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Any Advice for a new nurse starting in a.c.d.u?


Any Advice for a new nurse starting in a.c.d.u? just wondering what I should expect..

Welcome to All nurses. Thanks for posting your question.

I think its important to remember that Mental Health is a team process.

One other thing is to bone up on ETOH and opiate withdrawal assessment scales.

Bone up on withdrawal intervention protocols. (use of lorazepam vs valium taper )

Clonidine for opiates

Methadone protocols

bupenorphine (sp?) for opiates

I work in a MH unit with some withdrawal cases.....

Best of luck!


Specializes in Addictions, Acute Psychiatry. Has 27 years experience.

not sure what the initials are since they're facility specific or local region specific. Look at other posts here and there are comments about what to look for. Depending on your hands on job requirements, I'd suggest familiarizing yourself with addictions, go to some 12 step meetings and watch bill moyers "the brain hijacked"

jpRN84, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatric, Detox/Rehab, Geriatrics.

I work in a drug and alcohol detox/rehab. We use methadone and suboxone to treat opiate withdrawal, except they cant have suboxone if they have been on benzos or using alcohol. We use phenobarbital to taper people off of benzos, and we use Librium for alcohol withdrawal. Where I work it's a mix between medical and psych, but leans more to psych...all the patients have to pretty much be medically stable to be there...we dont have IVs or stuff like that. Also, know what withdrawal symptoms to watch for, for benzos and alcohol clients, the big thing to watch out for are seizures. Also, these clients can be very manipulative, so remember to be firm, fair, and consistent. It's a great field to work in. I've been doing it now for about 2 1/2 years. Best of luck to you!


Specializes in Behavioral Health, Show Biz.


Review counseling strategies and therapeutic communication skills for dealing with manipulation, denial and hostility.

Remember not to take the rage and hostility that is directed towards you personally.

The patients have substituted drugs for dealing with anger and frustration---without the drugs, the feelings are misdirected.

The patient is the most important motivator and decision-maker on when to stop abusing

drugs. (Of course, you are the patient's advocate in abstinence)

Review basic group techniques and the process of addiction and recovery in order to prepare yourself to lead/co-lead groups.

Withdrawal symptoms, medical interventions and psychotropic

medications are mandatory topics for review.

Most of the addictions population are dual-diagnosis---1 addiction diagnosis and 1 mental illness diagnosis.

Join a professional addictions organization in order to network with other professionals in the specialty.

Pursue a certification in addictions nursing in order to increase your credentials in the specialty and give your resume a "boost."

Blessings and much success to you in your career!