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Professional Ethics: Chemically-impaired Nurse - Coursework Example

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"Professional Ethics: Chemically-impaired Nurse" paper discusses such nurses. These are nurses who have an alcohol or drug habit or problem. A discussion of the issue first is laid out followed by the identification of the bioethical principles involved…
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Professional Ethics: Chemically-impaired Nurse
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Download file to see previous pages The outcome of the issue shall then be presented, and then followed by a presentation of an alternative resolution of this issue. A substantive conclusion shall be drawn from this discussion and evaluation.

The chemically-impaired nurse is a nurse who has a substance-addiction problem. These substances include drugs and/or alcohol. These nurses usually have impaired functions because of their addiction to drugs or alcohol and their nursing practice is often compromised as a result of their addiction (Ellis & Hartley, 2004). A study conducted by Sullivan and colleagues in the 1980s revealed that substance addiction problems are about as great as the percentage for substance addiction in the general population (as cited by Ellis & Hartley, 2004). The study even speculated that there may even be a higher percentage among nurses considering that nurses have greater access to drugs. Analysts like Ellis and Hartley point out that nurses are vulnerable to these addictions because of the stressful nature of their profession, especially those nurses in the emergency and the intensive care units. Their situation is aggravated by the fact that they often have to deal with frequent staff changes and overwhelming workloads (Ellis & Hartley, 2004). In the process, they also have to deal with their personal frustrations, their anxiety, and even their depression.

Experts also reveal that nurses have a 32% to 50% higher chance of incurring chemical dependency as compared to the general population (Lippincott, 2009). In cases where this dependency is not treated, it often escalates and harms the client. This substance abuse problem often manifests in the noticeable changes in the lifestyle of the nurse – changes which usually encourage or focus on activities which promote substance abuse (Lippincott, 2009). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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