JAPNA Special Issue on Substance Use Disorders: Bias Checked
The January/February special issue of the Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association provides the latest PMH nurse findings on substance use disorders. It may not surprise you that a common thread throughout the articles is bias. As psychiatric-mental health nurses treating individuals living with substance use, we are educated to leave our preconceptions at the door. We also know it’s a challenge to get it right every time and that education is key. Here are a few ways to check yourself:
PERSON > ABUSER
Addressing Bias and Stigma in the Language We Use with Persons with Opioid Use Disorder: A Narrative Review
Karen Werder, PhD, MSN, PMHNP-BC, Alexa Curtis, PhD, MPH, PMHNP-BC, FNP-BC, Stephanie Reynolds, MPH, Jason Satterfield, PhD
Among the publications surveyed was one study that included a perpetrator-punishment scale. Considering the language used, the study found that the term “substance abuser” tended to connote a personal responsibility for the individual’s substance use and consequently deemed punishable, while the expression “person having a substance use disorder” indicated that the individual should receive treatment, not punishment.
TREATMENT > CESSATION
Developing Competency-Based Nursing Treatment for Persons With Tobacco Use Disorder
Carol Essenmacher, PMHCNS-BC, DNP, Carolyn Baird, DNP, MBA, RN-BC, CARN-AP, CAADC, FIAAN, Julia Houfek, PhD, APRN-CNS, M. Rene Spielmann, DNP, ARNP, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC, Sara Adams, PhD, RN, CNE
The idea of “smoking cessation” can imply that, once a patient receives a single episode or series of treatments, they quit full stop and for all time. We know that this is not usually how it works. Several attempts to quit can transpire before reaching success. This disconnect in language leads to frustration on all fronts. However, the phrase “tobacco treatment” – a neutral one – sets up expectations for what reality can look like.
EDUCATION + EXPERIENCE > ASSUMPTIONS
Identifying the Assumptions and Bias That Affect Screening and Brief Interventions for Harmful Alcohol Use
Brenda Johnston, DNP, PMHNP, PMHCNS
A study of emergency department nurses indicated that though they understand the connection between Harmful Alcohol Use and poor physical, emotional, and social heath, the nurses were still uncomfortable treating those with HAU or even moderate alcohol use. In another study, junior nursing students showed a measurable improvement in attitude regarding those with HAU when SBIRT training was applied with the addition of clinical rotation.