Caring for Persons with Problematic Alcohol Use in a Hospital Setting: Nurses and their Experiences
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Registered Nurses (RN) care for individuals living with problematic alcohol use on a daily basis. There is limited knowledge available that describes the nurse-patient relationship in the context of problematic alcohol use. The purpose of this study was to describe the RNs' experiences caring for persons with problematic alcohol use on a medical inpatient hospital unit. Qualitative Descriptive Methodology guided by Peplau's theory of Interpersonal Relations was used to conduct this inquiry. Nine participants were recruited to participate in semi-structured interviews. Two themes with related subthemes were identified through thematic analysis: Nurse Patient Relationship Harmony and Disharmony, and Struggling to Care. Study participants acknowledged that stigmatizing attitudes persist in the care of persons living with problematic alcohol use, and did not associate the establishment of the nurse-patient relationship with reducing stigma. Participants called for improved knowledge of the disease, and the the use of evidence-based protocols to improve care.