Managing Patients in Alcohol Withdrawal: Online Module

Course Description | CME Credit | General Information | CME Fees | Course Materials

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Course Description

Course Goal

The goal of this self-learning module is to enable clinicians with prescriptive authority and other caregivers to manage alcohol-dependent patients through safe withdrawal.

Target Audience

This educational module is intended for physicians, nurses, PAs and ARNPs who practice in adult Acute Care and ICU at Swedish.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to provide better patient care through an increased ability to:

  • Discuss prevalence of alcohol dependence encountered in hospitalized patients in the U.S.
  • Describe the progression of alcohol withdrawal
  • Define when to use the Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol (CIWA) or Modified Ramsay Scale to assess alcohol withdrawal
  • Review assessment and treatment considerations for patients on high-dose continuous infusions of lorezepam
  • Apply principles of effective communication with persons with alcohol dependence
  • Outline ICU treatment options for patients in withdrawal who are not responsive to standard treatment

Planning Committee and Content Developers

James Walsh, M.D., Course Chair
Carol Lund, BSN, R.N., Clinical Education and Practice
Jessica Martinson, MS


The planning committee members have no relevant financial relationships with commercial interests to disclose.

Commercial Support

No commercial support was used in the development of this CME learning activity.



CME Credit

Accreditation with Commendation

Swedish Medical Center is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™

Swedish Medical Center designates this enduring material for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.



General Information

System Requirements

Adobe Flash Player 6,0,79 or later.
One of the following Web browsers (the stated version or later):

  • Windows: Internet Explorer 6, Firefox 1, Google Chrome, Safari 3, Opera 9.5, Netscape 7, AOL 8, CompuServe 7
  • Macintosh: Firefox 1, Google Chrome, Safari 3, Opera 9.5, Netscape 7, AOL 7
  • Linux: Firefox 1, Opera 9.5, Konqueror 3.3.1

To print your Certificate of Completion at the end, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. Follow the instructions on that page to download and install the software.


This is a self-learning module requiring the participant to read educational materials and answer questions related to the content.

Estimated Time to Complete

Allow 30 minutes to complete the self-learning module and exam.

Important Dates

Release Date: November 1, 2011
End Date: October 31, 2014

Contact Information

Content: Clinical Education: 206-320-2338
Administrative: Swedish CME: 206-386-2755 or email

Privacy & Confidentiality

The department of Continuing Medical Education at Swedish Medical Center is committed to protecting the privacy of those who utilize its Web site. The CME department will not release individual information about use of its site, including visitor e-mail addresses, to any third party. We will not transfer, sell or rent visitor e-mail addresses to any third party. The CME department may report general information about the activity to third parties.  We will report only aggregate statistics, for instance, total number of page views, overall duration of visits, or similar aggregate data. The CME Department at Swedish Medical Center has taken reasonable steps to keep all information secure against unauthorized access and use. We will review our privacy policy regularly. Please direct any questions about this privacy statement to Swedish CME.


This learning activity is the property of Swedish Medical Center.


CME Fees

Swedish Medical Staff, Employee, Resident

No Charge

Providence Everett

No Charge



Allied Health


Medical Student, Resident or Fellow

No Charge

Course Materials and Self-Assessment

Begin CME Activity