Pain Management Nursing
Pain management nurses are responsible for the assessment, treatment, and monitoring of pain, often called the fifth vital sign. Pain management nurses make sure patients are safe when administering treatment, and they educate patients about the management of their pain. Sometimes referred to as palliative care, pain management nursing is an important aspect of caring for terminally ill patients, because top-quality pain management can make the difference between a gentle death or one where the patient suffers in terrible and prolonged pain that may make them wish for early death.
Pain management nurses are well-versed in the continuum of care for patients who are at the end of their lives, having both a great knowledge of pain management techniques and symptom control. They alleviate suffering for patients who are receiving end-of-life care, and are both an advocate and informant for effective pain relief and symptom management.
Pain management nursing is one aspect of a more generalized medical specialty called palliative care, which can be done in hospitals, hospice, or home care settings. The main goal of the pain management nurse is to make sure that patients are comfortable despite their injury or illness. They assist patients in learning to manage and ease their own pain, while also acting as a resource to patient care nursing staffs and physicians for pain management issues that may be more complex. Some pain management nurses educate doctors and other nurses on pain management as well.
In addition to end-of-life care, pain management nurses can also provide care to anyone with acute or chronic pain, such as labor and delivery, cancer, headaches, postoperative surgeries, and more. Pain management nurses work closely with other health care professionals to see that they make clinical decisions, develop good diagnoses, and come up with a plan of care and its effectiveness in patients of all ages.
If you want to start a career in pain management nursing, you need a nursing degree. Consider an online LPN to BSN degree or an online RN to BSN degree if you’re already a nurse. Otherwise, compare these programs from the University of Phoenix:
» Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
» Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)