pain control for post op patients

  1. A post thoracotomy patient was having a problem
    with pain control. I noticed that the nurses caring for her were more interested in controlling
    her than her pain. The patient was a nurse and had
    never been sick before. She developed pneumonia and
    an empyema. Her family was at a loss because of the illness and the fact that pain was a constant issue did not help.

    Any thoughts to why the nurses would not be more
    compassionate to one of thier own?

    JUst thinking out loud.
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   Stormy
    Shouldn't make any difference whether the patient was a nurse or not...obviously the nurses involved did not have necessary knowledge to care for this type of postoperative patient to do what was necessary to prevent complications. Were these inexperienced nurses perhaps who were intimidated by caring for one of their own?
  4. by   mdslabod
    These were not inexperienced nurses. They were "
    controlling". The feeling that the patient had was that the staff thought that she was "drug seeking" and by golly, they were not going to give in.
    The truth was, this 40 something patient had never
    been this ill before and the surgery was a very
    painful one. Had she had better pain control right from the beginning, she might have recovered quicker.

    This particular hospital has a reputation for not
    addressing pain isuses.

    thanks for your interest.
  5. by   SICU Queen
    It irritates me immensely when I come across an obviously undermedicated patient. It's common knowledge that early pain control results in less pain throughout the recovery process when pain is managed appropriately. You'd think that surgical nurses, more than any others, would be attuned to this.

    My motto: Better living through pharmaceuticals...
  6. by   mdslabod
    to SICU Queen
    Thanks for the reply. The patient was me and I
    will forever remember the nightmare I had to live
    because of what I went through.
    At least now, I am a better nurse.
  7. by   live4today
    Hi mdslabod,

    Glad to hear you made it safely, though painfully, through that ordeal in your life, and that today you are a better nurse because of it. I too went through a hospital experience before I became a nurse that has been the reason for my being such a compassionate and understanding nurse. Having been on "the patient" side of the house BEFORE I became a nurse, certainly helped me to always be a very therepeutic nurse with my patients over the years. When I worked surgical units, the greatest instructions my patients received was excellent pre-op teaching on what to expect before their operation, what to expect during their operation, and what to expect post-operatively. As long as a patient goes into surgery with this knowledge, their post-op recovery period goes so much better.
  8. by   mdslabod
    Nurse Williams
    Thanks for the reply. I wish you had been my nurse. I recieved no pre-op teaching and no pain
    control. But, I made it anyway. My infection carries a 98% mortality rate. I guess that I was
    not ready to go.
  9. by   live4today
    Oh dear! How could they have been so careless! Every nurse I ever precepted was taught by me to do a very thorough pre/post op teaching with their surgical patients. I also stressed the importance of a patient being in a calm and accepting state of mind preoperatively because the better their mental, emotional, and spiritual disposition was before surgery, the better their outcome afterwards. And, as far as it not being your time to go, looks like God had greater plans for your life! The nursing profession is very blessed to have you as one of their own, I'm sure.
  10. by   kewlnurse
    regardless of the patient was drug seeking or not, post op is not the time to try and rehab sombody. poor pain control is a hugh issue with me. many many lawsuits are being filed and won due to poor post op pain control.
  11. by   live4today
    You are right kewlnurse. A patient should be prepared for what to expect post op BEFORE they even go to surgery. Not only should they be informed PRE surgery, but they should know that their post-op pain will be monitored and treated as often as the surgeon prescribes.
  12. by   Marj Griggs
    Interestingly, I found in my practice that I could influence what some of my colleagues thought and their behaviors by what I said and how I said it when I gave report. And I noticed that works negatively as well as positively--I tried to avoid the negative. Of course, that doesn't help you when you are the (helpless) patient!
  13. by   mdslabod
    My biggest problem was that I was a nurse. I guess that means I
    don't need teaching.
  14. by   live4today
    Everyone needs teaching when they are a patient regardless of their educational background. No nurse should ever assume that just because she/he is caring for another nurse, that that nurse doesn't need instruction regarding their surgery - pre or post op. I know when I was faced with an operation, even though I am a nurse, I liked the reinforcement of teaching before and after my surgery. When I was a patient, I was a patient, when I'm working as a nurse, I'm working as a nurse. Get it?

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