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Nursing barriers to effective pain management - Essay Example

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Nursing barriers to effective pain management (Name) (Institution) (Course) (Tutor) (Date)     Introduction It is apparent that there has been an extensive history of recorded medical literature discussing and analyzing undertreatment of pain for general healthcare and especially terminally ill patients…
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Download file to see previous pages A brief overview of the barriers to effective pain management Failure of nurses to proiritise pain relief Some nurses are ignorant to the priority of pain relief as an ethical and moral requirement of the medical profession in relation to denying patients therapeutic support while citing the lack of remedies. Cassell argues that modern medicine has failed to adequately address patient suffering, which should be a core value in an efficient system of medicine (Pasero and McCaffery 2011, pp. 25). The curative model adopted in major healthcare institutions denies chronically and terminally ill patients a chance of good healthcare. This is in support of what Henke, Frogge and Goodman (2005, p. 649) termed as the fear of medical professionals including nurses to be subjected into regulatory scrutiny by governmental agencies. Another nursing barrier towards effective pain management entails the curative model. This model tends to prioritise scientific objectivity undermining the patient’s own experiences, which could sometimes be more relevant. The clinician is alienated from the patient’s experience of illness, pain, anxiety and emotional distress which are inherent to illness, and with such a chasm existing, the clinician cannot identify with patients suffering (Cox, 2009, pp. 46). This should forms better part of communication between the patient and the nurse. Surgeon Sherwin Nuland best exemplifies the curative model in his description of attempts to treat an elderly, terminally ill patient, Hazel Welch, acknowledging that in pursuit of the cause of illness the patient’s best interests may not be served. In this case, pain alleviation was the priority (Rich, 2006, pp. 56). In essence, the curative model vilifies death as a phenomenon that ought to be fought until all treatment proves futile. This is best exemplified by the negligible number of terminally ill patients under hospice care (Pasero and McCaffery, 2011 pp. 32). The patient is perceived as a vessel for the disease, and the clinician is mandated to administer the right diagnosis and an accurate prognosis; any need for palliative care is lost in the search for a cure. Curative method does not perceive a condition worse than death while pursuing a cure, for example, a prolonged existence in the vegetative state or extreme pain while pursuing therapeutic interventions. It fails to realise that care is equally important to curing (Moore, 2012, pp. 19). Lack of sufficient knowledge among practitioners The nursing fraternity has continually experienced the lack of adequate training, especially in pain management. Most medical institutions have not been able to offer pain management in their curriculum making it difficult for the nurses to handle patients when they start working at a hospital. However, it is apparent that some of the incidences of lack of sufficient knowledge in the pain management are attributed to ignorance by the nurses themselves. It is up to nurses to have full information on how they can manage patient’s pain (Thomas 2011, pp. 8). Nevertheless, there is a need for learning institutions to make it mandatory that all nurses undertake a course in pain management. In addition, practicing nurses should be subjected to performance scrutiny by a governmental agency in order to ascertain ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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