Being Ordered to Give Whiskey - page 3

So, the another night, we got a new admit. Along with this new person, amongst all the busyness that accompanies new people, was a strange order that made, and still makes, me nervous. Apparently,... Read More

  1. by   elkpark
    In the hospitals in which I've worked over the years, liquor (whiskey, vodka) came in 30cc individual dose cups like MOM, dispensed by the pharmacy. Beer comes in the usual 12 oz cans (some inexpensive brand), sent up from the kitchen with meal trays. I've always been amused that, in hospitals (at least the ones I've known), ethanol as liquor is considered a drug and ethanol as beer is considered food.
  2. by   Emergent
    Quote from elkpark
    In the hospitals in which I've worked over the years, liquor (whiskey, vodka) came in 30cc individual dose cups like MOM, dispensed by the pharmacy. Beer comes in the usual 12 oz cans (some inexpensive brand), sent up from the kitchen with meal trays. I've always been amused that, in hospitals (at least the ones I've known), ethanol as liquor is considered a drug and ethanol as beer is considered food.
    That's because, beer IS food, duh. Especially dark, craft beer.
  3. by   kbrn2002
    Maybe it's because I work in LTC but to me this is no big deal. Our facility standing orders even allow for an alcoholic drink prn if not contraindicated. If a resident wants a drink we just have the rounding PA review their chart and give the OK to implement the standing order. This order is mostly used by activities though as they have several events when beer or wine are served, including a weekly "happy hour" complete with karaoke. For those residents that like to attend happy hour but can't have alcohol or choose not to non-alcoholic wine and beer are available.

    For those residents with a daily drink habit we obtain the order if the resident didn't already come in with it and the alcohol is provided by the family and kept locked in our med room. There seem to be many residents of that era where a "night cap" was just something that was done.
  4. by   loriangel14
    Quote from purplegal
    Also, for those that have given alcohol to your patients, have you given it with the meds? Or spread it out?
    i have seen it just given with their HS meds
  5. by   anchorRN
    I only WISH that the doctor's I've worked with in the past would do this!!!!!!!! I hate dealing with patients with DT's and more of this would make them so much more pleasant to deal with. I agree with the earlier post that America has a puritanical attitude towards ETOH. One shot aint gonna kill him LOL
  6. by   BSN16
    We have a bunch of beer sitting in our pyxis.

    After the 4-5th detox session on the vent for weeks in the ICU. I know that our intensive docs have put patients charts to "NOT DETOX THIS PERSON" If theyre found unresponsive and brought in by ems just treat them, and give them a beer before they start detoxing
  7. by   Loracs72
    We had a resident who was on Hospice and was allowed 2 shots of Whiskey prn. She had been on Hospice I think for a year. She rarely asked for pain medication and she actually was wheeled out of the LTC Facility !
  8. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from purplegal
    So, the another night, we got a new admit. Along with this new person, amongst all the busyness that accompanies new people, was a strange order that made, and still makes, me nervous. Apparently, we are to give him whiskey along with his evening medications. This worries me since alcohol interacts with so many medications. Not to mention that, if we were to need to manage any pain, we would have to give dilaudid, which shouldn't be given with alcohol. It is an order, and he said he legally is able to do so, but it still makes me uncomfortable. It doesn't seem right as part of my nursing duties to be giving patients alcohol.

    Has anyone ever heard of this? Am I right to be leery about this order?
    While I haven't seen the order in a very long time, I have seen orders for alcoholic beverages. Usually, the patient has an alcohol dependence and the alcohol prevents withdrawal. If that is the case, they are not going to react to a dilaudid/alcohol combination in the same way you or I would.

    Find out what your facility's policy about alcohol says, and make sure the order complies with the policy and you should be good.
  9. by   Loracs72
    As I recall we had to document the amount of Liquor that we poured and we kept in a locked cupboard in the Med room.
  10. by   macawake
    Quote from purplegal
    Apparently, we are to give him whiskey along with his evening medications. This worries me since alcohol interacts with so many medications.
    If you're uncertain why the whiskey was ordered you can always ask the prescriber for clarification. I'd treat it the same way as I would a more traditional order; i.e. get clarification if something is unclear. If you are concerned with medication interactions I think that a pharmacist is a good resource if you have one available to you. Personally I wouldn't be worried about one drink but if you need to have your mind put at ease, definitely reach out. After all, I don't know your patient's history or current status or medications, so I'm just speaking in general terms.

    It doesn't seem right as part of my nursing duties to be giving patients alcohol.
    If it's somehow beneficial for the patient (either by preventing him/her from developing alcohol withdrawal or simply by providing some culinary enjoyment ), do you still feel that it shouldn't be a part of your job?

    A couple of years ago I visited an old classmate who works hospice at her place of work. I noticed that they had an actual wine refrigerator in the kitchen (dual zone for red and white) and she told me that wine was served with dinner for those residents who wanted it. Served in real wine glasses. In my opinion at least half the therapeutic value is lost if you serve wine in a cup, mug or any other kind of wholly inappropriate vessel
    Last edit by macawake on Dec 3, '16
  11. by   MunoRN
    This used to be common, then went away, now is making a comeback. Would you rather deal with a combative, belligerent, paranoid, agitated, seizing DT patient or the hassle of giving someone a drink of whiskey?
  12. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from purplegal
    It doesn't seem right as part of my nursing duties to be giving patients alcohol.
    This sounds like it is loaded with more than a little bit of judgment. Is that the case? If it's determined to be of therapeutic benefit and no danger (do assure yourself of that), why would you feel that way?
  13. by   sallyrnrrt
    It has therapeutic, in certain situations

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