ETOH withdrawal in acute care setting

  1. I am attempting to find information from nurses who treat patients for ETOH withdrawal in acute care. I work in a cardiac step down unit and find our current treatment practice to borderline on cruel and unuasual punishment. Not just for the patients, but the RN's who care for them. If you are using a successful treatment protocol I would love to hear from you.
    Thank you:spin:
  2. Visit rnanm profile page

    About rnanm

    Joined: Nov '06; Posts: 29; Likes: 9
    Open Heart and Trauma
    Specialty: 26 year(s) of experience in ER, CCU, DOU, L&D, PACU


  3. by   Daytonite
    hi, rnanm!

    there are a couple of ways to approach this. you can work within your system which is the way you should start because it's the way you have to end up working with it anyway. any hospital protocols for the treatment of something like this usually come through a couple of different committees. one of them will be a nursing committee and another will be one of the physician committees. what usually happens is that this problem would be brought up and a group of people assigned to collect information on it. this would be a good opportunity for you to volunteer to become involved in how these things work in your hospital.

    if you just want to find information on your own, you should try contacting your state medical association or state board of medicine. the doctors police themselves when it comes to substance and alcohol abuse, so there are some physicians who are well versed in the treatment and handling of this. they would be a good place to start looking for information. also, i would contact the local leadership of the aa and ask where the local acute detox centers are. once you find some of these acute detox programs, call and ask to talk with one of the medical or nursing professionals who does staff education. you want to ask if they would be willing to share their treatment protocols with you. we had a substance abuse nurse practitioner (we used to call her the alcoholic nurse ) who did this as part of her job duties at a facility where i worked on a detox unit years ago. she was often consulted by nurses outside our facility and often spoke at nursing workshops and conventions about detoxing patients safely.

    welcome to allnurses!
  4. by   Tweety
    We use the Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol Scale (CIWA-Ar). Perhaps if you Google it you can find more information.

    Basically, it's a nurse driven protocol based on the nurses assessment.
  5. by   rnanm
    Thank you all for the valuable suggestions and sharing your experience with me. I will follow up on them and let you know the results.