|HANDLING AGGRESSION IN PSYCHIATRIC SURGICAL PATIENTS WHO ALSO
SUFFER FROM SUBSTANCE ABUSE
What actions can be taken by the advanced registered nurse practitioner to reduce aggressive behavior in surgical patients with both a psychiatric diagnosis and a substance abuse problem? According to Morrison, Ramsey and Snyder (2000a), determining an answer to this question is important for several reasons. First, most staff nurses are woefully unprepared for handling the complexity of issues attending to this patient type which means that many of patients' needs go unmet.
Second, Morrison et. al (2000a) report that an unfortunate reality is that the health care system is seeing an increase in these and similar patient types. Indeed, it is noted that up to