Substance Abuse, comment


I wanted to respond to the post regarding substance abuse and how it can be detrimental to other forms of abuse. What I want to discuss is when the nurses are abusing substances. Several years ago, while working on a med surg floor, I received report from the nurse coming off the shift who was, based on my assessment, was under the influence. The nurse had pin point pupils, had slurred speech and a bandaid over an area on left hand with fresh blood noted. Upon the initial assessments of my pts, all that had the nurse I had received report from where rating their pain greater than 6/10. Upon review of pyxis machine it was determined that all pts had medications every six hours as ordered but all state they did not receive meds through the night. I handled this situation by meeting with my supervisor and instructing her on talking with the nurse prior to her going home to see if she saw the manifestations I did. We as nurses need to perform assessments on each other to insure we are being pt advocates, as well as team players with other nurses if they need assistance with any substance abuse.

Original Post
December 30, 2009
Title: Substance Abuse
Although there are mild cases, substance abuse can be a major problem that leads to other issues such as child abuse, elder abuse, or sexual assault. These issues are reasons that make substance abuse a serious problem. Substance abusers should put this under control as soon as possible. Alcohol treatment programs are designed to help those that want and need help be successful at this. As a nurse, assessment skills are imperative in diagnosing a substance abuse problem. Skills in the assessment of mental health cannot be forgotten, since they focus on emotional and psychological well being. A good mental health assessment could reveal the underlying problem(s) of substance abuse.

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