I realize that the OP posted this months ago - but, let me help you get your "empathy" back.
If you think it's "hard" to work in pain management among the seekers and those that make you so jaded - just stop. That's right --- stop. Pick another line of practice. I get the "we have all become so jaded ...." Well, that's your sign to do anything else. And it doesn't have to be in nursing.
You have a choice -- I venture to think that some, just maybe some, of your patients may not have a choice. Something to think about. So, unless you are working in a "pill mill" --- I will take you at face value that you are practice in an interventional pain practice. RX opioids are a component of that. If it bothers you and everyone you practice with that much --- please, for your sanity and for the sake of your patients emotional well-being, just move on.
The very best thing about nursing (and medical) practice is options.
Oh yeah, just thank GOD that you are not a patient dependent on (maybe even desperate for) the services that you and your ilk provide. Makes me a little sad, that you have that much doubt in your patients. Maybe even a bit of contempt? Do epidurals and facet injections sound fun? Spinal pumps? Selective nerve root blocks? And if sending a patient out with a prescription is eating away at you all - really? At an interventional pain practice? At first I thought this was a troll, till I saw the exclamation points!!!!
But, karma is what karma is. Would you want a nurse treating your mom or hubby the way you or your practice treats (or even talk, vent, etc) your routine patient. Just something to think about. The thing is that patient you are so "jaded" over is someone's mom, sister or hubby, dad. You get the idea. Life goes along and a car slams into you at 60mph or a workplace accident hurts you --- who knows where you or someone you LOVE may find yourselves seeking care? Heck, the shingles virus that lives in all of us can cause a nasty outbreak of shingles and post-shingle neuralgia can occur regardless of vaccination status. Desperate for help? Could happen to anyone, anytime.
Really a reset of attitudes via an article? If it bothers you or those you work with that much - the door should swing both ways. Find the exit. I don't have any articles, but this post might inspire you.
On the upside. You have semi-regular hours, decent pay, no exceptional patient loads (not like 50 patients can show at once), rare pedi patients, mostly ambulatory care (meaning patients largely self care & not a lot of poop to clean), and I'd bet few patients die during interventional procedures.
The only thing that has broken my green color in the past has been a change of scenery. Good luck.