Impaired Healthcare Professionals

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  1. Case Study:
    You discover that another nurse on your hospital unit has taken Valium from a client's medication supply - you confront her and she says "i'm under a lot of stress - I'll never do it again please don't tell the nurse manager"
  2. At risk factors:
    • Working at night or rotating shifts
    • Critical care assignments
    • Excessive overtime
    • Musculoskeletal injuries and pain
    • Knowledge of medications
    • ER nurses?
  3. What are the ethical dilemmas posed by this case study?
    • Patient danger
    • Guilt
    • Disbelief
    • Avoid conflict
    • Feel sorry for the impaired person and don't want to get them in trouble
    • The person may exert power over the nurse who should report it.
  4. Warning signs of abuse:
    • Poor work performance
    • Frequent absenteeism
    • Unusual behavior
    • Slurred speech
    • Isolation from peers
  5. Specific signs:
    • Incorrect drug counts
    • Excessive reports of narcotics that were wasted or contaminated
    • Damaged or torn packaging for narcotics
    • "Pharmacy error" reports are numerous
    • Volunteer often to pick up controlled substances from pharmacy
  6. More signs:
    • Unexplained absences from unit
    • Trips to the bathroom correlate with administration of drugs
    • Early arrivals - late departures volunteer to work extra shifts
  7. What conditions require scruntiny by the Tx board of nursing?
    • Bipolar
    • Schizo
    • Personality disorders - borderline and antisocial
  8. Are criminal background checks necessary?
    Criminal background checks became mandatory Sept 1st, 2004. A study looking at data concerning this found:

    • There were 1508 nurses disciplined from 2002-2006
    • 28% of the crimes were felonies
    • In the two year period after the CBC became mandatory there was a 638% increase discovered among practicing nurses who failed to disclose their criminal histories.
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Impaired Healthcare Professionals
Impaired Healthcare Professionals
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