What can i do to get hired in PA when I am on Medical marijuana program for critical health issues

Alyxandria17

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What can I do to get hired in PA while Im in the Medical Marijuana program for critical health issues. I have Chrons disease, gastroparesis, I have had 2 feeding two in my abdomen for 11 years and a port for 8 years. I've tried multiple times without and I would be too ill to work, in my mind the program has brought my health to a point where I can do more. The biggest issue is I can't even volunteer somewhere. I have the skill, the drive and passion for this line of work and I'm always hearing about the need for EMTs. When I am over here being told I can't help people because of my medical conditions. Its extremely hard for me to understand why they can't even let me volunteer. I shouldn't be judged for what I do on my own time at home, I understand the worry for the person showing up for there shift high as a kite. That's not me if I need the medicine that bad then I am too ill to work that day. I would never risk a patient's wellbeing, as a chronic illness patient I know that I would be furious if I was taken Care of by a stoned first responder, so I'd never do it to anyone!!! My rambling question finally is what can I do or say to get hired without having to hide important things about myself, I'm not okay with that. This is my dream job and in October my license will expire. I have been working on this for two years I haven't given up yet and I don't plan too!! I shouldn't be discriminated because of my health issues. Any help or advise is truly appreciated!! P.s. Thank you to all those working keep our communities safer, I wanna be like you guys!!


Please no rude comments this is a place for discussion not judgement!!
 
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Peak

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What can I do to get hired in PA while Im in the Medical Marijuana program for critical health issues. I've tried multiple times without and I would be too ill to work, in my mind the program has brought my health to a point where I can do more. The biggest issue is I can't even volunteer somewhere. I have the skill, the drive and passion for this line of work and I'm always hearing about the need for EMTs. When I am over here being told I can't help people because of my medical conditions. Its extremely hard for me to understand why they can't even let me volunteer. I shouldn't be judged for what I do on my own time at home, I understand the worry for the person showing up for there shift high as a kite. That's not me if I need the medicine that bad then I am too ill to work that day. I would never risk a patient's wellbeing, as a chronic illness patient I know that I would be furious if I was taken Care of by a stoned first responder, so I'd never do it to anyone!!! My rambling question finally is what can I do or say to get hired without having to hide important things about myself, I'm not okay with that. This is my dream job and in October my license will expire. I have been working on this for two years I haven't given up yet and I don't plan too!! I shouldn't be discriminated because of my health issues. Any help or advise is truly appreciated!! P.s. Thank you to all those working keep our communities safer, I wanna be like you guys!!

Regulatory agencies have a burden to make sure that they are approving only those who can safely and effectively provide the services that they are licensed for.

The ADA requires that reasonable accommodations be made, the key word being reasonable. It does not require that a company provide unlimited accommodation to someone who cannot essentially perform a job.

I don’t have a problem with marijuana, but I suspect that you are going to have some difficulty proving that you can perform a job when you are chemically dependent on a schedule 1 drug to function and there is no other therapeutic option.
 

NPO

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As you requested: discussion, not judgment.

You can't work as an EMT while also using marijuana, despite any health benefits it may have for you.

That aside, unfortunately because of your other health issues, I think working in EMS would be challenging or unsafe/impossible for you. We often downplay it, but EMS is often very demanding and someone with your health issues would struggle significantly, I believe.
 
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Alyxandria17

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Regulatory agencies have a burden to make sure that they are approving only those who can safely and effectively provide the services that they are licensed for.

The ADA requires that reasonable accommodations be made, the key word being reasonable. It does not require that a company provide unlimited accommodation to someone who cannot essentially perform a job.

I don’t have a problem with marijuana, but I suspect that you are going to have some difficulty proving that you can perform a job when you are chemically dependent on a schedule 1 drug to function and there is no other therapeutic option.


Are you saying I am probably too ill to do this job? Should I just give up and find a new dream. My illness has taken more from me than you can imagine and I don't want this to be one of them. I have passed the state test ,national registry, and all other requirements. My teachers were aware and thought I would make a great provider despite my Medical devices and problems. I've even passed some physical tests I had to do for potential hire. If I couldn't do the job why would I have Medical clearance from my PCP saying it's safe for me to work.
 
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DesertMedic66

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Unfortunately you aren’t going to have much luck while still using marijuana. Until it is removed from being a schedule 1 drug and an accurate testing means to find out if someone is actually under the influence of it is found.

It’s not your medical conditions that are keeping you from working. It is the treatment for said conditions and unfortunately the treatment that has worked for you is still listed as a schedule 1 drug.
 
