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Managing the Impaired Nurse
Pages 11 (2761 words)
A staff of competent nurses is essential to the delivery of quality healthcare. This staff will undoubtedly consist of a diverse range of individuals performing tasks that can often be stressful. Part of the nurse’s duty is to disperse medications, often narcotics and controlled substances, to their patients…
As an integral part of the delivery of quality healthcare, the functioning capabilities of the nurse must be on par with the standards required by the institution and the position within that institution held by the nurse. An impaired nurse, by definition, is lacking in the ability to perform their duties at a level sufficient to successfully provide their patients with quality care and meet the standards defined by their position. The complete technical definition, according to Dunn considers a nurse to be impaired “when alcohol or drug use affects their cognitive, interpersonal or psychomotor skills to the point where they can no longer satisfy their professional code of ethics or standards of practice”. As a management leader, the quality of the decisions made regarding the identification of a nurse impaired, whether due to drug abuse or the use of other mind-altering substances, is vital to the success or failure in the ability of the staff to provide their patients with proper care. Since nurses represent the largest discipline within the healthcare infrastructure, strong leadership is vital to a healthy work environment, job satisfaction, improved patient safety outcomes, lower turnover rates, and positive outcomes for organizations, patients and healthcare providers. ...
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