Paula Davies Scimeca RN, MS has once again brought to our awareness a huge, persistent, pervasive and apparantly growing malignant issue amongst our health care professionals; that of chemical dependency impacting the ability of these professionals to safely and effectively provide care for their patients. In particular, nursing as a unique discipline and largest group of health care professionals on the front lines of health care assessment and delivery appears to ignore or avoid the issue, particularly at the level of our academic institution. I am proud to say there are two noteable exceptions amongst nursing organizations that I am aware of, the AANA, (American Association of Nurse Anestthetists) see:
which has an extraordinarily proactive Peer Assistance program anf INTNSA (International Nurses Society on Addictions) see:

As a health care professional that has witnessed the horredous losses to the profession, our communities and institutions due to our unwillingness to acknowledge and address this issue in a forthright manner over the past >30 years, I call on my colleagues in education and policy development to stop the institutionalized denial!

Best regards,

Art Zwerling. DNP, CRNA, DAAPM
Elkins Park, PA