Battle the jaded?

  1. 1
    I've worked in a pain clinic for a few years. We mostly do interventional treatment, but of course we prescribe as well. However, with the increase of abuse and diversion, we have all become so jaded, almost automatically assuming people are just drug seeking. I feel like we treat patients like criminals sometimes...random drug screens, pill counts, pharmacy check ups, huge contracts to sign, etc. etc... Obviously we have patients with legitimate pain who really do need opioids. But my question to you guys is, what do you suggest in terms of trying to "re-wire" the way we first perceive our patients? Any articles or anything like that you know of, that I can distribute to our doctors and nurses to help bring some of that negativity down? I just feel like we're doing a disservice to the field; but it's very difficult to work in pain management!
    Not_A_Hat_Person likes this.
  2. 4 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    As a legitimate pain management patient, no one feels that stigma more than your patients. I feel awkward and uncomfortable discussing my pain management needs because I am so afraid of getting that seeker label. What if I really do need a higher dosage right now? What are they going to think about that? What if they tell me no? But I really need help to get through this. So if they happens, and I go somewhere else, will the new place be told I'm a seeker by the old place? Then what?

    Trust me when I say it - the fear of being perceived as a seeker probably rivals the feelings you have that we are viewed as seekers. And it doesn't help when prescribers are being put through the ringer for writing too many scripts for narcotics. I've heard recently of a pharmacy being shut down because they filled too many narcotic prescriptions. A pharmacy! I don't think there are any easy answers to your question.

    I had a professor tell me last semester when talking about prescription med abuse: "maybe they are addicted and using more than they should, but if it is in response to their pain, you should work through that in a supportive way and address the addiction when the pain is under control." Heck, if the pain is that bad, when their doctors abandon them, they'll find other sources of pills. That's a whole new can of worms.
  4. 1
    I am also a pain patient and a full time nurse who works 40-50 hours a week. I have been taking pain meds for over 20 yrs. I have developed a significant tolerance to the short acting opiates and the only thing I ever got true relief from was Suboxone. It was a great 2 years for me when I was taking it. Then, I lost my job and insurance!!!! My job after that didn't offer insurance and I couldn't afford the $700/mo medication. It is very hard to do my job as well when I am treated like a drug seeker by my family physician who will not prescribe enough to take care of my pain. I was offered the implant, as long as I could pay the $5000 up front! The DEA and other agencies are making life so unbearable for the innocent ones, like us, that I am actually looking at applying for full SSI and SSD benefits. I lost a significant portion of my body with my first of four surgeries all from being a good person and taking care of my fellow man. I was only 21 when I ruptured 2 discs, L4-5 and L5-S1. I went through a fusion surgery and spent 2 yrs getting back on my feet. It has been a living nightmare ever since. I have an 8 inch scar to prove it. Boy, they sure do a lot better now. For anyone who reads this, please don't think that I am whining. I have no regrets where my healthcare career is concerned. It's just a travesty that those of us who do get hurt, and I have a minimum 20% PPI just from the first surgery, we get pigeonholed into this group of drug seekers and I am not. I want to be free of these harmful meds. But until they drop the prices and/or give us better insurance, we will never receive the full treatments that each of us deserves! I hope you have better care and luck than I did.
    brownbook likes this.
  5. 0
    Quote from PedsLpn1999
    I am also a pain patient and a full time nurse who works 40-50 hours a week. I have been taking pain meds for over 20 yrs. I have developed a significant tolerance to the short acting opiates and the only thing I ever got true relief from was Suboxone. It was a great 2 years for me when I was taking it. Then, I lost my job and insurance!!!! My job after that didn't offer insurance and I couldn't afford the $700/mo medication. It is very hard to do my job as well when I am treated like a drug seeker by my family physician who will not prescribe enough to take care of my pain. I was offered the implant, as long as I could pay the $5000 up front! The DEA and other agencies are making life so unbearable for the innocent ones, like us, that I am actually looking at applying for full SSI and SSD benefits. I lost a significant portion of my body with my first of four surgeries all from being a good person and taking care of my fellow man. I was only 21 when I ruptured 2 discs, L4-5 and L5-S1. I went through a fusion surgery and spent 2 yrs getting back on my feet. It has been a living nightmare ever since. I have an 8 inch scar to prove it. Boy, they sure do a lot better now. For anyone who reads this, please don't think that I am whining. I have no regrets where my healthcare career is concerned. It's just a travesty that those of us who do get hurt, and I have a minimum 20% PPI just from the first surgery, we get pigeonholed into this group of drug seekers and I am not. I want to be free of these harmful meds. But until they drop the prices and/or give us better insurance, we will never receive the full treatments that each of us deserves! I hope you have better care and luck than I did.
    Thank you so much for your kind words, and I am deeply saddened by your story. I know that sympathy isn't what you shared your story for, but I feel your pain quite literally.
  6. 0
    Check out our FAQ section for pain mgmt resources

    avoiding misconceptions in pain management
    one main reason for this undertreated pain is the existence of several myths and misconceptions regarding pain management. goal of this summary to dispel these myths and misconceptions.
    free registration required.
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/418521


Top