Essay Example on The Impaired Nurse









The Impaired Nurse When you think about nurses you think a person who caring for patient and saving them but you don t think a nurse would have a problem with drugs or any other substances A nurse can have many reasons to resort to substances abuse since nursing is one of the most stressful job Some nurses don't have how to handle their stress so there are some people that resort to substance abuse to help them ease the stress Risk to Patients Impaired Nurses are one of the biggest risk to patients due to being to hide the signs that they are under the influence of a substances ranging from drugs alcohol or any other substance The issue is being able to figure out a nurse is under the influence since they can hide it so well from everyone surround them from fellow nurses to patients Addictions of any kind for example drugs alcohol nicotine gambling and eating disorders can result in cost to individuals families patients and overall the society in the hospital Impaired nurses are a challenging and complex issue for the nursing profession Since the signs are sometimes missed due to not being a to recognize the warnings Most of the time a nurse a concerned and preoccupied with their own responsibilities and duties that it's hard to see that a fellow nurse might need help 

That is why it important to recognize the sign early as possible to preventing any harm coming to the patients Signs and Behaviors When it comes to reducing the risk of harm to patients it's important to recognize what are some of the signs and behaviors a nurse might exhibit By having fellow nurses know what to look out for in recognizing and reporting any suspicion to substance abuse to supervisors Since a fellow co worker see you more often than a person in a higher position They can see the slight changes in personality and behaviors when a nurse is impaired Behaviors like severe mood swings that are out of the ordinary Making elaborate excuses when confronted about their behavior Consistently volunteer to administer narcotics and relieve colleagues of casework especially on cases where opioids are administered Having inappropriate drug choices and doses for patients when administering especially when a patient states that their pain level has not decreased since last pain medication administered When noticing the change in personality with a coworker it important not confront because that it not the right approach to the situation If strange behaviors or signs are recognized you should report any suspicion to the appropriate chain of command 

Since patient safety in the number one priority when nurses take care of patients Other causes for impaired nurses Being a called an impaired nurse you think of drug or alcohol use but you would consider a nurse who is sleep deprived as a impaired nurse Most people wouldn t because sleep deprivation can be fixed easily with some sleep than nurses who uses drugs But consider this would you want a nurse who hasn't slept in days to take care of you A lack of sleep can cause for a nurse to decline in attention span make them less efficient when taking care of patients Which put the health of a nurse and their patient at risk to be harm When analyzing performance of nurses who work nights it shows that 32 made more mathematical errors also having 71 of the test lower in a vigilance test and memory tests There has been increased interest in the effects of sleep deprivation among health care personnel s as it relates to patient care Working nights is not ideal for anyone since your sleep cycle that a while to adjust But in nursing shifts takes some adjusting 

That is why incorporating different measures to help nurses keep their energy up during the night will nurses prevent medical errors when working at night For example having nurses take short rest breaks do short term exercises to keep energy up will keep nurses alert throughout the night shifts Supervisors should also take in account how many night shifts a nurses works and see if there not simultaneously one after another Giving a nurse enough time to rest between shifts helps nurses be more alert and prevent errors during their night shift Nurse Manager role Being the nurse manager on the floor making the big decision that affect everyone can be critical role especially when a situation like having a impaired nurse to deal with and how to deal with the problem The primary role of the nurse manager is detecting when a nurse is needed help especially if it physically emotionally When a nurse manager has the knowledge about impaired nurses and how to handle the situation they will have the guidance to prevent any risk to harm to the patients

The nurse manager should educate the staff on identify impaired nurses with resources like knowing the signs and behaviors to look out for in a fellow co worker seeing the hints that nurse might be doing to hide that they might be seeking drugs making sure that the staff knows there is an open door policy when wanting to discuss a situation and being able to maintain confidentiality with the staff member A nurse manager might not see the staff 24 7 so they depend on fellow coworkers to recognize any unsafe practice an impaired nurse might do Many nurses don't report an impaired nurse to loyalty guilt or fear of the consequences the nurse might have to follow Once a report has been made the nurse manager must act right away to prevent patient harm Once the suspects are proven to be true then taking action to help the nurse get immediate treatment should be in order

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