« It's Your Business with Bill Zortman

Business Show Continues Looking at Nursing Addictions and Recovery

by Bill Zortman

Every other Tuesday --- 9-10 -- It's YOUR Business continues to work with Tallgrass and Face it Together on the problem of addiction in our Sioux Empire Area.

On the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month for almost a year now -- we have talked to those that admit to addiction and tell there stories before the It's YOUR Business microphones.

In our show this week --- Gloria Damgaard -- Executive Director of the South Dakota Board of Nursing joined the broadcast to answer questions raised by a former licensed nurse "Carrie" who appeared on our show on January 28th.

In that show ---"Carrie" said between 2007 and 2010 as she made the rounds at a hospital taking care of patients -- she was tempted and was hiding a darker side.

Morphine and Vicodin was something that wanted to get into her hands -- she admitted to being addicted to prescription drugs and instead of throwing them away was taking from the hospital to feed her habit.

Carrie called it a big absolute lie and it took that crash showing up to work impaired and looking her job before she had a change she needed.

  She voluntarily surrendered her nursing license after being investigated by the South Dakota Board of Nursing. As far as Carrie knows -- she never injured or harmed a patient.

  Only 1% of 18,000 licensed nurses in South Dakota are found lifting medications or suspended. The figure is 10% of those in our community that "admits" to addiction. Our discussion with Gloria Damgaard focused on nursing in general and the temptations and a concern that hospitals don't have to report a nurse who is suspected to abusing drugs.

   Damgaard reported than in 2012 there were 25 of the 44 nurses who lost their licenses were due to substance abuse. 12 of 35 in 2013.   A Health Professionals Assistance Program is available.

  Mr. Ford is the Director of Tallgrass Recovery and Julie Schoolmeester is Executive Director of Face it Together Sioux Falls. Ford stressed that the medical side of what was talked whether it be pharmacy, medical or other is a disease and that recovery is possible. Schoolmeester said that Face It now has 28 businesses that have come together to work for the recovery of our area.

The show will be podcast on February 26th.