#WeNurses - Thursday 21st January 2021 8:15pm (GMT Standard Time) The impact of alcohol on health & wellbeing

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Dry January is the annual movement through which people give up alcohol for the entire month of January - you can find out more about it HERE So what better time to discuss the impact of alcohol on health and wellbeing ! Public Health England (PHE) state "In England, over 10 million people consume alcohol at levels above the UK CMOs’ low-risk drinking guidelines and increase their risk of alcohol-related ill health"  PHE also identify that alcohol misuse contributes (wholly or partially) to 200 health conditions and that these conditions include some cancers, cardiovascular conditions, depression and liver disease. All of which makes alcohol and the health impacts an important topic for nurses to be aware of. 

This #WeNurses tweetchat aims to explore alcohol by asking the following questions:

  • What are the health implications of alcohol? 
  • Why is it important that as nurses we ask the people we care for about alcohol consumption? 
  • What stops us asking about alcohol consumption? 
  • What simple, brief advice and support can we provide to the people we care for to help them minimise harmful alcohol consumption? 
  • What specialist services should we be aware of as nurses in regard to alcohol support? 
  • What key messages does every nurse need to be aware of in regard to alcohol? 





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 #WeNurses transcript

 
@PUNCCharis20
21 January 2021 20:15
@WeNurses Hello! #WeNurses
@knitknitqueen
21 January 2021 20:16
@WeNurses Hi #WeNurses evening x
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:19
Opps we forgot #WeNurses !! https://twitter.com/WeNurses/status/1352349048074862592
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:20
QUESTION 1 What are the health implications of alcohol? #WeNurses https://t.co/TwaSpueefo
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:20
@JaneCoomber1 oh no we are very sorry to hear this #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:20
@PUNCCharis20 hello there #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:20
@knitknitqueen Hi Efua #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:20
@ANITATAWIAH1 yep not been nice here either .. welcome :) #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:21
@CadleJunor hello and welcome #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:21
@wlfvanessa Hi there #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:21
@AlisonCCole Hello Alison great to see you here #WeNurses
@ANITATAWIAH1
21 January 2021 20:22
@WeNurses Alcohol can have a long term impact on drinkers esp heavy drinkers. Long term alcohol misuse can weaken their immune system and make them more vulnerable to infections. It can also weaken their bones, placing them at a greater risk of bone fractures #WeNurses
@CadleJunor
21 January 2021 20:23
#wenurses Alcohol impacts both physical and mental health in endless ways from mild hangovers, anxiety to severe depression and liver damage
@wlfvanessa
21 January 2021 20:23
@WeNurses There are the obvious physical and mental health implications, but also, social implications, which can be just as devastating, as the alcohol, and alcohol addiction may affect the professional and family life. #WeNurses
@AgencyNurse
21 January 2021 20:24
@WeNurses These pics just about sum it up #WeNurses #EBP https://t.co/BSNS5F5Fi7
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:24
Well summarised ... yes lets not forget mental health here too #WeNurses https://twitter.com/CadleJunor/status/1352351064482316297
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:24
RT @AgencyNurse: @WeNurses These pics just about sum it up #WeNurses #EBP https://t.co/BSNS5F5Fi7
@PUNCCharis20
21 January 2021 20:25
@WeNurses Long term excessive drinking increases the risk of liver damage, heart disease, having a stroke or developing certain cancers. Drinking excessively in a single session can cause a person to misjudge decisions, leading to injuries or uncharacteristic behaviours #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:25
A fantastic point #WeNurses https://twitter.com/wlfvanessa/status/1352351076746465281
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:26
Ooh excellent points .... binge drinking can be just as harmful #WeNurses https://twitter.com/PUNCCharis20/status/1352351563252199425
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:26
#WeNurses https://twitter.com/knitknitqueen/status/1352351487729479680
@knitknitqueen
21 January 2021 20:26
#WeNurses https://twitter.com/knitknitqueen/status/1352351487729479680
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:28
Gosh some really hard hitting stats here - thanks for sharing Malgorzata #Wenurses https://t.co/nkqtY0o35Z
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:28
@3soniaC hi there - lots of juggling then ! #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:30
QUESTION 2 Why is it important that as nurses we ask the people we care for about alcohol consumption? #WeNurses https://t.co/4gI0JFLBnj
@CadleJunor
21 January 2021 20:31
#wenurses Alcohol can also have huge social implications, damage relationships, effect employment and housing. It can also increase chances of domestic abuse.
