Nurses with Addiction

1024 Words5 Pages
Nursing is one of the most stressful careers in healthcare. Long hours of direct patient care take its toll emotionally and physically. While the profession is rewarding for most, the constant stress can become a catalyst for all kinds of self damaging behaviors. The American Nurses' Association estimates between ten and twenty percent of nurses will abuse drugs within the workplace at some point during his/her career (ANA, 2002). This percentage is similar to that of substance abusers within the general population. Due to the ease of access to narcotics on the job, it can be difficult to recognize a problem in the early stages. Only once the nurse’s activities have been suspected due to medication shortage or job performance…show more content…
As a professional, you are required to deal with situations outside of your beliefs and find avenues to vent your frustration, grief and stress without harming the patients, yourself, or the relationship between the two. I have not come across any colleagues that take a different ethical viewpoint than me regarding this situation. We all know that stealing medications from patients for personal use is wrong professional ly, personally and legally. Perhaps our lack of understanding is due to the inability to relate to those with drug addiction.
All coworkers within an organization need to be educated to recognize potential issues of narcotic abuse within the workplace. Since healthcare professionals are able to hide some signs of abuse such as work absences, it may be more difficult to recognize a problem in the early stages. Some physical signs to be aware of include: irritability, forgetfulness, isolation, and decreased levels of motivation. Issues in personal life may also increase the chances of drug abuse, such as: stress, family problems, a previous history of mental illness, and a history of prior abuse (any type). Potential issues must be reported to the Nurse Manager as soon as possible. In order for the organization to protect the safety of its personnel and patients, ethical standards of practice must been routinely stressed within the workplace. Many
Get Access