Preparing Nursing Students to Work With Patients With Alcohol or Drug-Related Problems

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Stigma and insufficient training for addressing alcohol or drug problems in clinical settings are two significant barriers to earlier identification and access to care for patients with alcohol or drug (AOD)-related problems. Nurses are crucial players in this strategy, yet nurses often report poor motivation and insufficient training for working with AOD-affected patients. This article describes and reports preliminary evaluation results of an educational experience that integrated AOD curriculum into a community/public health nursing clinical practicum. The purpose of the intervention was to meet the required objectives for our university’s community/public health nursing clinical course, improve students’ attitudes and therapeutic commitment for working with AOD-affected patients, and prepare students for providing high-quality nursing care for individuals with AOD-related problems.

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