It would be nice if we could have an intelligent and professional discussion about this topic without a whole lot of judgement going on. I tried to find an appropriate topic before stating a new one but many (most? all?) of them have been closed.
Right up front I'd like to say that federal law and state law clash on the use of marijuana in a medical contex, so there's no need for anyone to state that again. Also, the action of any state's Board of Nursing is unknown, and should be researched by those who have questions. (So, call them and ask! And let us know what you've been told.) If you know of documented cases of license suspension or revocation, provide links to verifiable information, but please, no scary stories without facts.
I started by Googling the question "What is the role of the nurse in a marijuana dispensary?" My state is one of the ones that recently approved medical marijuana use and will soon be accepting applications for dispensaries. It's an occupational setting I would consider, so I am interested in hearing from nurses who work in dispensaries or clinics.
I'd also like to point out the existence of the American Cannabis Nurses Association: cannabisnurse.org/
As far as I know, nurses are not employed in marijuana dispensaries.
I've cared for many patients who use MM. Since smoking is prohibited at my facility, they are not allowed to smoke it while at the facility.
I think, with the question of dispensaries staffing nurses aside, the role of the nurse with MM is the same as the role of the nurse with any type of CAM.
I want my patients to trust me enough to tell me what other modalities they use. This is important information for the health care team to have. For example, nutritional supplements and herbals have many interactions with pharmacalogical preparations (St. John's Wort is a biggie).
Even if their CAM doesn't have any known interactions, it's still important information to have. For example, if my patient sees a Reiki practitioner twice a month to help with their PTSD symptoms, that's good information. It tells me a lot about that person, and can open the door for further communication.
How I might feel personally about any particular CAM does not matter, and should not interfere with the patient's ability to trust me enough to disclose their use. I want my patients to trust me, and I work to make sure that trust is well deserved by being nonjudgmental about their health care choices.
Last edit by Anna Flaxis on Aug 23, '13
Interesting. My capstone was on medical marijuana. I was interested to see if its use caused lung cancer or other URT problems. Part of the paper was about nursing implications...here is a snippet.
"The American Nurses Association has gone on record as supporting nurses' "ethical obligation to be advocates for access to healthcare for all including patients in need of marijuana/cannabisfor therapeutic use" (ANA, 2003). Further, they "actively support patients' rights to legally and safelyutilize marijuana for symptom management and health care practitioners' effortsto promote quality of life for patients needing such therapy" (ANA, 2003).Nurses are the"bedside" healthcare providers who strive to promote health, preventillness and alleviate suffering. The fundamental principles of nursing arecompassion and respect for the individual patient. A key role of the nurse isto act as a patient advocate. Nurses need to be available for patients when itcomes to the issue of medicinal cannabis."
Last edit by FineAgain on Aug 23, '13
: Reason: Because I can't format!