Impaired Nursing Essay

608 Words3 Pages
Substance abuse occurs across all generations, cultures, and occupations, including nursing. About 1 in 10, or 10-15% of all nurses, may be impaired or in recovery from alcohol or drug addiction. Although nurses aren’t at a higher increase risk than the public sector, their overall pattern of dependency is unique because they have greater access to drugs in the work environment. Impaired nurses can become dysfunctional in their ability to provide safe, appropriate patient care. Addiction is considered a disease, but the addicted nurse remains responsible for actions when working. Nurses should be aware of the signs and symptoms of substance abuse and know when to report a coworker suspected of substance abuse to management. Consider the following questions and situations. What does a substance abuse nurse look like? "Have you seen Jane lately? She used to be so neat and clean but for the past several months she doesn’t seem to care about her appearance," stated Polly. "I worked with Jane this week and she seemed in a daze most of the shift," replied Tom. "If I didn’t know better I would think Jane was taking drugs or something," Polly commented. "Drugs! Not Jane, she would never take drugs. I’ve known Jane for four years. She’s an excellent nurse," Tom replied, "Besides Jane certainly doesn’t look like a drug user. She’s probably just tired from working the night shift or maybe she’s having some personal problems. We all deal with our problems differently." Would you be willing to inform management if you suspect a nurse is diverting medication? "Sally do you have a minute? I need to talk to you about something I witnessed last week," asked Dave. "Of course, what is it?" replied Sally. "I was working extra last week and about 9 pm. I answered a patient’s call light for Joe. The patient told me she was not getting any relief from her pain medication that

More about Impaired Nursing Essay

Open Document