Ethical Dilemma In Pain Management

633 Words 3 Pages
For my ethical dilemma, I chose pain management, more specially pain management in the Emergency Department (ED). The ethical dilemma faced is: who should receive narcotic analgesics and who should not; along with how much should they receive. This ethical dilemma faces providers in the ED every day, it is based around: what is a person’s level of pain (Marcus & Venkat, 2015)? In nursing school, we learned that pain level is whatever a patient says it is, this pain level is normally conveyed on a scale of 1-10. From anecdotal experience patients rate there pain normally as zero or more than eight. Based off of this scale patients with a pain presenting this high should receive narcotics. However, new guidelines for treating patients in the …show more content…
Patients who visit the ED are normally in pain, whether chronic or acute, pain is an indicator that something is wrong. Treatment of patients with chronic pain that present to the ED should be referred to pain management specialist (Marcus & Venkat, 2015). Chronic pain patients should instead be treated with non-narcotic medications to treat the underlying cause of the pain. If the chronic pain has no underlying cause some states are allowing the provider to access a national database that shows how often patients fill narcotic prescriptions, this is to aid the provider in deciding if this patient maybe addicted to pain medication (Marcus & Venkat, 2015). If the provider thinks the patient is addicted to pain medication; they should be referred to consoling for drug dependency/abuse (Marcus & Venkat, 2015). By referring possible drug dependency/abuse to consoling and chronic pain patients to pain management specialist; the number of ED visits would decrease (Marcus & Venkat, 2015). A decrease in the number of ED visits allows for increased time for nurse, providers, and other staff to provide care to patients. This increased time could be for: physical assessment, reassessments of pain, and

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