What is an AOD Nurse?

An AOD nurse is a health professional working in the area of alcohol and other drugs. AOD nurses working in Australia facilitate people in their recovery from addiction to alcohol or illicit drugs. The role often involves a holistic approach, taking into consideration the person’s mental and physical health as well as psycho-social factors. The area of nursing health is a really new area of expertise, experiencing increasing demand for knowledgeable staff who are being supported by new research and government funding.

Jobs for AOD nurses working in Australia can be found in a variety of environments. AOD nurses can be found managing the care of patients with alcohol or other drug problems in Emergency Departments of hospitals, in immigration detention centers, in pharmacotherapy treatment clinics, detox and rehabilitation centers, and in community care settings. In addition to providing primary care, assessment and case management, AOD nurses may conduct health promotional activities and provide referrals to other services where required. Consequently such nurses often work collaboratively with multidisciplinary teams including mental health workers, social workers and those involved with homelessness and justice. AOD nurses will also often work with the patient’s family.

Hours of work typically depends on the organisation. ED nurses will may be required to work shifts across 24 hours seven days a week while some community health centers provide support for AOD patients only during regular business hours. Rehabilitation facilities which provide in-house patient care may offer part-time or full-time shift positions or require permanent after-hours staff.

What skills do AOD nurses working in Australia need?

In addition to current and ongoing registration as a nurse, a Certificate IV (four) in Alcohol and Other Drugs is highly desirable for nurses interested in working in Australia in this area. A Working with Children Check and police check are also mandatory requirements for most health organisations.

While the role can sometimes be stressful those who currently work in Australia as a nurse in the area of alcohol and other drugs say the role is usually enjoyable and interesting. They relish the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life and help them to recover from addiction. Alcohol or substance abuse, or gambling, are considered by general society to be a lifestyle choice. Consequently those who have an addiction are also stigmatised. Nurses who understand the social issues behind addiction, remain non-judgmental and can develop a rapport with patients often achieve successful outcomes.

Are you a qualified nurse seeking work in Australia? HealthStaff Recruitment has a range of nursing jobs available in Australia’s most iconic locations and in regional. Contact us today for more information.