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Alyxandria17

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I can't choose what my body responds to ive stopped multiple times and I dramatically lost 10 pounds in a week, from vomiting. I can't help people if I'm the one throwing up. I would do anything to have a federally legal prescription instead of Medical marijuana. I've been looking for 11 years and there no comparison. What would you do?
 
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Alyxandria17

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Regulatory agencies have a burden to make sure that they are approving only those who can safely and effectively provide the services that they are licensed for.

The ADA requires that reasonable accommodations be made, the key word being reasonable. It does not require that a company provide unlimited accommodation to someone who cannot essentially perform a job.

I don’t have a problem with marijuana, but I suspect that you are going to have some difficulty proving that you can perform a job when you are chemically dependent on a schedule 1 drug to function and there is no other therapeutic option.


Should I just give up and find a new dream. My illness has taken more from me than you can imagine and I don't want this to be one of them. I have passed the state test ,national registry, and all other requirements. My teachers were aware and thought I would make a great provider despite my Medical devices and problems. I've even passed some physical tests I had to do for potential hire. If I couldn't do the job why would I have Medical clearance from my PCP saying it's safe for me to work.
 

DesertMedic66

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I can't choose what my body responds to ive stopped multiple times and I dramatically lost 10 pounds in a week, from vomiting. I can't help people if I'm the one throwing up. I would do anything to have a federally legal prescription instead of Medical marijuana. I've been looking for 11 years and there no comparison. What would you do?
That’s why I said unfortunately that has been the only thing you have found.

My health > EMS. Every day of the week. Would having to leave EMS suck for me? Sure but I think being physically ill from trying to stay in would be much worse.
 

Aprz

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I mean you could always try to apply and see where that takes you? Convincing us does nothing. Convince your hopefully future employer?
 

Peak

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Are you saying I am probably too ill to do this job? Should I just give up and find a new dream. My illness has taken more from me than you can imagine and I don't want this to be one of them. I have passed the state test ,national registry, and all other requirements. My teachers were aware and thought I would make a great provider despite my Medical devices and problems. I've even passed some physical tests I had to do for potential hire. If I couldn't do the job why would I have Medical clearance from my PCP saying it's safe for me to work.

I don’t know what your chronic health issues are or what treatment you have or haven’t tried, but that is a conversation for your medical management team and not us anyway.

We have disqualified candidates for a variety of reasons. What may seem like a minor issue in everyday life can be a significant interruption to providing patient care and keeping yourself and your partners safe.
 

DragonClaw

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I have an autoimmune condition that luckily had not consumed my life thus far.

There are times I thought it was heading that way and I wondered on my future ability to work. And one day it might come to it.

Aside from being under the influence on a controlled substance, the moderate to extreme health issues you have descibe would make EMS safely and logistically impossible.

We have epileptics that work in my operation, but it is controlled and they are not symptomatic. One might say it's a reasonable amount of risk.

Your condition sounds less able to be adjusted to in a similar way.

Eventually you'd find a doctor that would write a note for you probably. Maybe you didn't even have to look. And they might think you are able to do the job. But that does not guarantee an employer that you can. And if you can that doesn't mean it's a risk the company is willing to take.

Every employee is going to have a certain amount of risk associated with them. But at what point does the emoyer say no?

You'd honestly have to apply and see. It's not us you need to convince.

I don't know you personally but it sounds like these are still major health issues for you and if an employer picks up on it, they may not want to hire you.

Perhaps a specialist can help with a different treatment plan that's more compatible with EMS.

I won't tell you it's impossible or you shouldn't. You want to help, like many of us, but sometimes we are better helping in ways suited to us.

Sometimes we need to not give up and throw everything we have into achieving our goal without letting anyone hold us back from it.

I can't give you any guarantees.

Because it's not just you who is affected by poor health. Your patients, partners, anyone who you might come across could get hurt or have to carry more than their fair share of the work to make up for another team member.

At what point does helping become hindering?

Eat right, exercise, keep up with your mental health and work towards your goals. It's okay if your goals change.

As others mentioned, EMS is physically demanding.

Most folks here know I'm small and have 100% the heart and desire to help, but even so they doubt my ability to. I've said some dumb stuff, done dumber things that resulted in issues I'm still having to work through.

It's not that I don't care about the impression I give, but I weighed the benefits to me and others, what work is required, what's safe and fair, and have decided to continue.

Who wants to be the one to volunteer that ended up getting someone killed or hurt because they thought they could do something they couldn't and nobody could tell them anything or convince then not to? Nobody.

And who wants to be the one watching a train wreck in slow motion just horrified by the results of someone to bullheaded to listen, especially IRL? Nobody.

We've all had sick days or days we weren't working our best. But if that is most days or every day?

You mentioned not being able to choose if you puke. Nobody is mad at you or dissing you or anything for that.

