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‘Do I rely too much on alcohol?’


Do you have any advice for this student nurse?

“Let me start by saying, I have never gone to placement drunk and I never would. But when I get home, the first thing I do is reach for a glass of wine.

“It used to just be to help me unwind after placement or a stressful day at uni but somehow I’ve ended up drinking every night and, if I’m being totally honest, some afternoons as well.

“I’m hoping that this is just my way of coping with the demands of the course and as soon as I qualify next year I won’t find myself relying on alcohol so much.

“Am I being realistic? I’m starting to scare myself.”

- Anonymous


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Readers' comments (3)

  • Owning up to managing stress with wine is a big step. Please talk to someone soon outside of your immediate workplace if needed to seek help or just to off load your day. You might not abandon alcohol so readily at the end of this course, and in fact seek refuge more and more if you don't curb this habit now.

    Please don't blow your registration before you even have it.

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  • You are brave to admit your fears. I agree with the comment here (30thJune). nursing is stressful and the higher up the ladder, the more stress. Do seek help both to limit your alcoholic intake, for coping mechanisms and to find ways of unwinding.

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  • I was a drug and alcohol practitioner for 3 years before I left to start nursing. A glass of wine a night is not 'problem' drinking but it's important to be aware of your recommended units, 2/3 per day for a woman and 3/4 per day for a man, including 2 days a week with no alcohol at all. If you’re worried about your drinking increasing, start a drink diary (you can download one from the NHS website) which will help you measure your intake and recognise your triggers. I wouldn’t rely on this just going away when you qualify, as by then its likely using wine as a coping mechanism will have become a learned behaviour and will be harder to break. Start using some stress busting techniques like regular exercise or other leisure activities to help you unwind and use your supervision or mentors to discuss your concerns about your stress levels. In the meantime there’s plenty of support available through your GP or possibly an IAPT service or use the NHS website for self help if you want to keep things more confidential.

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