Alcoholic Anonymous is a significant fellowship that allows individuals to share their experiences and hope with each other with the aim of finding solutions to the common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism (Krentzman, Robinson, Moore, Kelly, Laudet, White & Strobbe, 2011). The Alcoholic Anonymous meeting for the Out to Lunch Bunch group was on Friday, January 13, 2017, at 12:00 noon. The meeting was held at Oficina Central Hispana 3628 University Avenue in San Diego, California. The open discussions we had was useful since it was all about staying sober and helping other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. The experience from attending the meeting will improve my knowledge and understanding of alcoholism. Moreover, I will build confidence and competence in working with my patients. Increased knowledge of how Alcoholic Anonymous functions will improve patient care, education and outcome.
In a general hospital setting, attending the AA meeting would be helpful to me in the following ways. First, the Alcoholic Anonymous meeting offers one an opportunity to learn. The meeting entails individuals from different backgrounds who have the same problem, but the quality of their information varies since not all of them are outstanding. However, since the meeting involves sharing information, even individuals who are not excellent speakers can provide information which is potentially helpful (Mendola & Gibson, 2016). Besides, members can offer different perspectives on alcoholism and since I might have never considered the concept on my own, I will be able to learn from it. Second, the meeting would empower and help me acknowledge powerlessness over the use of alcohol. An alcoholic need to admit that he/she has a problem so that they can progress in their recovery (Krentzman, Robinson, Moore, Kelly, Laudet, White & Strobbe, 2011). The meeting would help me understand that not every alcoholic has realized that alcohol is a problem and this will help me avoid frustrations in situations when my efforts to help them do not give desired results.
Third, the meeting would enhance my role as a nurse to educate patients. I would be able to encourage alcoholic individuals to seek healthy behaviors and coping mechanism. Moreover, I would be able to support clients in their attempts to make positive changes in their life. Healthcare providers and Alcoholic Anonymous share a common goal that includes helping alcoholics stay sober and live a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, the meeting is a step towards realizing the goal since member contributes comments that are life changing and increase the spiritual knowledge regarding AA.
For the case of alcoholics who think that AA is for skid row drunk, it is important to understand that Alcoholics Anonymous meeting is for everyone. Since I learned that change is possible, I can use the experience to help alcoholics change their negative perception about AA because the program has worked successfully on others. Members of the AA meeting are supportive (Mendola & Gibson, 2016). In my first meeting, I realized that the group emphasizes on relationship and love for the members. I learned the significance of being willing to surrender and change your perception about alcohol; therefore, with adequate knowledge of community resources available and spiritual understanding, I can support clients and eliminate their negative perceptions about AA programs.
In conclusion, many people in the United States have limited knowledge about Alcoholic Anonymous. Due to increased health effects of alcoholism, membership to AA would be an ideal solution to the problem. Regular visits to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings will result in positive outcomes and sustained recovery from alcoholism. With the availability of literature and resources at the meeting, nurses can develop a better understanding and knowledge of alcohol use disorders and health disparities.
Krentzman, A. R., Robinson, E. A., Moore, B. C., Kelly, J. F., Laudet, A. B., White, W. L., & Strobbe, S. (2011). How alcoholics anonymous (AA) and narcotics anonymous (NA) work: cross-disciplinary perspectives. Alcoholism treatment quarterly, 29(1), 75-84.
Mendola, A., & Gibson, R. L. (2016). Addiction, 12-Step Programs, and Evidentiary Standards for Ethically and Clinically Sound Treatment Recommendations: What Should Clinicians Do? AMA Journal of Ethics, 18(6), 646-655.
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