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Workplace Impairment of the Healthcare Professional

American Medical Association Policies

1. Collectively, healthcare professionals have an obligation to ensure that colleagues are able to provide safe and effective care, which includes promoting health and wellness among healthcare professionals.

A. True

B. False


2. To protect patient interests and ensure that their colleagues receive appropriate care and assistance, healthcare professionals have an ethical obligation to:

A. Intervene in a timely manner to ensure that impaired colleagues cease practicing and receive appropriate assistance from a healthcare professional health program.

B. Report impaired colleagues in keeping with ethics guidance and applicable law.

C. Assist recovered colleagues when they resume patient care.

D. Healthcare professionals have an ethical obligation to intervene in a timely manner to ensure that impaired colleagues cease practicing and receive appropriate assistance from a healthcare professional health program, report impaired colleagues in keeping with ethics guidance and applicable law, and assist recovered colleagues when they resume patient care.


The Joint Commission Standards

3. To earn and maintain The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval, an organization must undergo an on-site survey by a Joint Commission survey team once per year.

A. True

B. False


4. The Joint Commission has stated that healthcare organizations have an obligation to protect patients from harm, and that they are therefore required to design a process that provides education and prevention of physical, psychiatric, and emotional illness and facilitates confidential diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of potentially impaired healthcare professionals.

A. True

B. False


Background of Workplace Impairment

5. Compared to the general population, healthcare professionals demonstrate significantly higher levels of:

A. Alcohol abuse

B. Opioid abuse

C. Marijuana abuse

D. Addiction


6. Healthcare workers who abuse drugs or alcohol commonly do so for all of the following reasons, except for:

A. Trying to obtain a quick high.

B. Attempting to diffuse the extraordinary stresses and demands of their profession.

C. Trying to deal with physical pain or mental illness.

D. Healthcare workers who abuse drugs or alcohol commonly do so for the purpose of obtaining a quick high, diffusing the extraordinary stresses and demands of their profession, or dealing with physical pain or mental illness.


7. Since healthcare professionals are knowledgeable in the use of drugs, their work performance is usually the last thing affected by a drug or alcohol impairment.

A. True

B. False


Signs and Symptoms of Workplace Impairment

8. Which of the following may be the first indication of impairment?

A. Frequent tardiness and absences

B. Unexplained disappearances during working hours

C. Marital and relationship problems

D. Avoidance of peers or supervisors


Where Marijuana is Legal

9. An employer’s substance abuse policy cannot prohibit an employee from using marijuana at work if it is being used for medical purposes.

A. True

B. False


10. Employers must consider the use of medical marijuana as an accommodation under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

A. True

B. False


11. Marijuana intoxication is the result of brain changes causing an alteration in:

A. Short-term memory

B. Problem solving

C. Reaction time

D. Marijuana intoxication causes alterations in short-term memory, sense of time, sensory perception, attention span, problem solving, verbal fluency, reaction time, and psychomotor control


12. Frequent users of marijuana develop a tolerance to its effects and no longer manifest impairments under testing.

A. True

B. False


13. Although most of the brain effects of marijuana are short-term and reverse when marijuana is discontinued, _____ may actually persist long after discontinuation.

A. Short-term memory problems

B. Slowed information processing

C. Impaired verbal fluency

D. Issues with psychomotor control


14. Even after 28 days of abstinence, functional imaging studies have shown less activity in brain regions involved in _____ in chronic marijuana users than in non-users.

A. Memory and attention

B. Psychomotor control

C. Information processing

D. Sensory perception


Steps for Reporting an Impaired Co-Worker

15. When an employee is diagnosed with substance dependence, they have a right to be accommodated by their employer, just as anyone else with a disability.

A. True

B. False


16. The healthcare professional should not be left alone after an intervention until a plan is in place, as the risk of suicide is increased after an intervention / confrontation.

A. True

B. False


17. Which of the following should be done during a workplace intervention?

A. Intervene alone

B. Try to diagnose the problem

C. Ask a supervisor or designated person to be present as a witness

D. Give up if the intervention does not go as planned


18. When would a healthcare professional need to be removed immediately from the workplace?

A. If they are involved in a workplace accident, or near accident, where impairment is suspected.

B. If their behavior or performance is having a serious impact on the workplace, owing to suspected impairment.

C. If their behavior puts their own safety or the safety of others at risk.

D. A healthcare professional may need to be removed immediately from the workplace if they are involved in a workplace accident, or near accident, where impairment is suspected, if their behavior or performance is having a serious impact on the workplace, owing to suspected impairment, or if their behavior puts their own safety or the safety of others at risk.


19. The employer is entitled to know which of the following about the employee’s undergoing evaluation and/or treatment for substance abuse?

A. If there are any restrictions or limitations to the performance of the job.

B. The specific diagnosis.

C. The content of the diagnosis.

D. The details of the treatment plan.


20. The duty of an employer to accommodate an employee ends when the employer reaches the point of undue hardship.

A. True

B. False


21. Should an employee reject a reasonable solution that provides for accommodation, the employer will be found to have met their duty to accommodate.

A. True

B. False


22. It is always permissible for an employer to conduct drug or alcohol testing on employees.

A. True

B. False


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