Off-campus South Dakota State University users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your South Dakota State University ID and password.

Non-South Dakota State University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date

1999

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Dianna Sorenson

Keywords

nurse substance use, substance abuse, nurse attitudes

Abstract

The purpose of this descriptive correlational study was to explore and analyze the attitudes of registered nurses in a North Central rural state toward nurse colleagues' substance abuse. Substance abuse is prevalent within the nursing profession. Therefore, professional recognition of the problem of substance abuse among nurses has begun and corresponding strategies put into motion. However, ongoing exploration of peers' attitudes toward substance abusing nurse colleagues is needed in order to develop appropriate strategies which provide a bridge between early recognition and intervention as well as reintegration of the substance abusing nurse colleague back into the workplace.
The personal characteristics and experiences of age, gender, marital status, religion, self alcohol or drug use, family substance abuse, and friends' substance abuse were identified and investigated as factors affecting nurses' attitudes toward substance abuse. The professional characteristics and experiences of educational level, highest degree held in nursing, number of years as a registered nurse, employment status, knowledge of having worked with a substance abusing nurse colleague, practice setting, previous substance abusing patient encounters, and education regarding substance abuse were identified and investigated as factors affecting nurses' attitudes toward substance abuse. Correlation analyses were used to determine relationships between the personal and professional characteristics as well as the personal and professional experiences of registered nurses and attitudes toward substance abuse.
The data were collected using a questionnaire developed by Chapel, Veach, and Kmg (1985) to measure the attitudes of health professionals toward aspects of alcohol and drug use. The instrument provided a total attitude score which was further divided into five subscales. The systematic probability sample consisted of registered nurses licensed and living in a North Central rural state. Four hundred twenty-five questionnaires were mailed and one hundred eighty were returned which provided a forty-two percent response rate.
In this study, correlations were found between the age of the nurse as well as the nurse's reported religion and the instrument's scales. Personal experiences of self, family, or friends' abuse/dependency with tobacco, alcohol, prescription medication(s), and/or unprescribed drug(s) also had some significant relationship with nurses' attitudes toward substance abuse. Therefore, personal characteristics and experiences do have significant correlations with the attitudes held by registered nurses toward substance abuse education also revealed some significant relationships among the instrument's scales. Thus, professional characteristics and experiences also play a key role in shaping the attitudes of registered nurses toward substance abuse and substance abusing nurse colleagues. abuse and substance abusers.
There were correlations found between nurse's practice setting, highest degree held in nursing, and the number of years as a registered nurse in relation to the instrument's total attitude scores and the five subscale scores. Knowledge of having worked with a substance abusing nurse colleague and substance abuse education also revealed some significant relationships among the instrument's scales. Thus, professional characteristics and experiences also play a key role in shaping the attitudes of registered nurses toward substance abuse and substance abusing nurse colleagues.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Nurses -- Substance use
Substance abuse
Nurses -- Attitudes

Number of Pages

161

Publisher

South Dakota State University

Rights

Copyright © 1999 Teri Osterkamp. All rights reserved

Share

COinS