Functions of the Statewide Peer Assistance for Nurses

Introduction

SPAN is a program that was founded in 1981 by a council of New York State Nurses who established and derived a program that was aimed to offer assistance to peers. SPAN offers lucrative services; for instance, in a situation where a nurse contacts them, a regional coordinator takes the responsibility of assessing the nurse and derives services to be offered in order of priority. SPAN healthcare providers promote transitional linkage as new clients are introduced to colleagues already in support groups who have the same issues. SPAN upholds the aspect of confidentiality as portrayed in the code of ethics. Information about the client is not revealed to anyone until the client signs a document that gives permission.

The program’s other service is providing health promotion regarding mental health and public safety to all forums regardless of setting and social class (Chemical Dependency in the Workplace: The Official Voice of Perioperative Nursing, 2018). The program plays a significant role in ensuring that the supervision and coaching of group facilitators to the peers are well conducted. Information regarding the program is conversant, familiar, and will benefit the peers.

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How Chemical Dependency in Nurses Affects Patients and Staff

Nurses who rely on chemical dependency portray poor coping skills regarding attending to the patients, which leads to an eruption of mismanagement of patients’ care. Mismanagement of patients yields decreased quality of care to the patients. The nurses under the influence will serve the patients with anger and hostile behavior that results in violence. (Chemical Dependency in the Workplace: The Official Voice of Perioperative Nursing, 2018). Other effects include increased complaints from nurses and patients, decreased productivity, and inaccessibility to patients and staff due to not being sober.

Prevention of chemical dependency is achieved through education regarding drugs and substances being instituted in nursing schools. SPAN’s mental facilitators should advocate and provide health education regarding substance abuse matters majoring in the prevention strategies. Healthcare facilities should also put in place drug-free workplace programs that protect their healthcare providers’ health and safety (Chemical Dependency in the Workplace: The Official Voice of Perioperative Nursing, 2018). Policies regarding drug dependency should be written clearly to safeguard patients and nurses from violating the policy.

Chemical Dependency in the Workplace

Situation

An example of an occurrence is given in the article about Nurse Jeanine (not her real name), a manager, working in an operating room (OR) for approximately eleven months. She was an alcohol addict and used to come to work while drunk. She was in charge of her unit with twenty-five members, and her responsibilities included supervision, scheduling of the staff members, and providing care to the perioperative patients. Paula (not her real name) was a nurse in that hospital who worked in the perioperative unit once in a while and had known about Jeanine’s alcohol addiction. Paula reported the incident to the in charge of the post-anesthesia care unit. (Chemical Dependency in the Workplace: The Official Voice of Perioperative Nursing, 2018). The hospital helped Jeanine through an instituted rehabilitation program, attained wellness, and returned to work.

Lessons Learned

Nurses have the responsibility as Paula to advocate and report any matters regarding a situation of chemical dependency. Nurses’ leaders are obliged to have prior knowledge of chemical dependence to spearhead prevention strategies in their units (Chemical Dependency in the Workplace: The Official Voice of Perioperative Nursing, 2018). Nurses should always be at the forefront in ensuring that treatment and any form of assistance are offered to victims of chemical dependency.

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Conclusion

Nurses in every unit have a responsibility to ensure that their colleagues are safe from precarious conditions. In addition, nurses should ensure that patients are well protected from inappropriate care resulting from their colleagues under the influence of chemical dependency (Chemical Dependency in the Workplace: The Official Voice of Perioperative Nursing, 2018). Nurses should embrace the spirit of unity as a strength to prevent and ensure that those under the influence of chemical dependency get treatment. Paula reporting the matter to the hospital administrator aided in improving patient care and Jeanine receiving appropriate treatment.

Reference

Chemical Dependency in the Workplace: The Official Voice of Perioperative Nursing. (2018) AORN Journal, 108(5), 544-546. Web.

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AssignZen. "Functions of the Statewide Peer Assistance for Nurses." October 4, 2022. https://assignzen.com/functions-of-the-statewide-peer-assistance-for-nurses/.

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AssignZen. 2022. "Functions of the Statewide Peer Assistance for Nurses." October 4, 2022. https://assignzen.com/functions-of-the-statewide-peer-assistance-for-nurses/.

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AssignZen. (2022) 'Functions of the Statewide Peer Assistance for Nurses'. 4 October.

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