An impaired practice policy may be challenging to implement since nurses may often feel uncomfortable confronting or reporting a colleague, either due to social dynamics or simply a lack of knowledge or evidence about the issue. Even if the issue is evident, a nurse may feel responsible or traumatized to report someone in fear of relation or ruining someone’s career.
Other aspects include a lack of clear protocol or protection mechanisms (for all parties involved) for reporting substance abuse in the workplace. Nurses may want to avoid confrontation or lack compassion for their coworkers in helping to deal with this issue. A practice policy must consider the well-being of the nurse as well as the safety of patients. Therefore, policy should be aimed at assistance and rehabilitation rather than punishment. With the appropriate help, a nurse can overcome the issue of substance abuse and return to professional practice.