RN won't give pain meds

  1. 2
    I am an LPN in a small facility. Many docs here order Morphine IV to be given to their pts. My problem is that as an LPN I cannot give IV push meds. When my pts ask for pain med for a pain level of 5/5 I have to ask the RN to give the med for me. Sometimes they will go and look in the room and if the pts is lying there with their eyes closed waiting for someone to come in and give them relief. They will come back and say I am not giving them anything because they are sleep and don't give them anything if they can sleep. (They are not asleep because they call fifteen minutes laterasking for pain med.) If the Doc ordered 1-3mg of Morphine q2h prn. And my pt has just come from surgery and I ask if they can give the pt that I am taking care of 2mg for the breakthrough and then hopefully in three hours when they get their first scheduled po med it will cover them. They will tell me well just wait until they get their po, they just woke up they can't be in that much pain.
    Am I being overly sensitive to this because I am a new nurse? Am I assessing my pts wrong when it comes to their pain? It makes me angry that I cannot be in control fully of medicating my pts when they are in pain.Am I wrong for wanting the RN to give my pt pain med when I ask or are they wrong for just assuming that my pts are not in that much pain.

    By the way in this facility I work nights and most of the time we have on 4-7 pts and the RN usually has 0-2 since they have more paperwork the LPN's take on the larger pt load.
    cjcsoon2brn and SuesquatchRN like this.
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  4. 29 Comments so far...

  5. 2
    You are the one with the patients, and the RN should trust your assessment and judgement. If the patient is reporting the pain the RN should respect the patient rather than make a rash judgement based on appearances.

    Good luck. Continue to advocate for your patients in pain. They need you.
    moonchild86 and tewdles like this.
  6. 1
    Thanks Tweety I needed the reassurance that I was doing something right out here in this big nursing world
    :smiley_ab
    tewdles likes this.
  7. 1
    As a palliative RN I think your RN needs an attitude adjustment!! You know the patient and she should respect what you tell her, as well as respecting the patient's right to be medicated for self disclosed pain reporting.
    tewdles likes this.
  8. 1
    You have been so helpful. I now have more courage to speak up more for my patioents. I did bring it up to my unit manager and she said to document when these incidents happen and to write up the RNs that will not give the medication that i ask them to give. she stated that as long as it is within reason they chould be will ing to give the medication.
    mom4josh likes this.
  9. 3
    Quote from nursepanther
    You have been so helpful. I now have more courage to speak up more for my patioents. I did bring it up to my unit manager and she said to document when these incidents happen and to write up the RNs that will not give the medication that i ask them to give. she stated that as long as it is within reason they chould be will ing to give the medication.
    Congratulations on taking steps to be a patient advocate. Patients have the right to have their pain treated and their self report believed. I'm proud of you. Your unit manager sounds supportive. Best wishes.
    tewdles, sharpeimom, and NRSKarenRN like this.
  10. 1
    As a RN nursing student, I just want to say thank you for your post. Thank you for caring, thank you for being an advocate for your patients and thank you for not giving up. I pray that I am as fortunate to have a LPN, like you, working with me-- who cares about her patients and is a voice for them-- because I know that often times, you will see things that I will miss.

    I have followed RNs like this during clinicals. It's painful. It's so hard to go home knowing that you voiced your concerns all day long but are virtually powerless. I am happy to know that you and your patients have an additional advocate in your nurse manager.

    Good luck and thank you again.
    blueyesue likes this.
  11. 2


    You are a credit to our profession. I work on a unit with completely barbaric pain management policies, so as much as I beat my head against the wall, the residents and fellows are too afraid of the attendings to order appropriate meds. Keep fighting for your patients!
    tewdles and sharpeimom like this.
  12. 0
    As a pain management nurse in a LTCF, I would definitely adjust that nurse's attitude. She apparently needs to be in-serviced on pain and medication administration.
  13. 3
    I went to RN school specifically for that reason. I had a pt that was crying in pain, first the doctors didn't believe she was in pain and ordered tylenol until her labs came back showing pancreatitis(ive had that and it is horribly painful)well i finally fought long enuf with them and they ordered iv pain med. THe rn to give it had it in her hand and was standing in the hallway talking to a nurse from another floor while i was standing outside my pts door trying to console the pt and hurry the nurse up. SHe waited an additional 15 min for her pain med. I was ****** and the very next day started registering to take my basics so I knew that i could give my pts the care they needed without having to wait. THat rn needs a pain management class.
    tsalagicara, CRIMSON, and SuesquatchRN like this.


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