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WWYD? Drinking problem of midwife? UPDATE POST 44


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#1 KylieMin0gue

Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:09 PM

I am very conflicted here.  A very close family member I believe has a drinking problem.  She is a midwife (has been for over 30 years), and her drinking has been what I would class as an issue for close to 15 or so years.

However, previously she would drink more on her days off (she is a very nasty drunk too), and from what I saw not so much when she was due to work within the next 24 hours.  This has changed though over the last few years.

She is definately what I would class as an alcoholic.  At the moment her drink of choice is cask port, which she drinks out of normal size glasses (so about 250ml), and I know that she drinks at least a litre a day.  Everytime that I talk to her, she is either very obviously intoxicated, or I can't get hold of her because she is asleep (this can be any time day or night), or she has just woken up and feels ill.  Unless she is intoxicated somewhat, she says she always feels ill.

I have in the past tried to talk to her and suggest that maybe she needs help and she flies off the handle and gets abusive defending herself, and saying she does not have a problem.  

She has on many many times emotionally (and when I was younger physically) abused me, to the point where I changed my phone number last year as I was over it.  The only reason that contact was re established was because I received a phone call in the middle of the night saying that she had had a fall at home, and had broken her femur.

Anyway I am a big girl, and I have had enough of all the drama so I am cutting off contact for good.  My only issue is that I am worried about her profession and her putting at risk the lives of mothers and babies because of her problem.  I have had this worry for a while, and I know that some people will criticise because I haven't done anything sooner, but I was hoping she would change.  I am certain now that she will not, as she sees everyone else as the problem.

She works night shift, and 90% of the time she will basically drink from mid morning till 1pm or so.  She will then got to bed,(or pass out)  and get up at about 7pm, get ready and go to work for a 9pm start.  So my question is (and I am pretty sure I already know the answer), do you think that getting very drunk and then going to work in a job such as a midwife 8 hours or less later is something that I should report?

Edited by KylieMin0gue, 17 December 2012 - 07:56 PM.


#2 triangle

Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:15 PM

QUOTE (KylieMin0gue @ 16/12/2012, 11:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am very conflicted here.  A very close family member I believe has a drinking problem.  She is a midwife (has been for over 30 years), and her drinking has been what I would class as an issue for close to 15 or so years.

However, previously she would drink more on her days off (she is a very nasty drunk too), and from what I saw not so much when she was due to work within the next 24 hours.  This has changed though over the last few years.

She is definately what I would class as an alcoholic.  At the moment her drink of choice is cask port, which she drinks out of normal size glasses (so about 250ml), and I know that she drinks at least a litre a day.  Everytime that I talk to her, she is either very obviously intoxicated, or I can't get hold of her because she is asleep (this can be any time day or night), or she has just woken up and feels ill.  Unless she is intoxicated somewhat, she says she always feels ill.

I have in the past tried to talk to her and suggest that maybe she needs help and she flies off the handle and gets abusive defending herself, and saying she does not have a problem.  

She has on many many times emotionally (and when I was younger physically) abused me, to the point where I changed my phone number last year as I was over it.  The only reason that contact was re established was because I received a phone call in the middle of the night saying that she had had a fall at home, and had broken her femur.

Anyway I am a big girl, and I have had enough of all the drama so I am cutting off contact for good.  My only issue is that I am worried about her profession and her putting at risk the lives of mothers and babies because of her problem.  I have had this worry for a while, and I know that some people will criticise because I haven't done anything sooner, but I was hoping she would change.  I am certain now that she will not, as she sees everyone else as the problem.

She works night shift, and 90% of the time she will basically drink from mid morning till 1pm or so.  She will then got to bed,(or pass out)  and get up at about 7pm, get ready and go to work for a 9pm start.  So my question is (and I am pretty sure I already know the answer), do you think that getting very drunk and then going to work in a job such as a midwife 8 hours or less later is something that I should report?



Check out the ahpra website, jsut google. It is the new registration body for health professionals. THere should be info on there. Or if not, search for the relevant nursing and midwifery board if your state and give them a call.

#3 asdf89

Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:18 PM

Unsure of what state you're in... but I am friends with nurses in QLD and they've told me that 'as long as you're alright to drive, you're allowed to work' - i.e. .05 and under is fine. (i'm not sure if that's an actual rule, or just accepted practice)

If you are worried, report her to the relevant nursing authorities. Again not sure how much action would be taken on a report from a (relatively) uninvolved person (i.e. you're not a co-worker or patient) but if her drinking is as bad as you say, her co-workers have probably noticed as well.

#4 ~*Twilight~Zone*~

Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:18 PM

I'm surprised her co-workers can't smell it.

Report her.

#5 KylieMin0gue

Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:19 PM

QUOTE (triangle @ 16/12/2012, 10:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Check out the ahpra website, jsut google. It is the new registration body for health professionals. THere should be info on there. Or if not, search for the relevant nursing and midwifery board if your state and give them a call.



Yes I know about APHRA as I myself am a student nurse.

