to prescription drugs. That is a formula for criminal charges.
Prescription fraud or theft is common in medical facilities
Those with medical training may overestimate their ability to manage their substance abuse. They may think that as long as they can continue doing their jobs with no one noticing, then there isn’t really an issue. However, medical workers stealing prescription pads, pinching pills from patients or forging prescriptions for personal use take a lot of risks.
They could make a bad decision while providing patient care. They could cause a car crash because of the medication in their systems. They could get caught in possession of a controlled substance that they don’t have a justification for taking. Nurses, physicians and other hospital workers could find themselves facing fraud or drug charges because of the activities that they engage in to self-medicate and manage their job-related chronic pain.
Going to jail is not the only risk
As a hospital employee accused of a drug offense, incarceration and other criminal consequences are not the only risks. Your profession is also in danger.
Employers may very well terminate workers accused of offenses that could impact their job performance. Even if the company agrees to work with you, the licensing board for your profession may not. Both criminal charges and private accusations might lead to disciplinary hearings and the loss of your professional license.
Learning more about the consequences of drug charges for those who work in the medical field might give you a reason to fight back rather than plead guilty.