It's not judging your heart or intentions, but I'll be curt. That's not something that any EMS agency would probably accept. It's not a matter of fault and it sounds like you had no choice in any of this, but sometimes we are dealt a bad deck of cards.

Some mentioned ADA and reasonable accommodations. Weed and uncontrolled vomiting, or controlled with a drug that no EMS agency would allow (and some places of not all, illegal), is not reasonable.

If you're sure on doing this, focus on your health first and then look at EMS. As one of my supervisor says, "Rule #1, do not become the patient"

If you are not well enough to do the job, that's okay. Work on being well, if anything is possible to be done, and if not, maybe look to help in another way. Something less physically demanding or with less strenuous requirements.

I'll salute you for having gotten this far, but I really encourage you to really think on what you want vs what you think you want (don't be the train wreck just because you thought you needed to be on the rails).

Good luck. Keep us updated.
 
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akflightmedic

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In Maine, many employers do NOT conduct a pre-employment drug test. If they do perform one they usually do not include THC. If they do one and it has THC included, and you pop positive, the result is inconsequential in your hiring decision. Random tox screens are not a thing here.

Just saying, time are changing. I would apply for jobs, however if your license expire sin two months, you very well may find yourself lapsed before completing orientation. Do not let your license expire while debating what to do.
 

ffemt8978

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Eventually you'd find a doctor that would write a note for you probably. Maybe you didn't even have to look. And they might think you are able to do the job. But that does not guarantee an employer that you can. And if you can that doesn't mean it's a risk the company is willing to take.

Even if the company is willing to take that risk it doesn't mean their insurance company would be willing to insure an employee who uses a controlled substance.
 

akflightmedic

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Nothing like the insurers overlooking all the employees who regularly use stimulants such as Adderall, muscle relaxants such as flexeril, and many other drugs which impair both muscle and cognitive skills. Some day the Schedule I class shall be removed. I mean when cocaine is rated less than marijuana...there obviously is a flaw in the system, no?
 

ffemt8978

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Nothing like the insurers overlooking all the employees who regularly use stimulants such as Adderall, muscle relaxants such as flexeril, and many other drugs which impair both muscle and cognitive skills. Some day the Schedule I class shall be removed. I mean when cocaine is rated less than marijuana...there obviously is a flaw in the system, no?
Not disagreeing with you, but until that utopian day arrives we still have to deal with insurance companies.
 

akflightmedic

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I do believe the insurance companies are on board in this locale...it is legal, therefore they cannot discriminate.
 

DrParasite

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Nothing like the insurers overlooking all the employees who regularly use stimulants such as Adderall, muscle relaxants such as flexeril, and many other drugs which impair both muscle and cognitive skills. Some day the Schedule I class shall be removed. I mean when cocaine is rated less than marijuana...there obviously is a flaw in the system, no?
No. it just means that marijuana had no approved medical use when it was first categorized. If you would like a refresher on what the schedule means, check out https://www.dea.gov/drug-scheduling

as for the OP, remember, the accommodation needs to be reasonable. NO EMS agency is going to say you can have marijuana in your system while working. Here is a hypothetical for you: you are driving the ambulance, and you get T boned. you get to pee in a cup, and guess what you test positive for? now you need to prove that you weren't impaired while driving, and it wasn't your impairment that caused the crash. then the other person's insurance company will make your ambulance company look like fools, because they knew you were on marijuana and they still let you get behind the wheel.

I am not saying you aren't a great EMS provider, an amazing clinician, and an all-around swell person; but you are going to face an uphill battle. If you want a solution, call up ambulance companies. ask what their policies are on having employees who are on medical marijuana. you don't need to give your real name, just ask to speak to HR because you have a prospective employment question. and if you find one that allows it, fill out an application.

I am not anti-marijuana, or anti-Flexeril (I have a script for it on those bad days when my back spasms are really bad), but I'm also a realist, and know that few, if any, companies will put in writing that it is acceptable for their employees to come to work with marijuana in their system.
 

CCCSD

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Your PCP is NOT the person who decides to hire. There is a reason for that.
Insurance Companies have the ABSOLUTE right to decide who gets covered and who doesn’t for employment. It’s their risk, not the employee’s.

Go be a dispatcher.
 

DragonClaw

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Even if the company is willing to take that risk it doesn't mean their insurance company would be willing to insure an employee who uses a controlled substance.

I was combining the two, not treating them as a separate entity for the purposes of this scenario. But perhaps I should differentiate.
 

NomadicMedic

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There are plenty of shady Russian Mafia EMS transport only ambulance companies in PA that'll probably hire you.

Nobody reputable would touch someone who will pop for marijuana on a drug test.
 

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