thelma13, thankyou for being proactive and being a real change agent in nursing. as a formeraddict (i've been clean and sober for over 5 years now) and new rn working atan inner city hospital in philadelphia, i am very aware and conscious of thisproblem. our hospital is flooded with "patients" wanting their fix.the dispensing and over-prescribing of narcotics in and out of the hospitalsetting has turned patients into customers and dr.'s into drug dealers. i feelcaught in the crossfire. i know what we are doing is wrong and yet i amcompelled to administer pain medications and the like. shame on us! afterreading many of the posts on this issue, i believe that many of your detractorsare living in fairytaleland. "pain is what the patient says it is" isa dangerous adage, used to justify this harmful behavior and help naive nursestolerate the overuse of prescription narcotics and has contributed to ourcurrent national predicament.
do you know when an addict gets clean? when the pain gets great enough. onlywhen the consequences of using cause enough emotional pain is change possible.anyone who stands in the way of those consequences is an enabler and is doingthat individual great harm and a huge disservice. i became a nurse to relievepain and suffering not to contribute to it. by participating in a personísactive addiction, you are robbing them of the joy of truly living. prescriptiondrug abuse has become an epidemic and is killing americans. recent statisticsshow that more people die in 1 year from prescription drugs than from motorvehicle accidents. if this was a class of letís say "statins," theiruse would be only in cases where the need was significant and the benefitsoutweighed the negatives. so why are drugs that only mask pain and not bringabout prevention or resolution to a health problem so readily available topatients?
i was becoming so disenchanted with nursing because of this reason and thanksto your post thelma13, i now see that there are initiatives i can advocate forat my institution and a means to become part of the solution; to do what i knowto be right, and break the complacency and mindless acceptance of negativeinterventions nurses have been ordered to perform to the detriment of theirpatients. as i begin my nursing career, i hope that this problem doesn'tcontinue to grow even more out of control than it already is, and thatprescription narcotics will begin to be used conservatively and cautiously incases where they are necessary not just a casual order set for any complaint ofpain.