@wlfvanessa
21 January 2021 20:31
@WeNurses People might not realize they have an alcohol problem, and nurses can help with an initial diagnosis and advice. #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:32
Some really great points here ... #WeNurses https://twitter.com/CadleJunor/status/1352353026967826432
@AgencyNurse
21 January 2021 20:32
RT @WeNurses: QUESTION 2 Why is it important that as nurses we ask the people we care for about alcohol consumption? #WeNurses https://t…
@MalgorzataSaini
21 January 2021 20:32
@WeNurses Up to 35% develop alcoholic hepatitis and between 10 to 20 %develop cirrhosis. Alcohol-related cirrhosis is the most serious from of alcohol-related liver disease. The damage from alcohol-related cirrhosis is not reversible and can cause fatal liver failure.#WeNurses
@LDNurse_CH
21 January 2021 20:33
@WeNurses Potential interactions with prescribed medications ?? #WeNurses
@Edufornurses
21 January 2021 20:33
RT @AgencyNurse: @WeNurses These pics just about sum it up #WeNurses #EBP https://t.co/BSNS5F5Fi7
@tharry
21 January 2021 20:33
RT @WeNurses: QUESTION 2 Why is it important that as nurses we ask the people we care for about alcohol consumption? #WeNurses https://t…
@AgencyNurse
21 January 2021 20:34
@WeNurses It's about making every contact count .... some really fab stuff here from the RCN around assessment and screening & alcohol > https://www.rcn.org.uk/clinical-topics/public-health/alcohol/assessment-and-screening #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:35
Wow excellent point ! #WeNurses https://twitter.com/LDNurse_CH/status/1352353582520147968
@CadleJunor
21 January 2021 20:35
#wenurses We need to identify if it could be a contributing factor to the illness the patient is presenting with, either physical or mental health related.
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:35
Absolutely #WeNurses https://twitter.com/knitknitqueen/status/1352353992769216515
@PUNCCharis20
21 January 2021 20:36
@WeNurses We need to know/have a rough idea in order to adapt our care to our patients needs (such as if they have a weakened immune system, or liver damage as a result). It’s an opportunity to educate our patients about associated risks, and offer help for dependancy/addiction #WeNurses
@nurseAdvance
21 January 2021 20:38
@WeNurses Alcoholism can also be a symptom, frequently used to self-medicate for a range of mental health issues, that may well not have been picked up previously. Prevalence in healthcare professionals is quite high, for example #WeNurses
@CadleJunor
21 January 2021 20:38
#wenurses Identifying alcohol issues or unhealthy drinking habits earlier makes them easier to address. There is no need for people to reach rock bottom to address their relationship with alcohol. It gives nurses a chance to give advice on healthier drinking levels
@tharry
21 January 2021 20:38
RT @AgencyNurse: @WeNurses These pics just about sum it up #WeNurses #EBP https://t.co/BSNS5F5Fi7
@3soniaC
21 January 2021 20:39
@WeNurses An opportunity to promote good health and educate. Also to support and signpost as needed #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:40
QUESTION 3 What stops us asking about alcohol consumption? #WeNurses https://t.co/7UMR8jCZKx
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:40
yes absolutely .... but sometimes these are tricky conversations to start #WeNurses https://twitter.com/PUNCCharis20/status/1352354392851275779
@ANITATAWIAH1
21 January 2021 20:41
@WeNurses To assess whether they have any alcohol problems as most people don't realise they do and give them appropriate care and treatment. #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:41
Gosh we did not know that ... perhaps we also need to reflect on our own alcohol consumption too #WeNurses https://twitter.com/nurseAdvance/status/1352354893772820480
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:42
RT @CadleJunor: #wenurses Identifying alcohol issues or unhealthy drinking habits earlier makes them easier to address. There is no need fo…
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:42
RT @3soniaC: @WeNurses An opportunity to promote good health and educate. Also to support and signpost as needed #WeNurses
@wlfvanessa
21 January 2021 20:42
@WeNurses In general, lack of time for a thorough anamnesis. ??????? #WeNurses
@jadeashleigh_38
21 January 2021 20:42
@WeNurses I’ve seen the correlation between alcohol abuse and offending behaviour. Also how it affects their relationships & compliance with any medication they may be on. If I can help reduce their consumption, I can also reduce offending & imp relationships & wellbeing #wenurses
@AgencyNurse
21 January 2021 20:43
people can take the question the wrong way ... we do need to explain why we are asking the question #WeNurses https://twitter.com/WeNurses/status/1352355310141321217
@3soniaC
21 January 2021 20:44
@WeNurses Time is often a constraint #WeNurses
@jadeashleigh_38
21 January 2021 20:44
@WeNurses I’ve had many experiences with pts who self medicate as they don’t have enough support... think it speaks volumes about the underfunding of our MH services at the moment! #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:44
what a brilliant example of good practice making a difference - thank you for sharing #WeNurses https://twitter.com/jadeashleigh_38/status/1352356010279792642
