Why is substance misuse among nurses a serious concern?

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1. Why is the subject of workplace health and safety of concern to nurses?

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How are these concepts related to patient safety and patient outcomes?

2. What action is suggested when you are faced with an angry or hostile coworker?

3. Why is substance misuse among nurses a serious concern? What is the most appropriate way to handle a suspicion that a coworker may be involved in serious substance misuse?

4. What is the most common physical injury experienced by LPNs and nursing assistants? How can a nurse manager help staff avoid physical injury at work?

5. Describe several examples of sexual harassment in the workplace. Discuss methods of dealing with these instances.

6. Review the policies and procedures on the following safety issues in your current clinical rotation. Compare with other students in the class. What are the similarities and differences? What might this mean in terms of workplace safety?

• Latex allergies

• Needlestick injuries

• Violence

3. Go to the ANA website and explore the sections on workplace and patient safety under the heading “Professional Nursing Practice.”

Which concepts discussed in these sections are particularly important to the beginning RN? Why?

4. Interview one of the staff nurses on your unit. Explore his or her feelings and concerns related to the following topics. Based on the comments, develop strategies to address the concerns.

• Substance abuse among nurses

• Emergency preparation

• Quality of work life within the organization

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