Public Health Problem : Substance Abuse Among Nurses

1024 Words Nov 12th, 2014 5 Pages
Public Health Problem: Substance Abuse Among Nurses
As a healthcare professional, we are responsible for the delivery of high quality patient care. Substance abuse among nurses is an issue that threatens professional standards and can lead to poor patient outcomes (Rohma,2012). According to Healthy People 2020, an estimated 22 million Americans struggled with drug or alcohol abuse in the year 2005 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS],2013). Given that the nurses have easy access to controlled substances, this population is likely to be higher than the general public.
Substance abuse is the repeated excessive use or misuse of a psychoactive substance, especially alcohol or a drug. The consequences of substance abuse results in failure to accomplish major role obligations at work leading to suspension or a loss of job (Allender et al.,2014, p621). An impaired nurse challenges to seek help are more likely to continue under the influence until a catastrophic event occurs.
Synthesis of Literature
According to Rohman, the American Nurses Association estimated that 6% to 8% of nurses have a substance abuse problem impairing their ability to make competent decisions (p.28).
In the application of the Epidemiologic triad, one would consider the host as the individual taking the drug, the environment as a setting of the exposure and the agent considered to be the drug. Based on the literature, the most common individual factors that increase the risk…
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