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Substance abuse while at work is a serious case, which is why an effective nurse attorney is needed if you get accused of this kind of scenario. However, some who thought they were guilty of the charges failed to hire a nurse attorney just because they thought it’s the doom for their RN or LVN license already.

This is the incident that happened to an LVN in 2020. At the time of the initial incident, he was employed as an LVN with a health care service facility in Pasadena, Texas, and had been in that position for two (2) years and six (6) months.

On or about April 12, 2020, while employed as an LVN with a health care service facility in Pasadena, Texas, LVN failed to complete a medication destruction log and placed an empty medication bag into the locked medication waste container. LVN’s conduct left medications unaccounted for, was likely to deceive the pharmacy and placed the pharmacy in violation of Chapter 481 (Controlled Substances Act) of the Texas Health & Safety Code.

On or about July 16, 2020, while employed as an LVN with a health care service facility in Pasadena, Texas, LVN engaged in the intemperate use of Lorazepam, in that he produced a specimen for a reasonable cause drug screen that resulted positive for Lorazepam. Possession of Lorazepam, without a valid prescription, is prohibited by Chapter 481 of the Texas Health & Safety Code (Controlled Substances Act). The use of Lorazepam by a Registered Nurse, while subject to call or duty, could impair the nurse’s ability to make rational, accurate, and appropriate assessments, judgements, and decisions regarding patient care, thereby placing the patient in potential danger.

In response, LVN states he did in fact complete a destruction log and noted that a coworker had recorded a waste on it. The witnessed remaining volume was placed in two Ziploc bags and the bags were then stapled closed for extra protection to ensure that the fluid remaining was secure. The bag was then placed into the unit locked waste container. The box was overfilled, and it was difficult to push the sealed bag into the box. LVN states he had to push very hard to get it in securely and not flip back out. He states it could be quite possible that if more wasted drugs were put in the container that it could have caught the lip and come back out. LVN also states he has a male friend with Parkinson’s disease who takes medication for spasticity, as well as Ativan. One evening he prepared a meal and a pitcher of cocktails. LVN recalls feeling very tired when he had just taken a nap. He left the remainder of the meal and cocktail mixture in the refrigerator, which LVN eventually drank alone on a different evening, still unaware that it was mixed with Ativan. He was shocked to find out that the urine was positive for Ativan. LVN would never intentionally jeopardize his position on the hospice unit or any other unit.

The above actions constitute grounds for disciplinary action in accordance with Section 301.452(b)(10)&(13), Texas Occupations Code, and is a violation of 22 TEX. ADMIN. CODE §217.11(1)(A) and 22 TEX. ADMIN. CODE §217.12 (1)(B),(1)(E),(4),(5), (10)(A),(10)(C)&(11)(B).

As a result, the Texas Board of Nursing decided to place his LVN license under disciplinary action. It’s too bad that he failed to hire a nurse attorney for assistance, knowing that he had every reason to defend himself in the first place. His defense would have gotten better if he sought legal consultation from a Texas nurse attorney as well.

So, if you’re facing a complaint from the Board, it’s best to seek legal advice first. Texas Nurse Attorney Yong J. An is willing to assist every nurse in need of immediate help for nurse licensing cases. He is an experienced nurse attorney for various licensing cases for the past 16 years and represented over 300 nurses before the Texas BON. To contact him, please dial (832)-428-5679 for a confidential consultation or for more inquiries.