@knitknitqueen
21 January 2021 20:44
@WeNurses Perhaps we are worried that we are drinking more than the patients.... #WeNurses Perhaps...
@nurseAdvance
21 January 2021 20:45
@WeNurses Varies by profession and progression (eg students obviously drink more). Medics find it particularly hard to self-refer for intervention on substance use, see the excellent work from the Practitioner Health Programme as an intervention that acknowledges the difficulties #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:45
yes - especially at the moment ... however these times make the question all the more important #WeNurses https://twitter.com/3soniaC/status/1352356393865637888
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:46
RT @knitknitqueen: @WeNurses Perhaps we are worried that we are drinking more than the patients.... #WeNurses Perhaps...
@AgencyNurse
21 January 2021 20:46
@knitknitqueen @WeNurses eek ! #WeNurses
@CadleJunor
21 January 2021 20:46
#wenurses It can feel intrusive and people can become defensive about their drinking. It's known that people generally report drinking much lower levels than they actually do consume.
@AgencyNurse
21 January 2021 20:46
RT @WeNurses: what a brilliant example of good practice making a difference - thank you for sharing #WeNurses https://twitter.com/jadeashleigh_38/status/1352356010279792642
@ANITATAWIAH1
21 January 2021 20:48
@WeNurses some patients may find it intrusive into their lifestyle choices #WeNurses
@AgencyNurse
21 January 2021 20:48
@CadleJunor i almost tweeted the same but wasn't sure if that was an urban myth or if there is evidence to back it up ? #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:49
#WeNurses https://twitter.com/MalgorzataSaini/status/1352357526969470977
@NHSRajneet
21 January 2021 20:49
@WeNurses Stigma #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:50
•nods #WeNurses https://twitter.com/NHSRajneet/status/1352357614240354304
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:50
QUESTION 4 What simple, brief advice and support can we provide to the people we care for to help them minimise harmful alcohol consumption? #WeNurses https://t.co/BraZRR350h
@jadeashleigh_38
21 January 2021 20:50
@WeNurses I think it can sometimes involve lack of understanding/knowledge/confidence from the professional. Some nurses may not have led this kind of interaction before and may be nervous about being asked for advice etc if they do raise it #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:51
an excellent point ...the alcohol question can come across a bit judgy ... how can we avoid this being the case ? #WeNurses https://twitter.com/MarianTayengwa/status/1352357878288576513
@jadeashleigh_38
21 January 2021 20:51
@WeNurses I also think it can come across as a judgemental question if not worded correctly. I’ve had pts become upset with me as they think I’m assuming they’re an alcoholic, however through experience I’ve learnt how to ask it in a more friendly way #WeNurses
@PUNCCharis20
21 January 2021 20:52
@WeNurses Fear of stigma- people in general often are not comfortable talking about their alcohol consumption through fear of being labelled as an alcoholic, whether that is the case or not. We also don’t like to feel like they’re prying by asking, even if it is relevant to know #WeNurses
@wlfvanessa
21 January 2021 20:52
@WeNurses I would advise them to always eat well, keep well hydrated and, when they do drink alcohol, to reflect on how much and how often they're drinking, and if they think it's affecting their lives negatively. If so, to contact a GP, for specialist support. #WeNurses
@jadeashleigh_38
21 January 2021 20:53
@WeNurses Some great information and guidance about brief interventions etc on this link, also some online resources for those who may want to have a look #WeNurses https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/professionals/health-practitioner-resource-centre/talking-to-your-patients-about-alcohol/alcohol-brief-interventions
@nurseAdvance
21 January 2021 20:54
@WeNurses Interesting question. I'm required to ask new admissions a standardised questionnaire but a Nightingale style ward is maybe not the ideal location to expect people to disclose and seek advise for problematic alcohol consumption, with an audience of other patients #WeNurses
@PUNCCharis20
21 January 2021 20:55
@WeNurses The golden rule of balance as general advice- drink in moderation alongside a healthy lifestyle, and make sure they are aware of how much is meant by moderation #WeNurses
@AgencyNurse
21 January 2021 20:55
@CadleJunor it seems to be widely recognised so i suspect there is ... just never read it #WeNurses
@AgencyNurse
21 January 2021 20:55
@PUNCCharis20 @WeNurses love this point to check understanding ... so important #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:56
Good point ... environment is a huge factor here #WeNurses https://twitter.com/nurseAdvance/status/1352358994556428298
@knitknitqueen
21 January 2021 20:56
@WeNurses Perhaps to ask how they drink and in what vessel.. maybe say use a smaller glass or cup. We cannot stop someone from drinking, but only advise. #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:56
Great link thank you #WeNurses #EBP https://twitter.com/jadeashleigh_38/status/1352358765681500160
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 20:57
