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Review of Current Healthcare Issues

Review of Current Healthcare Issues

I work in an adult intensive care unit in Florida, and there are many national healthcare issues and stressors that are faced on a daily basis. One healthcare issue that I feel is very prevalent and personal to me is the national opioid crisis. In my unit, we handle multiple patients who succumb to some form of substance abuse and understanding how to have a positive effect on this epidemic successfully is imperative for healthcare professionals to decrease the financial and personal effects of this crisis.

Opioid Crisis

            Stevens et al. (2017) describes the quickly increasing rate of opioid-related overdose mortalities in the United States and depicts the significant impact that this crisis has on the financial burden of hospitals and society as a whole. Stevens et al. (2017) explain the importance of identifying the most effective way to utilize intensive care services and prevention strategies to avoid the necessity of critical care admissions. Hodge, Wetter, Chronister, Hess, and Piatt (2017) depict opioid abuse as the most lethal and avoidable risks to the health of those in the United States and the necessity for initiation of tougher public health interferences.

How the Opioid Crisis Impacts My Work Setting

            I feel that the opioid crisis has had a significant impact on my job as a nurse, especially as an intensive care unit nurse. We have had to educate ourselves on the signs of substance abuse and techniques which can be implemented to have a positive effect on substance abuse. Gatchel (2018) discusses how the vital role that nurses have in the delivery of health care is many times unnoticed, especially when it comes to dealing with patients with opioid addictions, nurses are the main players who must handle the complex issues faced by these patients.

Personal Health System Work Setting

            Marshall and Broome (2017) describe the triple aim as an effort created to offer a structure to connect various goals of health care, which includes population health, management of health care costs, and enhancement of the patient care experience. Overall, the corporation I am employed for has initiated certain educational programs to raise awareness of the opioid crisis, encouraging employees to be vigilant in observing patients and healthcare professionals for signs and symptoms of addiction. Also, they have implemented certain strategies to prevent and make it harder for people to misuse illegal or prescription medications,  such as creating stricter regulations on wasting narcotics and disposal of any tools that could be utilized to distribute these substances. For example, now the nurse who removes a controlled substance from the Omnicell must be the one to give this medication to the patient to avoid increases opportunities for misuse of these substances. Also, we now are making sure that no syringes or other tools that could be used by someone to inject a substance, even if there is no sharp utensil involved is disposed of in a Sharps container to avoid someone from being able to utilize them for misuse of drugs.

The corporation I am employed with have also instigated new techniques to improve patient experience, urging healthcare professionals to implement certain tactics into their practice to enhance patients’ experiences. Our team leaders make daily rounds to patients, discussing with them any concerns or issues that may have been experienced during their stay so the issues can be addressed prior to the patient leaving the facility, increasing patient satisfaction.

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