Essay on ANA Official Position Statement

Published: 2021/11/04
Number of words: 1222

The healthcare sector is a very sensitive field that needs to be looked into with much care. In the US, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has been formed to oversee the progress and state of nurses in the healthcare field. Through ANA, discrimination linked to race, socioeconomic status, or gender is eliminated, and the association promotes standards of the nursing profession. The ANA has several position statements, which seek to ensure that the quality of care provided to patients is good and acts as a blueprint from which nurses base their operations. One of these statements is drug and alcohol abuse, which will be explored in detail.

Summary of the ANA Position Statement (Drug and Alcohol Abuse)

Abuse of Prescription Drugs

Under this position statement, there are five categories. One of them is the abuse of prescription drugs. ANA is against the incompetent prescribing of drugs by health care providers. The association also discourages nurses from being tempted to misuse the prescribed drugs. To ensure a safe and good prescription of drugs, the association calls for inclusive pharmacology education for all nurses practicing in every setting. According to this statement, the above education should capture the addictive potential of drugs, misuse and abuse of the drugs, and factors that make special populations like newborns more prone to drug dependence Strobbe & Crowley, 2017). Additionally, the education should capture issues of accountability, prescription practice for nurses, as well as the management of metabolic which change natural substances like growth hormones.

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Drug Testing for Health care Workers

The second category of the statement includes drug testing for healthcare employees. According to the association, drug testing for healthcare workers is regarded as a sensitive and ethical issue that should be undertaken with great care. The association is against any random drug test for healthcare employees. According to ANA, drug testing should be taken after informing the employee, and it should only take place where there is a reason to believe that the specific healthcare worker has been affected negatively in their work by drugs or alcohol. There must be proper restrictions in such a case.

Emergency Care Psychiatric Clinical Framework

This is the third category of the above ANA statement. The position of ANA on this is that hospitals are expected to offer a consistent practice model for patients irrespective of the time of the day or the facility to offer experienced and answerable emergency psychiatric care. The association is aimed at providing care that meets the IOM’s six quality aims.

Promoting Safe Medication Use in the Older Adult

According to ANA, the promotion of safe medication use in older individuals is made easy by communicating the medical information to patients, families, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. Another way through which to promote safe medication for this group, according to the association, is through evaluation and monitoring of older persons’ medication profile, reconciliation of medications in cases where there is a transition in care, and research on different clinical interventions to understand the effects of certain interventions associated with the aging populace.

Substance Use Among Nurses and Nursing Students

ANA calls for healthcare facilities to offer education to nurses and other workers regarding the use of drugs and establish policies and procedures to ensure that the workplace is a drug-free setting. Additionally, nursing schools and health care facilities are expected to adopt alternative-to-discipline approaches to treat nurses and nursing students with issues with drugs (Strobbe & Crowley, 2017). The association also calls for health care workers to look at drug use as a condition that can be treated and not as a crime. Finally, nurses and nursing students have the role of reporting any concern regarding drug abuse, according to this statement.

A Scenario where this Position Statement would apply in nursing practice

An older patient who had visited a healthcare facility suffering from diabetes had been checked by the healthcare professional and given some treatment. The patient had been attended by a nurse and a physician the previous day in the evening. After checking the patient for about an hour, the patient was prescribed some medication to use for the next few weeks before coming back for a check-up, owing to the fact that diabetes is a chronic illness. That evening, the hospital was overcrowded with patients while there were few healthcare workers. As such, both the physician and the nurse made a medical error while prescribing drugs to the patient. When the patient was taken home and used the prescribed drugs, his state went from bad to worse, and he was taken back to the same hospital the morning of the following day. His family was very angry after realizing that their patient had been prescribed the wrong drugs, which only served to worsen his situation. When they entered the office of the physician who gave the prescription, there was a lot of tension. Here, both the nurse and the physician realized that they had made a mistake, but they did not want to admit it because it could easily lead to loss of their jobs. As such, they were caught in a dilemma whether to accept their mistake or not.

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Ethical Values in Conflict

Here, both the nurse and the physician are in an ethical dilemma because they do not want to admit their mistakes and make the patient’s family realize the incompetence of the healthcare organization and its workers. As such, the ethical values in conflict here are honesty and loyalty to the organization (Boozaripour etal., 2018). This is because accepting that they made a mistake may force the patient’s family to spread the news, which eventually will ruin the image of the hospital. On the other hand, as health care professionals, they are supposed to be honest with their clients and should tell the truth to the patient’s family. Apparently, these two ethical values are in conflict here.

The Correct Action to Take

The correct action is to tell the patient’s family the truth. Telling them that they made a medical error because of the high number of patients present that evening will be good instead of lying, which is against the ethical values in healthcare. By telling them the truth, it makes them more trustworthy than telling a lie. Besides, as health care professionals, they are supposed to adhere to the non-maleficence principle to not harm the patient (Boozaripour etal., 2018). Telling the truth will prove to the patient’s family that it was a mistake, and they did not intend to harm the patient. Also, telling the truth shows that the health care professionals adhere to their personal values of being honest and truthful, hence promoting virtue ethics.


Boozaripour, M., Abbaszadeh, A., Shahriari, M., & Borhani, F. (2018). Ethical values in nursing education: literature review. Electronic Journal of General Medicine15(3).

Strobbe, S., & Crowley, M. (2017). Substance use among nurses and nursing students: a joint position statement of the Emergency Nurses Association and the International Nurses Society on Addictions. Journal of Addictions Nursing28(2), 104-106.

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