This growing epidemic needs to stop for a number of reasons. The number one priority is the patient’s safety. Some other reasons would be the safety of the nurse, the costs that tie into this, and the wasted time trying to figure out what is missing. There are numerous reasons as to why nurses fall victim to substance abuse and addiction. Some reasons are working stress, easy access to medications, and being workaholic.
There are programs and peer support groups that help nurses with rehabilitation and returning to work. However, the stigma attached to having an addiction and distrust can make it difficult for coworkers to forgive and allow the nurse to reenter the profession, because it “threatens professional standards, conduct and morals” (Cook, 2013, p.21). In times of nursing shortages, it is imperative to allow these nurses to return to the nursing profession and earn back the trust of coworkers and society. Literature Review Substance abuse is a disease that affects nurses to the same extent as the general population. “Addiction is a chronic, progressive and potentially fatal disease involving the continued, often compulsive, use of mood-altering, habit-forming substances despite perceived negative consequences” (Patrick, 2010, p. 8).
Some of the reasons why nurses turn to substances for relief include; emotional impairment, drug use, alcoholism, and emotional abuse due to low self-esteem, overachievement, and overwork(Dunn, 2005). The environment in which a nurse works can have a great impact on how the nurse deals with the stressors of work. A nurse’s home environment can also have an effect on the nurse’s risk of substance abuse. A nurse is helping troubled family members either in a positive or negative effect. An example of a negative environment for the patient would be one in which the family is enabling the nurses addiction.
The patient has a reasonable expectation to receive safe and competent care. The influence of drugs and alcohol greatly deteriorate the judgment and skills of any good nurse. Increased patient workload, long hours, personal stress, and sleep deprivation put many nurses in a position to self-medicate. It is my position that high-risk specialty employees undergo drug testing in order to be held accountable and help keep their patients and themselves safe from harm.
Factors that are contributing to substance abuse among nurses need to be further explored to combat the issue and provide better quality care for patients. Analysis There are several contributing factors to substance abuse among nurses such as family, and stress. Nurses who have family members with emotional problems and inability to cope, alcoholism, and drug use, have been linked to a higher risk of substance abuse (Talbert, 2009). Coming from a family that relies on substances tempts the nurse to be chemically dependent when experiencing high job demands. "Stress in the workpl... ... middle of paper ... ...clusion Substance abuse in the field of nursing has become a serious problem.
According to Science Daily, “As many as 10-20% of nurses and nursing students may have substance abuse and addiction problems” (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011). This is roughly about 250,000 nurses and students, which is only 10%. “While the risk of addiction is not limited to any one specialty, the specialties with the highest prevalence of substance abuse uses are ICU, ER, OR, and anesthesia” (Heacock, 2013). “The most frequently abused substance is alcohol, followed by amphetamines, opiates (such as fentanyl), sedatives, tranquillizers, and inhalants, according to the ANA” (Copp, 2009). This growing epidemic needs to stop for a number of reasons.
. As a result, nurses could not perform well which compromise with the quality of service. This could be improved by increase in the staff member of the hospital. The nurses’ manager should discuss with the nurses about their occupational stress and reason behind poor performance. It is the responsibilities of leaders to find out the problem associated with work culture and should encourage the nursing staff to participate in decision making program.
Impaired nurses may have multiple addictions and impairments hindering their nursing practice (Guidelines for managers of impaired nurses, 2009). Detection of impaired nurses is extremely important. There is a necessity for education of nurses about impairments to raise awareness for early detection of impaired nurses. These nurses are not only harming themselves and putting their career in danger, but they are putting patient safety at risk. This can lead to negative patient outcomes (Servodidio, 2011).
These problems are particularly troubling in a provider population, as they can lead to serious safety issues for the patients’ nurses treat while under the influence. It has become a social problem because it has afflicted the family, the economy, and the
This is important because this evidence proves that high nursing workload can affect the patients and nurses are doing things that they shouldn't be doing. NCBI stated that, “Previous research linked job-level workload (a working condition) to various nursing outcomes, such as stress, and job dissatisfaction”. Being overworked, nurses are stressed and are dissatisfied with their job. This is important because nurses are already doing extra work and can cause them to be even more stressed. Working a stressful job can make a nurse dissatisfied, and leave their jobs which can lead into a nurse shortage.