Over 70 registrants braved a host of weather-related forces on Thursday to attend the spring education program sponsored by MNA’s Ethics Committee. Substance Use Disorder: Implications for Nurses proved to be a compelling subject. “I supervised nurses with substance abuse issues and watched them disappear and lose their livelihood,” said attendee Barbara Davis. Participants had the opportunity to delve deeply into the issue from many perspectives; all with an underlying ethical theme.
Nurses are exposed to the challenges of Substance Use Disorder more frequently than the general population. Whether it impacts a colleague, a patient, or even a personal situation, RNs benefit from gaining a wider knowledge base of the problem. Like any addiction, Substance Use Disorder is a disease and deserves to be treated as such. The program, designed for the unique circumstances posed to health care professionals, offered a path of awareness, admission and action.
Beth Benda praised the program for its comprehensive approach. “I think it was excellent for the judicial review and legal aspects, and the bio-medical overview was phenomenal,” said Benda. “I also love the networking with other nurses. I’ve been able to connect with people I would never run into in any other area.”
The program was also valued for its respectful nature. “MNA has put together a great panel of speakers, and you are increasing awareness in a very informative, non-judgmental way,” said another attendee.
MNA’s Ethics Committee designed the education day to help nurses support other nurses, and by all accounts the group exceeded its goal. Aillen Sabaricos is a fairly new employee at HealthEast and a graduate of a foreign nursing program. “I appreciated learning about the difference in the need for documentation and how it is addressed in the United States. It’s good to know Health Professionals Service Program is there. I may not need it, but if a co-worker or somebody I know needs it, I can help.”
Members of the MNA Ethics Committee who helped plan the program are Pamela Wolters, Sandie Anderson, Susan Kreitz, Sarah Simons and Mischelle Knipe, assisted by MNA Staff Linda Mash and Linda Owens.