Research question: What is the prevalence of substance abuse in nurses, general perception by peers and impact on nurses’ personal and professional lives as well as recommended coping mechanisms?
Boulton, M. A., & O’Connell, K. A. (2018). Relationship of student nurses’ substance misuse to perceptions of peer substance use and harmfulness. Archives of psychiatric nursing, 32(2), 310-316. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apnu.2017.11.021
This article describes the peer perceptions of substance abuse in nurses. According to the authors, researchers for Columbia University, substance abuse in nurses poses a threat to patients’ lives and interferes with the sustainability in the lives of users. Agreeing with Stewart and Mueller (2018), a significant proportion of practicing nurses are dependent on drugs. The authors conducted a cross-sectional survey to determine the peer perceptions, employing correlational research designs. In their study, the authors used a sample size of 60,000 nursing students, administering questionnaires to collect data. The authors point out that the research questionnaire collected data on attitudes, perceptions of harmfulness, amount, and duration of drug use. For analysis, the authors used descriptive statistics employing correlation and regression models. The authors established that the proportion of drug-dependent nurses perceived a larger proportion of their peers to be on drugs as well. The authors argued that the rationale for continued use was angled on their view of the vice as socially acceptable. Moreover, the nurses’ perception of drugs influenced their attitudes and, in turn, their behaviors. According to the article, negative exposure of substance abuse in the media and through interactions with peers and family deters the nurses from seeking help. The authors indicated that drugs affect brain function and limit nurses’ capacity to make rational decisions, and therefore making them incapable of efficiently carrying out their duties. The study indicated that harmfulness was perceived differently for different drugs, influencing the amount of use. Moreover, the authors established that drugs were consumed more in colleges than in practice. The authors established the sample size as a limitation in the study, and the possibility of bias is common in self-studies. Still, the research added to establishing the prevalence of drug use and the relationship with the perception as well as harmfulness.
Foli, K. J., Reddick, B., Zhang, L., & Krcelich, K. (2020). Substance use in registered nurses: “I heard about a nurse who…”. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 26(1), 65-76. https://doi.org/10.1177/1078390319886369
According to the article, the rate of substance abuse in nurses matches consumption in the general population despite their extensive training and stringent regulation. Still, the authors indicate that the stressful work environment drives nurses to consume in order to cope, thereby coinciding with the findings by Stewart & Mueller (2018). The authors, researchers for Purdue University, point out that sensitivity of nursing practice limits the incentive to publicly seek help due to fear of stigma and the threat of losing the practicing licenses. Moreover, the authors further argue that the SUD is taken more as a failure of moral conduct than a disease. To establish the response of nurses to SUD in Indiana, the authors utilized an online survey, guaranteeing anonymity while collecting quantitative data. According to the authors, the study involved a sample size of 4,000 patients and utilized a questionnaire in data collection. The author utilized descriptive statistics in analysis and categorized the results into themes, differing social network proximity to Substance abuse, Individual processes, Bedside, system, and organizational spaces and effects, and exposure to substances Use in nursing. The authors indicated that to protect themselves, nurses with the disorder would fail to be screened so as to get fired rather than have their licenses revoked. With that, the nurses can still get employed and practice in different institutions. As such, the authors indicated that self-care becomes the most feasible type of assistance nurses accord themselves. From the article, monitoring and disciplinary action are the two most common approaches taken by nursing boards to deal with nurses with SUD. To them, monitoring does not equal treatment and is therefore inefficient. Furthermore, it deters patients from coming forward. Overall, the authors determined that stigma and shame were the leading demotivators from seeking help. Also, they reinforced the need for education and research programs into SUD and implementation of policies aimed at creating a safe work environment for nurses and patients. The article describes the accuracy of information provided in the survey as the limitation in the study where nurses would have provided the wrong information. Still, the article is fundamental to informing nurses on the need to treat their peers with SUD with respect and care.
Jarrad, R., Hammad, S., Shawashi, T., & Mahmoud, N. (2018). Compassion fatigue and substance use among nurses. Annals of general psychiatry, 17(13). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12991-018-0183-5
This article describes compassionate fatigue (CF) in nurses with regard to substance use and its influence by demographic variables such as marital status, income, gender, and type of health institution. According to the authors, researchers at the University of Jordan, compassionate fatigue refers to the physical and emotional exhaustion often experienced by caregivers with time. The authors indicated that for nurses, compassionate fatigue encompasses an absorption of the pain felt by patients due to the continued interaction with them at various levels of treatment in the hospital. As such, the authors indicated that the intricate link between compassionate fatigue and substance