#WeNurses https://twitter.com/MarianTayengwa/status/1352359612268339200
@ANITATAWIAH1
21 January 2021 20:58
@WeNurses Discuss with their close ones and set up a plan to limit their consumption. Try consume a low alcohol drink. #WeNurses
@AgencyNurse
21 January 2021 21:00
Oh goodness me yes ... i think we are all confused around a "unit" !! And each alcoholic drink is different .... it's a whole minefield right there #WeNurses https://twitter.com/CadleJunor/status/1352359837296963587
@knitknitqueen
21 January 2021 21:01
@WeNurses To understand that there is help out there, there are alternative products to drink. Let's talk about why they are drinking and perhaps direct them to services to manage say mental health or grief or even boredom #WeNurses
@3soniaC
21 January 2021 21:01
@WeNurses Details of support they can access, Advise on what constitutes excess alcohol #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 21:01
QUESTION 5 What specialist services should we be aware of as nurses in regard to alcohol support? #WeNurses https://t.co/HmOlYD46GF
@AgencyNurse
21 January 2021 21:03
RT @WeNurses: QUESTION 5 What specialist services should we be aware of as nurses in regard to alcohol support? #WeNurses https://t.co/…
@ANITATAWIAH1
21 January 2021 21:03
@WeNurses Alcohol addiction is one of them :) #WeNurses
@kavanag
21 January 2021 21:03
RT @WeNurses: An important topic for next weeks #WeNurses Identifying and responding to violence against women with @LeanneHPatrick Rea…
@ANITATAWIAH1
21 January 2021 21:06
@WeNurses Alcohol addiction treatment, counselling #WeNurses
@wlfvanessa
21 January 2021 21:06
@WeNurses I believe the GP surgery is the first point of contact for most people, and from there to get a referral for a specialist service. Some remote areas might only count with the GP surgery. #WeNurses
@nurseAdvance
21 January 2021 21:08
@knitknitqueen @WeNurses I haven't looked into it, but I wonder if there are lessons to learn from territories that have decriminalised other substances like cannabis (e.g. Portugal). What happened to their excessive alcohol use rates after decriminalisation? #WeNurses
@jadeashleigh_38
21 January 2021 21:09
@WeNurses There are local services, such as CGL, P2R & Resolutions (in my area anyway) & there also some specialist teams integrated into mental health services. AA is also useful for some. Each locality have diff services which accept self-referrals or referrals from us #wenurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 21:09
A really interesting question .... anyone know the answer ? #Wenurses https://twitter.com/nurseAdvance/status/1352362554690043904
@jadeashleigh_38
21 January 2021 21:09
@WeNurses Plus GPs can also signpost to local services where necessary #WeNurses
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 21:10
QUESTION 6 What key messages does every nurse need to be aware of in regard to alcohol? #WeNurses https://t.co/wopyxmpWBh
@CadleJunor
21 January 2021 21:10
#wenurses For those without a serious alcohol problem there are many self help books and podcasts, online communities that can help support someone wanting to change habits. For others AA may help or a referral to a drug/alcohol team within the NHS
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 21:10
Great point ... get to know what's available in your area #WeNurses https://twitter.com/jadeashleigh_38/status/1352362707807326209
@AgencyNurse
21 January 2021 21:10
RT @WeNurses: QUESTION 6 What key messages does every nurse need to be aware of in regard to alcohol? #WeNurses https://t.co/wopyxmpWBh
@WeNurses
21 January 2021 21:10
RT @CadleJunor: #wenurses For those without a serious alcohol problem there are many self help books and podcasts, online communities that…
@PUNCCharis20
21 January 2021 21:11
@WeNurses GP referral, alcohol support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, locally we have Addaction which help with problematic relationships with alcohol. #WeNurses
@knitknitqueen
21 January 2021 21:11
@nurseAdvance @WeNurses That would be interesting. very interesting to know. And has the costs gone up or down For instance in South Africa banning alcohol sales during lockdowns, has that made the individuals seek other substances? #WeNurses
@jadeashleigh_38
21 January 2021 21:12
@WeNurses Recommended units, effects on physical & mental health, social impacts, effects on sleep & most importantly, anyone who wants to be helped, can be helped #WeNurses
@HessionV
21 January 2021 21:12
RT @CadleJunor: #wenurses For those without a serious alcohol problem there are many self help books and podcasts, online communities that…
@knitknitqueen
21 January 2021 21:12
@WeNurses It is out there It is important to broach the subject as it could help in managing an aspect of patients care. To understand how it could impact daily activities of living #WeNurses
@nurseAdvance
21 January 2021 21:14
@knitknitqueen @WeNurses Oh, that's interesting I didn't know about SA. Sweden is an interesting case study too, where the state has a monopoly on alcohol sales, which for quite some time had a personal quota (that of course got illicitly traded). #WeNurses




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 Total contributers: 17
 Total tweets: 106
 Total reach: 4,352,020

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