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Recognizing and Supporting a Nurse Colleague with Impaired Practice

Credit hours: 1.00

Nurses are caretakers and patient advocates, so no one likes to think of nurses themselves needing help or treatment, especially for substance use disorders.

Unfortunately, nurses are not immune to substance use disorders. In fact, nurses may be slightly more at risk, due to the stressful nature of their job, risk of physical injury and their familiarity with and access to many comfort medications.

Nurses must be aware that at some point in their career they may be working with or supervising someone with impaired practice. They need to be able to identify someone who is practicing while impaired, and know how to support that colleague toward recovery. Lastly, nurses should know the avenues available for recovery from substance use disorders and how nurses can safely return to nursing practice.