Chemically Impaired NurseChemically Impaired Nurse https://urgentcarenearmetx.com/wp-content/themes/corpus/images/empty/thumbnail.jpg 150 150 Tony Guo Tony Guo https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/aa9bbdf8f1e6bbf534778ecea7c0c925?s=96&d=mm&r=g
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Chemically Impaired Nurse
- It is estimated that 10% to 15% of nurses suffer from the disease of chemical dependency.
- Alcohol is the most widely abused drug, followed closely by narcotics.
- High absenteeism may be present if the person’s source is outside the work area or, the person may rarely miss work if the substance source is at work.
- Increase in “wasting” of drugs, higher incidences of incorrect narcotic counts, and a higher record of signing out drugs for other nurses may be present.
- Poor concentration, difficulty meeting deadlines, inappropriate responses, and poor memory or recall
- Problems with relationships
- Irritability, tendency to isolate, elaborate excuses for behavior
- Unkempt appearance, impaired motor coordination, slurred speech, flushed face
- Patient complaints of inadequate pain control, discrepancies in documentation
- State board response
- May deny, suspend, or revoke a license based on a report of chemical abuse by a nurse
- Diversionary laws allow impaired nurses to avoid disciplinary action by agreeing to seek treatment.
- During the suspension period
- Successful completion of an inpatient, outpatient, group, or individual counseling treatment program
- Evidence of regular attendance at nurse support groups or 12-step program
- Random negative drug screens
- Employment or volunteer activities
- Peer assistance programs serve to assist impaired nurses to:
- Recognize their impairment
- Obtain necessary treatment
- Regain accountability within the profession
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