August 14, 2018 - Blog
Being available to meet and treat a patient’s needs is not simply a 9-to-5 job. This is why the best substance use treatment facilities have nursing teams that are available for their patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Working with patients with substance use disorders can lead to any number of expectations for a nurse in any given day. A typical day for a nurse who works with patients suffering from substance use disorders might include:
In addition to their daily responsibilities, a nurse can make important contributions to the substance use disorder field that extend beyond the walls of treatment facilities. What might these exterior opportunities for nurses to get involved with be? Let’s take a look at some of the ways nurses better themselves – and those in need around them – through community and action and activities:
An advantageous resource available to all New York State licensed nurses, who may be coping with alcoholism and/or drug addiction, is the Statewide Peer Assistance for Nurses(SPAN). SPAN’s program focuses on the identification, education, and prevention of alcoholism and drug addiction. They also work with volunteer nurse advocates around New York State. Nurses throughout the community, as well as those still in nursing school, can greatly benefit from hearing their peers speak about their own personal recovery journeys.
With approximately 135,000 active members, the International Honor Society of Nursing is the second-largest nursing organization in the world. Their motto is ‘Improving world health through knowledge.’ and their mission is advancing world health and celebrating nursing excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service. Registered nurses who are members are able to contribute to the nursing profession and enjoy the benefits of prestige, belongingness, and support research.
The CARN exam is offered by the Addictions Nursing Certification Board (ANCB) to any registered nurses. According to the ANCB, certification “documents that special knowledge has been achieved, elevates the standards of addictions nursing practice, and provides for expanded career opportunities and advancement within the specialty of addictions nursing.” From their education and experience, a certified nurse has a great deal to offer patients, the professions of nursing, and the public.
Within the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), there is a Nursing Advisory Panel. This panel “is comprised of a group of addictions nursing content experts, experienced clinicians, researchers and managers” who “advise the Commissioner on OASAS initiatives in New York State.” Their efforts allow nurses to impact policy on a state level and has significant benefits for the field and for improving patient outcomes.
It is important for substance use treatment facilities to have a team of nurses who have these certifications and participate in these organizations. That is exactly what you will find at Tully Hill, where the level of passion among our nurses for treating patients with substance use disorders is unparalleled. It takes a special and dedicated nurse to work with patients that face the stigma of addiction on a daily basis. Substance use disorders have both physical and mental components, which makes it vitally important for the nurses at Tully Hill to have a foundation in medical/surgical nursing in addition to the expertise they have in behavioral health.
Along with all the items mentioned above, the single most meaningful thing a Tully Hill nurse does on a daily basis is also the most important: They care.
|Author: Chris Haskins, MS, RN, CARN
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