Outpatient Surgery Magazine

No Guarantees - March 2017 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

Issue link: http://outpatientsurgery.uberflip.com/i/798078

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Page 8 of 138

contract work in 5 different surgical locations in the Houston area, she says she had access to opioids in all 5 places. "My thought processes were hijacked to this disease," says Ms. Bertrand. "People's lives were in my hands and I'm thinking about when I can get more narcotics. Looking back, there was nothing about my day that was safe. When nurses, physicians and other healthcare providers fall victim to this disease, they pose a danger to those they care for as well as to themselves." She had 2 car accidents after leaving work and shooting up. She was found passed out in a hospital break room. But she kept working. Her fentanyl usage ended only when a doctor spotted her passed out in her car in a hospital lot, an empty syringe on the seat, the intravenous port she installed in her ankle so she could inject herself more effi- ciently in plain sight. She spent 18 weeks in an inpatient rehabilitation program for healthcare practitioners. Her relapse with propofol was short-lived, in large part because you can't work in the OR when you're unconscious. Ms. Bertrand's hope for sharing her very personal and painful story at OR Excellence is to shine a light on drug abuse and addiction among healthcare workers so it's no longer a dirty little secret nobody's willing to talk about openly. "There are so many practitioners working impaired and we have no idea. ... We're doing a terrible job addressing this problem," she says. The OR team has a critical responsibility to each other to detect when one of its own is active in the disease of drug addiction. "We must grant each other permission to save each other," says Ms. Bertrand. "This disease will kill you. It will kill you and it will take everything away from you." OSM M A R C H 2 0 1 7 • O U T PA T I E N TS U R G E R Y. N E T • 9

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