chronic pain and pain control - page 2

I am very aware of how careful us nurses have to be when it comes to using narcotics. I know that as long as you don't abuse them and have a legal prescription then there is not a issue. But, a part of me just doesn't feel right... Read More

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    Quote from Tamela1RN
    I also have had an injury while helping to move a very large patient after her hip replacement. The pain was incredible. I eventually found a Dr. that would listen to me and had an artificial disc replacement at L4 - L5. I was lucky to find a great pain specialist. We eventually ended up with a fentanyl patch with percocet for btp. It seemed to me that after a short period of getting used to the drugs (a couple of weeks or so) I did not have that sleepy and foggy mental status. My pain was gone but I could still function. I think you really have to educate the company you are working for about new trends in pain management. I believe we must become our own advocate and fight to have the opportunities that other nurses
    do. As for me, I also find heat to be very therapeutic. I use a product called therabeads. You warm it in the microwave and it supplies warm, moist heat that lasts approximately 2 hours. I hope you can find something that will work for you so you too can return to work without unrelenting pain. Good Luck...

    Back pain seems to be very popular. I too have back pain/B leg pain. I just ove it when patients say that unable to move, walk, reach phone.... I often ask questions such as: do you live with family, do you have family nearby, how were you getting around before coming to the hospital. If I get answers indicationg independence, then I tell the patient to help themselves now to get ready for discharge. Why would I want to pull up, roll them over, practically carry the patient to the chair... I have gotten tired of patients acting so helpless and demanding, family members to drive nursing staff crazy. I will tell the patient that I am not able to do heavy lifting, pulling, etc. The patient will become more independent, family might help out. Just because one is in the hospital it doesn't mean that the patient needs to be completely helpless.

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    I also deal with chronic pain. Ive tried just about everything out there .I take Ultram at night before bed and NSEDS during the day. I also work agency so that I I'm having a real bad day I can cancel. I also started teaching which is a great way to stay in Nursing and I love the students. I had to make quite a few adjustments but its all good.
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    I have had chronic daily migraines for the past 4 years. In the last year, I've been trying to get pregnant, so I'm off all my preventative meds--and I was on 5 of them!
    I tried my hardest to hold out with just taking meds when I had a headache, rather than doing any long acting narcs or preventative meds, but couldn't do it. I started on a fentanyl patch last friday, along with midrin and MSIR to take when the pain overwhelms me, and I can't tell you how much better I feel. I'm not sedated, I actually have more energy now that I'm not constantly fighting the pain.
    The way I've interpreted the BON rules, if you aren't impaired, your liscense isn't at risk. I don't consider myself impaired, and my neurospecialist knows that I'm working and driving and doesn't consider me to be a danger to myself or my patients.
    I hope you find a good pain relief regimen soon.
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    Hello: I'm on this site looking for information about this very topic. I graduated from nursing school many years ago and my sister is also a nurse. My sister has had chronic pain for a number of years and underwent a 3-level cervical spine surgery. She has had every other treatment, including steroid injections, physical therapy and a trial with a deep nerve stimulator. Eventually, she started using opioids - only after educating herself and under close medical supervision. While taking the medications she worked, obtained her RN to BSN degree, and received an award for nursing excellence. Because she was familiar with the medications, my sister acted as a resource for other nurses when they cared for patients with those special needs on her unit.

    This is a long story made short...
    A coworker complained to her supervisor that she did not feel comfortable working with my sister knowing that she was using the medications. She was terminated and the hospital reported her to the state Board of Nursing. My sister refused to admit that she was an addict and go into a "program" - initial charges of drug diversion and impairment were dropped at the beginning of her trial. During the trial, her supervisor testified that she had no concerns about impairment, drug diversion, or patient safety. Nothing conclusive came from the trial. The Board has suspended her license (several months now) - even though she has been off all meds since June 2008. She is now in an addiction recovery program (weekly urine tests, bi-monthly counseling, etc.) She has never smoked and never consumed alcohol while taking the meds - nor has she ever craved the meds. Her life is a nightmare.

    The moral of this story is to be very careful. Some states (FL for example) have clear guidelines in their Nurse Practice Act. Many do not. Do not expect a Board to be informed or respond to your information. Make sure that you belong to your State Nurses Association and possibly the ANA (maybe you would then have a little support if you find yourself needing it?) . Finding appropriate legal counsel is an entirely separate matter.

    Supposedly your medical information is your personal business; it is very hard to keep it that way once something like this starts. When dealing with the Board, you will have not rights and they can do pretty much what they want.

    I once worked with an impaired nurse in a unionized facility. I know how destructive such a situation can be to a nursing unit. In that instance, it was very difficult to do anything because of the union. That said, based on what I have observed with my sister - I fail to see any other way to protect the rights of a nurse.

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