Iowa Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured Iowa Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Going Back To Work On Narcotics

    Hi,

    I'm new here and have a question. I am a nurse and was injured last Sat(6/9/07). I have been prescribed narcotics for pain, but the employee health nurse wants me to come to work on an "alternative" assignment. I hate to even drive while on these pain meds let alone try to work(whatever she has in store for me). Can they make me work if I am still taking narcotics for pain? Thanks for any information.

    orrn

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Back to work on narcotics?

    I forgot to mention that I am in Iowa. Thanks!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,930

    Default Re: Back to work on narcotics?

    Hey there ORRN, welcome to the forums .

    I would think that so long as you are not in a safety sensitive function, answering phones for instance would be okay, scrubbing in for surgery obviously would not. Even charting would raise question IMHO. Is it safe to assume that you are on "light duty restrictions"? I understand your concern about working while taking narcotics and certainly in a medical enviornment. Especially the getting there and back home part.

    My doc included in my restirctions, amoung many other things, ABSOLUTELY NO DRIVING, while taking the narcotics. Not my car, not a bicycle, not a scooter, and especially not my Tractor Trailer at work. You may want to see if the IC will provide transportation for you to get to and from work. WC doctors often use a different different critera for IW's but I would think no doctor would say it is okay to drive under the influence of narcotic medication. Unfortunately many employers and their WC IC's don't seem to care how you get to and from work just that you show up and if nothing else sit on a chair and look pretty for 8 hours a day just to keep you from drawing a small fraction of what you might otherwise make as WC wage replacement. I don't understand their logic but then I not understand a lot of things .

    Most states have a law that if released for restricted duty and if the employer can accomodate your restrictions you are required to at least attempt to do the job. The time you are to continue to attempt to do the alternative position is likely different in every state. If you are unable to do the job in the "trial" period then you return to the WC doctor and report this and have them put you out of work period.

    If you haven't contacted a WC attorney you may want to do that. In most states the attorneys offer the first consultation at no charege and will answer the basic questions. Here is the web pointer for Iowa WC.

    http://www.iowaworkforce.org/wc/

    I suggest you go to the web site and educate yourself concerning the laws and arm yourself with knowledge especially if your injury is one that may take a while to heal.

    Also I noticed this post came up just a while ago, it is on this same forum listed under the state of Iowa. Don't know how reliable this person is as they are new as of today. But the post offers help from a WC adjuster for Iowa.

    http://www.workerscompensationinsura...5893#post65893

    Good luck to you and hope your feeling better soon.

    Steel
    "He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"
    Abraham Lincoln


    Take Care and Be Well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Back to work on narcotics?

    Thanks so much for your input. I guess I will go "play the game" tomorrow and see what happens. They also have to work around my occupational therapy appts. I just love all this stress on top of being hurt and trying to heal. Luckily my injury is quite minor and should work itself out fairly quickly. Thanks again. Take care!

    orrn

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Pa.
    Posts
    929

    Lightbulb Re: Back to work on narcotics?

    Hi orrn, I would like to ask if your Dr. released you to any kind of work? If not and you return, and your injury has complications later on, by going back to work and not following Dr.'s orders you may be jeopardizing your benefits. You also have to be aware if you are in an accident driving, you can be charged with DUI (Driving Under the Influence) of Prescription drugs! That's why they put the disclaimers on the Prescription bottles, so the Drug Co. is not liable in the event of an accident! So, as you can see, there's a lot more involved here than just going back to work to play their "game", and you should really think about all of this before you make your decision!! Best of Luck, and I hope everything goes O.K.!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Back to work on narcotics?

    Hey orrn, I was in the same position when I was first injured. My pain physician had put me on Lortab and the hospital was fine with that, in my the position I was given. When the Lortab did nothing the physician started me on something stronger and suddenly I wasn't allowed to work, drive, etc. As a nurse I was confused as to the difference between driving or working under the influence of one narcotic versus another. It all amounts to the employer trying to show that you are able to work even if your flying high in the clouds on drugs! Guess who would abandon you if an accident occured on the job, or you hurt someone, or you were in a MVC(motor vehicle collision). Used to be called a MVA(motor vehicle accident) till the attorneys changed the wording because accident seemed to place blame. Shows who is really behind all of the mess. I do hope you have better luck with your employer and it's IC than I did.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    294

    Default Re: Back To Work On Narcotics?

    Get a copy of your local Laws regarding Driving while Impaired.. (DUI / DWI)
    Your Employer cannot FORCE you to break the Law. If you are terminated because you could not preform your duties without committing an illegal act, then you are entitled to ttd. Mine tried to make me go back to driving, (20 mg Oxycontin Q6hrs) even supplied me with a corporate vehicle. When I showed them they were not only liable for ANY accidents or Injuries to myself, but also to criminal / Civil prosecution under California law.. Checks started back the next week.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    775

    Default Re: Back To Work On Narcotics?

    Before you jump to any conclusions please be aware that the DOT does allow professional drivers to be certified while using legallly prescribed opiates with the exception of Methadone ( for no scientific/medical reason). You may not be aware that pre-employement drug testing and random testing for employed drivers is mandated by DOT and that a physician trained as a medical review officer ( MRO ) reviews ALL positive lab results and must speak to the testee. If medical documentation is provided then the lab reuslt is reported as negative and the driver continues to drive.

    The short story is that use does not equal impairment.

    On another note; there is absolutely zero medical rational to prescribe oxycontin every 6 hours; ocycodone yes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    294

    Default Re: Back To Work On Narcotics?

    Quote Quoting POR View Post


    On another note; there is absolutely zero medical rational to prescribe oxycontin every 6 hours; ocycodone yes.
    Sure there is.. 2(C5-6 & C6-7) level Fusion (FAILED) & 2 levels (C6-7 & C4-5) with GREATER THAN 3mm protrusions into the spinal cavity(Causation attributed to Failed Cervical Fusion)(Basicly a Broken Neck held together with Screws and a Titanium plate). W/C Refuses more surgery and ANY Pain Management therapies. I cannot sit upright for more than 20 minutes without dibilitating pain. Come plop down in my Wheelchair (I paid for) or my expensive medical bed (That I paid for also) and tell me about how my Neck and Spine feel. I will reply from my Traction unit (Another Expense that W/C wouldn't approve). Hell I was on Fentanyl 50mcg patches for 2 years..
    Last edited by Shooter; 06-19-2007 at 12:05 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Pa.
    Posts
    929

    Lightbulb Re: Back To Work On Narcotics?

    POR, I'm not sure about Class C License, but I could almost promise you I would not pass my Class A State physical with the prescribed 600mg. MSContin ER, and the 2400mg. Neurontin I take daily. I am almost 99.9% sure they won't let me take my usual 70,000lbs. down the Highway with that cocktail in my system!!

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