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Substance Abuse and the Healthcare Worker - An Update

Substance Abuse and the Healthcare Worker - An Update

Substance Abuse and the Healthcare Worker - An Update

Theresa D. Roberts, MHS, RT(R)(MR)
Theresa D. Roberts, MHS, RT(R)(MR)
on behalf of e-Ed Credits

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Launch date: 09 Oct 2017
Expiry Date:

Last updated: 12 Apr 2018

Reference: 184931

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Course Availability

This course is only available to trainees days after purchase. It would need to be repurchased by the trainee if not completed in the allotted time period. This course is no longer available. You will need to repurchase if you wish to take the course again.

Description

Most people in the general population are unaware of how widespread drug addition has become. Even fewer are aware of the number of healthcare professionals that are addicts. Substance abuse affects people in all socioeconomic groups and geographic areas. This article is intended to convey: useful information in identifying the types of substances that are abused and the behaviors that are suggestive of an impaired coworker; an understanding of the professional responsibility to report impaired coworkers; and an understanding of the legal, ethical, and safety implications of substance abuse.

According to the most recent government estimates, patterns of substance abuse vary by employment status. A greater percentage of unemployed individuals when compared to employed people report a higher use of cigarettes (50.1%), illicit drugs (18.2%), and heavy alcohol (10.6%). However, there are many more people who are employed than unemployed, so in terms of actual users, the number of employed people who report drug and heavy alcohol use far outnumber unemployed people who do so. In an article published by the American Journal of Nursing (AJN), 1 in 7 nurses will experience a problem with drugs and or alcohol over the course of his or her career. There is also documented evidence that offspring of alcoholic parents are more likely to grow up and become alcoholics themselves. The combination of genetics, the individual’s environment, and psychological factors plays an important role in the disease process of drug addition.

Alcohol and drug abuse by an employee can create a variety of problems for the employer, coworkers, and clients. The American Nurses Association (ANA) estimates that 6% to 8% of nurses use alcohol and or drugs to an extent that is sufficient enough to impair professional performance. The financial loss to companies in the United States due to substance abuse totals $100 billion a year according to The National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information. This cost can be measured in the expense of absenteeism, injuries, health insurance claims, loss of productivity, employee morale, theft, and fatalities. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that 65% of all work related accidents can be traced to substance abuse.

In 1983, Florida was the first state to enact a ""diversion law"", which channels a substance abuser out of the traditional legal disciplinary process and into a lengthy course of treatment. By 1992, 12 other states had enacted similar legislation and 18 states had bills on this topic that were pending.

Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:
1. Discuss the impact that alcohol and drug abuse by a healthcare worker has on the medical profession and the potential legal implications that are involved.

2. Recognize the physical, behavioral, and job performance traits commonly seen with substance abuse.

3. Describe the complications related to the major categories of commonly abused drugs and be able to recognize their common street names.

4. Explain the steps that should be taken when dealing with a healthcare coworker who is demonstrating signs of alcohol and or substance abuse.
Theresa D. Roberts, MHS, RT(R)(MR)

Author Information Play Video Bio

Theresa D. Roberts, MHS, RT(R)(MR)
on behalf of e-Ed Credits

Theresa D. Roberts, MHS, RT(R)(MR), graduated from Quinnipiac College with a Master in Health Sciences. She is a Registered Radiologic Technologist specializing in magnetic resonance imaging and is employed as the Imaging Systems Manager at Hollywood Medical Center. She completed her undergraduate studies at New Hampshire College receiving a Bachelors of Science in Human Resources. She then attended South Central Community College receiving her Associates of Science in Radiologic Technology. She has 10 years experience as an educator and prior to her management position, held the position of Assistant Professor of Radiologic Sciences at Quinnipiac College and Miami-Dade Community College.

Current Accreditations

This course has been certified by or provided by the following Certified Organization/s:

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • 1.00 Hours

Faculty and Disclosures

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