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Chronic Pain Management and Nurse Practitioners - Term Paper Example

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Chronic Pain Management and Nurse Practitioners [Name of Student] [Name of Institution] Introduction Nurse practitioners play a rather critical role in alleviating short-term and chronic pain for patients suffering from different diseases. For some patients, the pain is chronic, resulting not only in psychological and physical suffering and discomfort but also negative financial implications (Arnstein, P., and Marie, B…
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Download file to see previous pages Recent increased focus on pain via hospice programs, state, national, international pain gatherings, pain clinics and professional pain organizations confirm the importance accorded to chronic pain and its management in the healthcare sector. This level of attention notwithstanding, a good number of family and primary care nurses and nursing students are poorly armed with the information, skills and awareness to manage chronic pain (Arnstein, P., and Marie, B. St., 2010). In addition, patients and their loved ones lack the latest and the most accurate information on effective pain management (Droes, 2004). These problems are further compounded by certain misconceptions about chronic pain, which include the beliefs that most chronic pain patients receive enough pain treatment and that non-oral routes are preferred for opioid administration (Droes, 2004). The other misconceptions are that relief from pain is not a treatment outcome and that many patients exaggerate their pain. These are some of the misconceptions that nurse practitioners should drop to efficiently treat chronic pain (Droes, 2004). This paper explores the difficulties of treating chronic pain and barriers such as inadequate training and education, financial barriers and impacts, and issues of state and federal policies and guidelines on pain management. Specifically, the paper will focus on the healthcare economic issues surrounding nurse practitioners’ pain management efforts. Role of Nurse Practitioners in Chronic Pain Management According to a publication by the Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation released on December 15, 2010, the issue of moderate and severe chronic pain has been largely ignored in the sector just like the issue of derisory management and treatment of chronic pain, not to mention the misuse, abuse, and diversion of prescription opioids (Arnstein, P., and Marie, B. St., 2010). In fact, that millions of U.S. citizens use millions of pain relievers for non-medical reasons annually should be a wakeup call for medical practitioners and the relevant state and federal authorities. Importantly, health care practitioners ought to address these issues to avert and avoid resultant problems such as overdoes, increased illness and injury risks and even death in some cases (Arnstein, P., and Marie, B. St., 2010). These problems not only affect individuals but also impinge on the welfare of the larger community. This situation calls on well-meant nurse practitioners to rise to the occasion and properly prescribe and dispense pain relievers. More concernedly, opioids for chronic pain should be handled with more caution and keenness since the health care economic impacts are direr, more so for patients and members of public who may use opioids in a manner not recommended (Richardson & Poole, 2001). To know their roles in managing and treating chronic pain, advanced nurse practitioners should first understand the problem of chronic pain. First, it is of the essence that nurse practitioners appreciate that chronic and acute pains are worldwide health problems, which can be treated. However, chronic pain has not been associated with the benefits of acute pain, which may have protective effects on illnesses and injuries in certain instances. On the other hand, some experts regard chronic pain as a high prevalence disease on its own. In fact, by 2006, about 76 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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