NARCONON SUPPORTS HELP FOR NURSES WITH SUBSTANCE ISSUES
Narconon agrees with this study from Join Together that the best way to addresses nurses who abuse substances and safeguard patients is to help them with their addiction problem.
Surrounded by drugs all day and dealing with the day to day stresses of the illness of others, nurses could easily fall into a trap that many Americans are falling into – prescription drug abuse. With nurses, we need to make it safe for them to come forward and ask for help without repercussions, at least initially. Hiding an addiction problem is dangerous for the patients and that is what most will do, if there is the chance of losing a career that is well earned. (After coming forward and receiving treatment, further abuse should probably be dealt with suspension of termination of privileges.)
A nurse who is treated for substance abuse will be alert for telltale signs in their patients. Many arriving to the hospital are likely to be abusing drugs as well.
“The best way to manage substance abuse in nurses — and safeguard patients — is to help them beat addiction rather than punishing them for it, according to researchers.
Recent estimates put the rate of drug and alcohol abuse among nurses at 10-20 percent, yet few seek help for themselves or colleagues due to fear of the consequences.
To determine whether disciplinary action is the best approach to the problem from a staff-retention and patient-safety standpoint, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing researchers Todd Monroe, PhD, and Heidi Kenaga, PhD, synthesized 30 years of the literature on punitive versus alternative-to-discipline (ATD) responses from healthcare providers and regulators around the globe.
Results showed that ATD programs were safer for patients because managers could remove addicted nurses from the floor immediately, while disciplinary removal can drag on for years. Further, ATD programs not only helped nurses recover from addiction, they also reduced dismissal rates at a time when nurses are in short supply by allowing them to return to work under strict monitoring and drug-testing protocols.”
Narconon supports discreet screening processes and readily available treatment for health care workers. Additionally, they should be educated in the signs of drug abuse amongst their patients and be trained in a screening process. Once a nurse is treated, there should be frequent drug testing for the first year.