Pain. It’s one of the most common reasons people seek health care. We cause pain with the treatments and therapies we recommend. And the belief that we can help manage it is a foundation for trust in the care we provide. But managing pain is not so simple. In fact, it requires a high level of skill, expertise and continuous learning. Especially as the evidence mounts and the public’s expectations grow for effective management of acute pain with safe use of opioids. With almost every shift I feel a growing sense of responsibility and urgency for improving my own practice with pain management, and so pain, examined from a variety of angles, will be a recurring theme here At The Bedside, as it is in practice.
Jaclyn Ricci, nurse practitioner and pain specialist joins me to begin the conversation. We talk about why managing acute pain is such a focus in health care, the evidence behind investment in specialized services, and the value nurses bring to the interdisciplinary team. She offers insight and language for approaching complex pain crises, working with patients to set goals and to foster a collaborative approach to pain management that promotes recovery.