A RN who is also a legal professional recently told me that he would leave the state of Arizona if he needed mental health care or pain management. Apparently it has become a well known fact that nurses are considered unfit to care if they are addressing their mental health needs or are suffering from conditions that cause chronic pain. The thought is that these individuals should go on disability insurance.
No other profession including physicians exacts this penalty. Why would it even be public knowledge that a nurse has any of the above mentioned maladies unless HIPAA rights are violated? What discipline is administered to said violator? Nothing it seems. They are “doing what they think is right” or so I’ve heard.
I can only hope that the powers that be find this unacceptable as well and make changes. I am not hopeful based on the track record of the nursing governing body’s reputation.
To my fellow nurses, please speak up. Let your voice be heard. Remember that those in power will come after you too eventually if they are not checked. Where is the line drawn? Will only those in perfect health be allowed to provide healthcare in the future?