A qualification and experience in nursing or midwifery does not ensure immunity from developing these health concerns. In fact, research has shown nurses, midwives and students are likely to be at a greater risk of developing substance use concerns than the general community.
We are aware that some of our colleagues enter the profession having experienced alcohol or other drug use concerns which can be exacerbated by their work. We encourage them to continue their successful management strategies and self-care practices, and to seek help if needed.
Work related stress, exposure to direct or vicarious trauma and physical injury are some of the main risk factors. The individual’s social circumstances, family history and diminished awareness of the impact of their alcohol and drug use also adds to the risk.
Significantly the fear of the ramifications of seeking help, that is being identified, losing their job, their registration and their reputation present as the primary barriers for nurses, midwives and students reaching out for help. (Holloran & Rivellini, 2000; Dwyer et al, 2002; Berryman, 2003)
The NMHPV provides sensitive and compassionate screening, assessment, referrals, individual support sessions and groups for those seeking help to manage these health concerns. We believe that early intervention is the best way to address health challenges and encourage our colleagues to contact us to discuss how we can best help.
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Phone: 03 9415 7551
The Nursing and Midwifery Health Program Victoria (NMHPV) was initially developed to support nurses and midwives to address the health concerns related to their alcohol and other drug use. This continues to be a priority for our service.