#6 starsg

Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:24 PM


If her job was one which didn't involve caring for extremely vulnerable newborns and their mothers, I might think twice but a midwife is a role of great care and responsibility. Yes, I think you need to report her. If something awful happened to one of the women or babies in her care because she was not 100% on the ball, I think you would feel awful and although it doesn't seem like a nice thing to do, perhaps being faced with the prospect of losing her job may prompt her to seek help which can only be a good thing.

#7 KeepTheFaith

Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:30 PM

I'm not sure if this applies to students, but I believe that all AHPRA full registrants are required, as part of their registration, to report on other AHPRA registered professionals when there are concerns such as this. I do know that it doesn't matter what discipline- I recently assisted a psychologist in making a complaint about a nurse, for example, when the nurse was risking patient safety at a Community clinic.

I would call AHPRA and discuss it further- if she is as bad as you say, then the potential for 'doing damage' is extremely high (assuming it hasn't already happened).

#8 Ange

Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:41 PM

QUOTE (asdf89 @ 16/12/2012, 08:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Unsure of what state you're in... but I am friends with nurses in QLD and they've told me that 'as long as you're alright to drive, you're allowed to work' - i.e. .05 and under is fine. (i'm not sure if that's an actual rule, or just accepted practice)


Really?? I'm under the understanding that it is zero alcohol allowed in your system whilst working! I'd be very shocked if a co-worker had a BAL of 0.01-0.05! (If a nurse under my shift had alcohol before work, I'd be telling her/him to go home)!


#9 asdf89

Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:48 PM

QUOTE (Ange @ 16/12/2012, 11:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Really?? I'm under the understanding that it is zero alcohol allowed in your system whilst working! I'd be very shocked if a co-worker had a BAL of 0.01-0.05! (If a nurse under my shift had alcohol before work, I'd be telling her/him to go home)!



It came up when talking about doctors on call (as in.. what happens if they have a drink with dinner and then get called in) ... as I said I don't know what the official rule is.

#10 KeepTheFaith

Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:48 PM

BTW, I'm not a nurse, but I do work with nurses (most of whom are midwives) in Far North Queensland. Our organization has a drug and alcohol management plan that includes being 0.00 for alcohol whilst on duty. We even have random breath testing to ensure this (as we do high risk remote work).

I would be really surprised if any nursing staff were allowed to practice with any sort of positive blood alcohol level.

#11 ~Sasquatch~

Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:48 PM

Absolutely report her. This isn't about disagreeing with her life styles choices, she is potentially putting mums and babies at risk. There are around 10 standard drinks in a 750ml of wine. I think port being a fortified spirit it would be more. So approx 15 standard drinks a litre at least. Which would then take 15 hours to leave her system. According to you she is leaving it 8 max. She would also be well over the limit to drive.

You could also call the hospital, ask to remain anon and tell them that she is coming into work drunk.

#12 Superman+4sisters

Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:54 PM

Please report her. Tomorrow morning. You've been sitting on this for long enough. Time to take action. Call AHPRA: https://www.ahpra.gov.au/Notifications-and-...tification.aspx

From their website:
The professional conduct of health practitioners and students is guided by the ‘Codes and Guidelines’ and ‘Registration Standards’ of their relevant health profession.

Any person can notify AHPRA with concerns relating to the conduct of a registered health practitioner or student.

When a conduct-related notification is received by AHPRA, the health practitioner or student may be investigated by a relevant National Board, to ensure appropriate action is taken, if required, to protect the public.

Notifiable Conduct
Practitioners, employers and education providers are all mandated by law to report certain notifiable conduct relating to a practitioner or student. Registered practitioners who fail to report notifiable conduct may face disciplinary action by their National Board.

Such conduct includes:

•intoxication by alcohol or drugs while practising or training in the profession
•engagement in sexual misconduct in connection with the practice or training of the profession
•an impairment that places the public at risk of substantial harm
•a significant departure from accepted professional standards that places the public at risk of harm

How to make a notification:
1. You can make a notification about a registered health professional or student by downloading the Notification Form - NOTF-00 (663 KB,PDF), completing and mailing it to the AHPRA office in your state or territory.

2. If you have concerns regarding completing the form, need assistance or an interpreter, phone AHPRA on 1300 419 495 and ask to speak to a Notifications Officer in your state or territory.


https://www.ahpra.gov.au/Notifications-and-...tification.aspx

Please. Just do it. And thanks original.gif

#13 EsmeLennox

Posted 16 December 2012 - 11:42 PM

I too think you should report her. Her job requires clear thinking and the ability to make sound decisions, sometimes in very pressured environments. I know I wouldn't want any health professional administering a drug protocol on me for example while they were under the influence.

You know this about your aunt, you know she is probably putting patients at risk, IMO you have an ethical obligation to report.

Edited by Jemstar, 16 December 2012 - 11:43 PM.


#14 KylieMin0gue

Posted 16 December 2012 - 11:44 PM

QUOTE (Jemstar @ 17/12/2012, 12:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I too think you should report her. Her job requires clear thinking and the ability to make sound decisions, sometimes in very pressured environments. I know I wouldn't want any health professional administering a drug protocol on me for example while they were under the influence.

