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Mental Health and AOD Education Month – Week 4

February 21, 2022

Mental Health and AOD Education Month – Week 4

Continuing our five week program of promotion, education and training, this week our topic is Best Practice Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Care in Western Health Emergency Departments.

This week brings a focus to best practice care of patients with alcohol and other drugs (AOD) care needs. This includes the importance of early screening and practicing an approach of harm reduction. Operational guidance is included in new Western Health Guidelines, including principles and care standards for patient review, observation and engagement.

Please take a moment to view this short video presentation from Thomas Jones, Clinical Nurse Consultant at Sunshine ED with Addiction Medicine, Drug Health Services. Thomas discusses the benefits of identifying patient needs early, through AOD use disorder screening.

Staff References

In relation to Best Practice AOD Care, ED Leadership would like to direct your attention to these tools and resources:

These Western Health Guidelines apply to Footscray and Sunshine EDs, and expand upon our existing best practice principles of ED patient care. Of note, these introduce new care standards for patients with a stay in ED longer than six hours.

As discussed in Week 3, this staff guide summarises the above Guidelines, as well as complimentary Guidelines on care provision for patients with mental health care needs. This summary includes engaging families and carers, patient care standards, patient discharge and patient documentation.

This staff guide describes the specialist services supporting care of patients with AOD care needs at Footscray and Sunshine ED. Instructions for making referrals are included.

As always, you’ll find staff resource links collected on the The Mental Health and AOD Education and Support page on unitED for your future reference.


This week’s topic is also supported by the Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) WeLearn course (estimated completion time 1-2 hours), developed for all ED nursing staff.

The course includes the following modules:

  1. Introduction to Alcohol and Other Drugs
  2. Patient Engagement, Approach and History Taking
  3. Alcohol
  4. Methamphetamine (Ice)
  5. Opiods
  6. Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB)

Tip: Search “AOD” in WeLearn’s courses catalogue.

Login to WeLearn here.

Thursday Webinar

This week’s webinar panel includes Addiction Medicine Registrar Paul Maccartney, and Addiction Medicine CNC Thomas Jones, with Drug Health Services.

This webinar is open to all ED staff and volunteers. A Q&A segment will follow the presentation. This webinar will be recorded.

Please see the details below to join the webinar at 2:00pm this Thursday, February 24th:

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Meeting ID: 991 5723 7795

Passcode: 127924

– Be safe – be smart – be kind, the unitED Team –

– To review previous News bulletins, please see here. – 

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