Looking for group to build skills as a BHN

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    Hi, I am a relatively new LVN and am working in behavioral health as a nurse at a non medical detox and long term residential rehab in San Diego. I am wondering if anyone knows of any type of nurses support group or something along those lines to help me to improve in what I do. I have a management position, and am the only nurse here, so I do not have anyone to mentor me...

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  2. 2 Comments...

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    I don't know of any nurses support groups, but some ways you can improve your skills on your own:

    1. Specific journals. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing often has articles on addictions nursing. Journal of Addictions Nursing is pretty much all of it. You may be able to access either/both though your facility or local library. Or if you decide to spring for a subscription, you can write it off as a business expense (however please consult with your tax preparer/lawyer for the 100% legally correct answer).

    2. CEUs. There's lot of them online...good portion are free or low cost.

    3. IntNSA: International Nurses Society on Addictions. They accept LVNs as members. There is supposedly a SoCal chapter in the works...at the very least, you can find members in the area and e-mail them. Plus it includes access to the Journal of Addictions Nursing.

    4. You don't necessarily need a nurse to be your mentor: ask questions of all knowledgeable staff regardless of who they are. You can learn a lot from non-licensed staff such as social workers, addictions counselors, etc. You'd also be surprised how willing addictionologist/addiction MDs are to answer your questions.

    5. Every now and then, attend open recovery support group meetings (AA, NA, SMART, etc). No need to identify yourself as a nurse. You can learn a lot about addictions from hearing stories about the disease first-hand. Plus since you're not their nurse, you'll be able to listen to their stories more objectively, whereas if they are patients in your care, you may be skeptical of their intentions...and yes, that can happen to the best of us at times
    swimmerRN likes this.
  4. 0
    I agree with the above poster. Especially # 5. Open meetings of AA and NA are just that… open to any that would like to attend. We have also been encouraged to attend Al-ANON meetings as this is helpful to family, friends and caretakers of those with addictions. If your facility endorses the 12 steps then I highly encourage working a 12 step program of your own. There are tons out there and I believe that every human alive could benifit! One such group is EA (Emotions Anonymous). Great group for those that have anxiety, depression, anger, etc.) Also, become familiar with a little of the basic history of AA. It always amazes me when I meet someone that works in my field that does not know who Bill Wilson or Dr. Bob is

    Also, I suggest reading Codependent No More by Melodie Beadie. Not the updated version… that's more adjunctive, but go with the original.

    Best of luck!


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