You know this about your aunt, you know she is probably putting patients at risk, IMO you have an ethical obligation to report.


Not my aunt, is in fact my mother

#15 EsmeLennox

Posted 16 December 2012 - 11:49 PM

Apologies, I don't know where I got aunt from! From memory you have posted about this before. You need to do something. It's tough when it's a family member, but each and every one of us had a duty of care to people in our community and I think this is a very serious situation indeed.


#16 Brrrroooce!

Posted 16 December 2012 - 11:56 PM

Does she drive to work?

#17 ~TSC~

Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:18 AM

You've posted about her before I think? Report her to AHPRA. And contact her work in writing of your concerns. Keep doing it until there's action

#18 JustBeige

Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:43 AM

I would report her to AHPRA and I would also call the police when I know what shift she is on and tell them that this person 9 out of 10 times drives to work drunk and what profession she is in.


You will truly hate yourself if she kills someone either in  hospital or on the road.

If she gets reported to work AND the police, then maybe this is the 'rock bottom' she will need to stop.

Edited by JustBeige, 17 December 2012 - 05:44 AM.


#19 KylieMin0gue

Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:51 AM

QUOTE (Brrrroooce! @ 17/12/2012, 12:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does she drive to work?


Yes she drives to work.  She has never had to do a breath test on the way to work before though.  I remember her telling me a couple of years ago that there was a random breath testing thing set up, and she pulled in, but they just waved her on when they saw her uniform and she told them she was on the way to work.  The drive is also only about 10 minutes, and there are rarely police or breath testing stations in the area at the time that she drives to work.

I do know that she used to (not sure now) drive to the local pub and drink and play the pokies (she has a gambling problem too I believe, as I have seen her blow $1000 in the space of a couple of hours) and then drive home.  I only know this as I caught her once, and she was just about veering down the road, and when I followed her home, she could barely walk.  Her car also has numerous scratch marks near the drivers side door, where it is obviously that she has struggled to get her key in the lock to unlock it and missed. (IYKMIM)
She also once asked DP to take her car to the tyre place to get 2 new tyres.  (She can't do anything for herself)  The guy at the shop took one of the tyres off and had to throw away the rim as it was so buckled it was dangerous.  He said the only way that this could have really been caused is by hitting the kerb at a reasonably high speed, and he was surprised nothing else on that side of the car was damaged.

#20 SplashingRainbows

Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:12 AM

I'm pretty sure you know you should report your mother.

You also know who to and how.

Something's stopping you. Do you know what that is? It might help you more to work through that than whether we would all report your mum. You already know we all would, and that what she is doing is highly dangerous.

#21 KylieMin0gue

Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:28 AM

QUOTE (brighton14 @ 17/12/2012, 06:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm pretty sure you know you should report your mother.

You also know who to and how.

Something's stopping you. Do you know what that is? It might help you more to work through that than whether we would all report your mum. You already know we all would, and that what she is doing is highly dangerous.


I think the reason I haven't reported her is because she is my mother and every bad thing that has happened so far in her life has been blamed on me.  As a child (from about 7 years of age) I was told I was the reason her and my father had marital difficulties. (They were both having extra marital affairs though I have since found out)  They eventually divorced when I was 20.  I was also told on numerous occasions that I was unwanted and I was a 'bad kid'.  For the record I was a straight A student, and I was a good kid.  I was called all the names under the sun by her, and I mean really horrid names, like 'dirty c*&t etc (and she still does to this day when she is angry and blaming me for something), and physically abused.  (Was dragged around by my hair, once had my head banged so hard on my wooden bed head that I nearly blacked out.  This was when I was 13)

Anyway I am pretty sure she will figure out who has reported her, and I am so sick of being blamed for things in her life.  The only people who know exactly what she is like, and how bad she is is my sister (who was also abused, but not to the same extent), and my dad.  (Although he turned a blind eye, and is now not interested in hearing about it)  People actually think that my sister and I exaggerate the way out mother treated us and what she is like today, but many have seen glimpses of her true self when she has had outbursts at family things etc., but even then they all turn a blind eye.

#22 winkywonkeydonkey

Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:34 AM

I'm sure i have read this before.

There is nothing else you can do but report her. You may have to suffer the consequences but she is putting mums and babies at risk.

#23 lozoodle

Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:48 AM

Absolutely you should report her.

#24 liveworkplay

Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:01 AM

Every hospital I have ever worked in had a 0% alcohol polo,y.
AHPRA are extremely helpful over the phone (rang for something completely different).

#25 ubermum

Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:35 AM

QUOTE (KylieMin0gue @ 17/12/2012, 07:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think the reason I haven't reported her is because she is my mother and every bad thing that has happened so far in her life has been blamed on me.

Yeah, chances are she will blame you for this too if you dob her in. However, she won't know for sure, it could be anyone and your concious will be clear. Dob her in to AHPRA, they'll investigate.




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