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Hypothetical Question re: prn meds

Nurses   (2,924 Views | 25 Replies)
by Sleepyeyes Sleepyeyes (Member)

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Originally posted by bklynborn

I agree with KC CHICK..........assessment of effect is done sooner with IV meds.............10 to 15 minutes IV, 30 minutes for IM and 1 hour for PO.................

Oh yeah, I was gonna add that too. Then you wouldn't have to worry about the whole timing thing.

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1,244 Posts; 8,911 Profile Views

Thanks very much, all! That helped me. :D

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Tweety has 28 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

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What they said. I wouldn't wait an hour to assess paint. If after 15 to 30 minutes they reported no relief I would give the second mg. But not after an hour. After an hour I probably would call the MD for an extra dose if the hour was decent. That's a toughie, but definately assess sooner than an hour.

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BadBird is a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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I agree, give the other 1mg and assess in 15 minutes. If within a hour or so the patient is still complaining of pain then call the Dr. and get new orders.

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365 Posts; 565 Profile Views

Our facility will not accept an order like that. It must state specifically, X mg. q 4hr PRN pain. That stops confusion. And if that doseage is not affective, we get the med increased. Orders such as pt. may have 1 or 2 tabs PRN pain cause confusion and increase possibilites of med errors or drug diversion, also meds given but not charted or charted but not given. Just my 2 cents.

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1,173 Posts; 9,031 Profile Views

My facility wouldn't accept an order like that either; felt it put the nurse in the role of "prescribing."

Why isn't this pt on a PCA; instead of having to depend on staff for pain relief, he could self dose as needed, with appropriate lockouts.

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458 Posts; 7,371 Profile Views

PCA's aren't appropriate for EVERY pain pt, IMO.

I don't see a prob with the order...we get those ALL the time.

Just use good judgement and you'll be fine.

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1,244 Posts; 8,911 Profile Views

Originally posted by fab4fan

My facility wouldn't accept an order like that either; felt it put the nurse in the role of "prescribing."

 

Why isn't this pt on a PCA; instead of having to depend on staff for pain relief, he could self dose as needed, with appropriate lockouts.

Further details I didn't feel relevant at the time:

This was not a surgical pt. Pt had chronic, low-level pain. Pt initially reported "it helped some" & rated pain after 15 minutes of 5/10 rather than 9/10.

Pt had also had an oral prn pain med that was still in effect at time of IV dosage. Pt normally didn't have that level of pain, and consistently rated 4/10 as "tolerable" and has refused meds rated as such.

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1,173 Posts; 9,031 Profile Views

Well, having gotten deeply involved in pain mgmt., I can tell you that the majority of pain mgmt. authorities will say that if the pt is competent and capable of self dosing with the PCA, then PCA should be used. Since the pt has a patent IV, it seems like this would be approp. (of course, there may be other issues preventing PCA that can't be revealed here...I'm just saying what the standard of care is in general).

Again, depending on a nurse to bring a pain med puts the pt in the position of having to wait...possibly a long time, to get relief. What if the nurse can't get to the pt quickly? Pain can escalate to the point that the prn dose is ineffective. Then, too, there are nurses who are very judgemental about giving pain meds (and I am NOT saying this is the case, just a general obs.), and will say they don't think the pt really has that much pain, thus putting their own feelings in place of the pt's assessment of pain.

Check the AHCPR guidelines on pain mgmt; research by McCaffery et al, just for examples...

Remember, once the pt goes home, he will be resp. for his pain mgmt. What better place than while he is in the hosp to start learning when and how to medicate for pain.

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1,244 Posts; 8,911 Profile Views

Thanks, fab4fan, for your input. I respect your insight. :)

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44 Posts; 1,579 Profile Views

One thing i often think about is- you sometimes cant take away all thier pain, but you can lessen it!

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4 Followers; 11,299 Posts; 77,170 Profile Views

I go ahead a give the additional dose that is prescribed in that 4 hour period and then give the next dose, if needed, 4 hours from the first dose. I've asked the docs about this and they agree. I don't remember reading a protocol though . . .better go look it up.

If you assess the pain quicker, you can feel more comfortable giving the drug as above. It wouldn't work if you gave the first dose and then the second 1/2 before the next prn dose was due.

Good question . .

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