Effects of an Alcohol Education Program on Improving Knowledge, Attitudes and Satisfaction of Registered Nurses Caring for Patients Undergoing Alcohol Withdrawal.

Luis Medina

Abstract

Managing and caring for patients who are undergoing alcohol withdrawal presents challenges for nurses in an inpatient setting. These challenges are influenced by factors such as negative attitudes, lack of knowledge and poor satisfaction. The purpose of this quality improvement initiative was to determine whether the effects of implementing an alcohol educational program would improve knowledge and satisfaction while reducing negative attitudes. This program implemented education on alcoholism, alcohol withdrawal and the Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment of Alcohol Scale, Revised (CIWA-Ar) monitoring tool which would be incorporated into the everyday practice of nurses caring for patients undergoing alcohol withdrawal. The education was implemented on a Medical-Surgical unit over a one month period. A 30 item questionnaire, which contained ten questions from the Short Alcohol and Alcohol Problems Perception Questionnaire (SAAPQ), was provided before and after the education to assess the degree of change incurred. The findings suggest that by incorporating an alcohol educational program, the nurses’ perception of the adequacy of their clinical skills and knowledge in caring for patients dealing with alcohol related problems was enhanced. Their ability to engage an alcoholic patient and feel satisfaction, both on a professional as well as a personal level, improved as well. In addition, providing education on alcoholism enhanced the development of a more positive attitude in participants working with alcoholic patients. Raising the nurses’ awareness of their own views, through the provision of knowledge, has facilitated a positive change in both satisfaction and attitudes.