Substance Use Disorder Workplace Resources 

The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) recommends facilities address an important element of patient and provider safety through a comprehensive program and non-discriminatory policy addressing substance use disorder.  Substance use disorder should not be ignored. It can result in harm to the impaired individual, their colleagues or patients. Developing facility policies that include education for awareness, random drug testing and drug diversion prevention, processes for reporting and management of impairment with a safe intervention and transition to evaluation for treatment is a key step in the prevention of adverse outcomes. Policies that advocate for fair and uniform management help create a safe environment for prompt reporting, appropriate treatment, and the potential for reentry of the anesthesia professional into clinical practice.  Below are tools and resources to help create or support your facility policy.

If you are reading this page to address a current impairment or drug diversion situation, call the AANA Peer Assistance Helpline* (800-654-5167), review Getting Help, and Crisis Intervention outlines.  If there is concern due to risk of imminent harm, call 911 immediately. ​ 

       

Resources to Build and Support a Workplace Policy​

Drug Diversion Prevention

Resources for nurse anesthetists and facilities to detect and prevent drug diversion, with the primary objective of preventing harm. 

 

Drug Testing

Best practices regarding employee drug screening to prevent and detect substance use disorder.  

Educational Resources

Building and enhancing knowledge of risk factors, preventative coping mechanisms, as well as recognizing the signs and behaviors of impairment and drug diversion can help prevent harm. 

Sample​ Policies and Contracts

Policy samples, templates, forms, and checklists coming soon!

Health & Wellness and Peer Assistance

  • Health & Wellness offers information and resources to reduce risk factors and improve health and fitness.
  • Peer Assistance offers support for CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists for substance use disorder. 

Safe Intervention​

When substance use disorder or drug diversion is suspected or confirmed, gather evidence and arrange an intervention and remove the individual from clinical practice. 

 

Treatment

Anesthesia professionals and have unique treatment needs for a variety of reasons including, although not limited to, controlled substance availability, potential loss of profession when inadequately treated, professional guilt and shame, and a tendency to intellectualize the treatment process, among others.

Reporting

 

Reentry to Clinical Practice

Upon completion of a rehabilitation program, a safe return to work in anesthesia can be facilitated on an individual basis. Not all practitioners will be able to return to practice.

 

Practice Resources

Professional practice clinical resources and evidence-based standards, guidelines, position statements, considerations for policy development and other supporting documents. 

 

We need your expertise!  New content and resources are under development and we need to hear from you about your best practices, policies and forms, and what resources would benefit you from this initiative.​ Examples of resources are reentry contracts, etc. ​Send resources to wellness@aana.com and check this site often for new resources.  

About AANA Peer Support and the Peer Assistance Advisors 

​​The Peer Assistance Advisors Committee advocates for AANA members and the public on issues regarding practitioner well-being as it pertains to nurse anesthetists’ and students’ risk for SUD. The work is committed to educational endeavors and aggressive promotion of prevention modalities; committee members offer confidential assistance, informational support and referral resources in the formulation of guidelines for early recognition, intervention, treatment, long-term recovery, and appropriate re-entry​. See also Peer Assistance

​*AANA Peer Assistance support is intended to provide resources and act as an information center for the purpose of providing helpful peer support to CRNAs in need of assistance for chemical dependency/substance abuse. Although the helpline is administered by trained volunteers, it is not a professional treatment or counseling program.  No person associated with the helpline, including any AANA staff or volunteers, is authorized to make a medical diagnosis, provide professional therapy, treatment or counseling, or provide legal or other professional advice of any kind.  Please consult your personal medical provider or legal counsel for all such services.  In addition, with the limited exception of anonymous demographic data, which is maintained for reporting purposes only, all information provided by a person contacting the helpline will be kept confidential to the extent required by applicable laws.  However, please note that all AANA staff and volunteers are required to comply fully with all applicable state laws regarding mandated reporting.