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ROLE OF THE NURSE IN SUBSTANCE MISUSE - Literature review Example

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Role of the Nurse in Substance Misuse Introduction Nurses are preferably assigned to work with patients who have problems with substance misuse because they are ones who initially deal with patients in primary care (Kim & Kollak 2006). Hence, the nurse occupies the most important position in primary care…
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ROLE OF THE NURSE IN SUBSTANCE MISUSE
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Download file to see previous pages While education and health response should constantly be designed individually to suit the unique needs of patients, this is particularly vital to those who are experiencing substance misuse problems. This paper discusses the role of nurses in substance misuses and reflects on how this role can benefit clients/patients and can meet the demands of best practice guidelines and legislation challenges. Self-reported substance misuse in the UK indicates that roughly ten percent of adolescents and older adults use drugs yearly, and more than ninety percent drink consume alcohol (Straussner 2004). A few of these people experience working with primary care nurses. Individuals with substance misuse problems encounter a broad array of social care and health practitioners. Expectedly, several practitioners have recognised inadequacies in the education and training for treating substance misuse (Cann & De Belleroche 2002). All these issues are discussed here. Corresponding to the widespread enlarged demand for nursing services for patients with substance misuse issues, the role of the nurse has expanded remarkably in the recent decade. Nurses working with substance misusers work in diverse contexts with substance misusers, and have varied health care perceptions and strategies. According to Joel and Kelly (2002), their tasks involve assessing the needs of substance misusers, determining best possible treatment, counselling, and performing required treatment methods. Nursing Substance Misusers Several empirical findings show that the role of the nurse working with substance misusers can be especially nerve-racking and challenging (Wagner & Waldron 2001). This is primarily because of the growing demand for expert skills and knowledge in areas like counselling, assessment, promoting the participation of patients in the decision-making process, communication, organisational aspects like lack of support, education and training for staff, loss of financial assistance, and modifications in services (Sullivan 1995). The roles of the substance misuse nurse, as stated by Mike Bell (as cited in Newell 1998): (1) nurses interact personally with substance misusers; (2) nurses evaluate the patient’s needs and develop their strong points; (3) nurses operate within specific areas; (4) nurses are responsible for their own decisions and actions; and (5) nurses collaborate with one another to provide the best services to substance misusers. Florence Nightingale (1912) expressed the importance of the nurse’s role in his statement: I solemnly declare that I have seen or known of fatal accidents, such as suicides in delirium tremens, bleedings to death, dying patients dragged out of bed by drunken medical staff corps men and many other things less patent and striking, which would not have happened in London Civil Hospitals nursed by women (Nightingale 1912, 28). It is probable that there are differences in the expectations and role of substance misuse nurses all over the UK, relying on context and setting. For instance, health organisations may follow different guidelines; different groups in primary care may also differ in the extent of decision making entrusted to drug specialist nurses, concerning recommendation and treatment (Shaw 2002). The following sections discuss the professional and personal skills needed by substance misuse nurses to adequately fulfil their challenging roles and satisfy best practice ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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