Just Because You Insert the Needle Doesn’t Mean You Have to Inject the Heroin

Just Because You Insert the Needle Doesn’t Mean You Have to Inject the Heroin

In nursing school I worked with heroin addicts – not exactly the most fun or inspiring bunch of people to be around. Not having an addictive personality myself, I couldn’t understand the forces that drove them. I wanted to tell them just because you’ve inserted the needle doesn’t mean you have to inject the heroin, but I knew it wouldn’t mean anything to them.

Does it mean anything to you though? As a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant did you ever start something knowing it’s wrong, or find out in the middle that it’s a bad move, but you keep going with it? Have you ever taken a case that’s not in your area of expertise; start to research it to do it on your own instead of bringing in a CLNC® subcontractor? Then the further you get into it, the more you realize you’re in over your head but feel like you’ve got to finish it anyway?

Then a sudden flash of insight – the moment when you realize that just because you inserted the needle doesn’t mean you have to inject the heroin. So now you’re going to have to pay someone to get familiar with the case. Someone is going to eat it (your wasted hours), and it better not be the attorney-client. It’s going to have to be you.

I mentored a legal nurse consultant who made that mistake. She thought she’d save some money by not subbing the case out, and jumped into it head first all gung-ho to research and work it up. When she realized she was way in over her head and was going to bust the attorney-client’s budget, she asked me what she should do. I knew she wasn’t going to like my answer (and she didn’t). I told her the right thing was to stick with the original budget and pay a CLNC subcontractor out of her own pocket. After all – it was her mistake, not the attorney-client’s.

I even used my heroin analogy, and because we are both nurses, my advice instantly connected. We can all be guilty of injecting the heroin, not just in business, in our personal lives too. Our head tells us what our heart doesn’t want to hear. We volunteer to lead a church fund-raising committee on Zoom or to help out at our child’s school when we know there’s a big project coming down that will make us regret the decision. When was the last time you said Yes to family or friends when your conscience was screaming No? Then the event, shower, reunion or bill arrives and you realize how big a mistake it was, JUST LIKE LAST TIME YOU DID IT!

The next time you feel yourself inserting the needle, take a minute to think about what it is you’re about to do and ask yourself, “Do I really need to inject the heroin or is there a better way to do this?” You might be surprised when you find the better way. Remember the old campaign – Just say No! You don’t always have to say No. Just find a smarter way to say Yes.

See you in recovery!
Vickie L. Milazzo, RN, MSN, JD

P.S. Comment and share how you avoid injecting the heroin.

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