Nurses are in contact with people suffering from addiction illnesses in a variety of healthcare settings. The addiction is often associated with a multitude of complex acute and chronic problems, either as a by-product of the person’s dependence or as a contributing factor. Attend this highly interactive seminar and find out:
8:30am - Registration and Refreshments
It is not unusual to associate addiction with a range of negative behaviours, such as gambling, alcohol and drugs. But how many times have you said, or heard other people say, ‘I am addicted to chocolate’ or as the song says ‘I am addicted to you’. In this introductory session, we will explore:
The increase in new knowledge provides an understanding of the impact of intoxicating substances on the brain. Several factors may affect the vulnerability of the brain to these substances. This session will give an overview of why some people become ‘addicted’ or ‘dependent’’ while others do not. It will also give consideration to:
10:30am - Morning Tea
The harm from substance abuse is well recognised in Australia. However, how addiction is viewed and how resources are applied to its management is important in understanding services available to people who develop substance dependence. In this session, we will look at:
As the types and availability of illicit and pharmaceutical drugs change, so does the form of substance misuse. While the problem of psychoactive drugs has increased, people who misuse commonly available medicines on prescription or over-the-counter (OTC), e.g. stimulants and depressants, have also been emerging. These may be used in combination and may lead to death. In this session, we will discuss:
12:30pm - Lunch and Networking
Building therapeutic relationships and engaging people with addictions is an important part of the process of minimising harm and beginning recovery. Any sense of judgment or unfriendliness may result in distrust, frustration and more deception, which can affect the treatment process for the addiction or another medical problem.
3:00pm - Afternoon Tea
As addiction is a chronic disease, it is not feasible that people can be cured by stopping the substance for a few days. Recovery is slow, may often need to be repeated, should be holistic and, in many cases, demands lifelong vigilance. This final session of the day will examine:
4:30pm - Close of Day One of Seminar
9:00am - Commencement of Day Two
Harm reduction for people with substance dependence is one of the pillars of the National Drug Strategy. Harm reduction works to reduce the adverse health, social and economic impacts of drug use on communities, families and individuals. Assisting someone to manage the effects of substance dependence and abuse in the healthiest way possible contributes to harm reduction. In this session, we will discuss:
Withdrawal is an early step in the process of treatment. If no follow up occurs, the addiction will continue. This medical process can also be complicated by underlying disorders and be potentially fatal. This session explains:
10:30am - Morning Tea
Assessment of a person who has dependent behaviour requires skill and focus. While assessment tools are valuable, the conversation about substance use is also important. Here you will review some of the key aspects of assessment, including:
Using case studies related to a person with an addiction, this interactive session will bring together the knowledge learned so far and will demonstrate holistic nursing care planning. It includes:
1:00pm - Lunch and Networking
During assessment and treatment phases, it is likely that you will encounter a patient who is in distress. This may manifest as panic or anxiety and may result in verbal or physical aggression.
3:00pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee
Occasionally, it is not possible to reverse a dependent behaviour. In this instance, realistic and sensitive care needs to be provided. This final session looks at:
4:30pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations
Dr Karen-Ann Clarke is a registered nurse and a specialised mental health nurse with 30 years’ experience of working with individuals and families impacted by the experience of mental illness. Using a feminist narrative methodology, her PhD research explored the way that women diagnosed with depression made decisions and meanings about receiving electroconvulsive therapy. As a lecturer in nursing at USC, Karen-Ann is responsible for the coordination of mental health curricula across multiple undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Teaching in excess of 900 undergraduate students each year, she is passionate about the value that immersive mental health simulation can bring to student’s learning and clinical skills and the way that it can safely bring to life theoretical concepts related to mental healthcare. Karen-Ann currently supervises a number of honours, masters and PhD students and is part of numerous research projects, involving visualisation and simulation, mental illness, suicide prevention and the inclusion of people with lived experience of mental illness into the teaching and learning space.
Addiction is a growing problem; with alcohol and other substance misuse now considered a major public health problem. Nurses in a range of specialities and settings are very likely to come into contact with people who have an addiction. The consequences for the individual and those around them are significant. Understanding addiction, how it affects people and the latest evidence and principles for effective management is essential to the recovery of those people who have addiction in order to minimise harm.
The purpose of this seminar is to provide nurses with the latest knowledge and skills for effective practice when caring for people who exhibit signs or are known to be affected by an addiction
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