After spending time both in the Army as a flight medic and now working with the ortho-trauma population, posts like this one about pain control techniques used in the military from blogborygmi really interest me.
Pain in any population is a difficult thing to manage. Pain is defined as what the patient says it is. It is this elusive, all encompassing â€œthingâ€ that if not controlled affects healing, mental stability and quality of life.
The ortho-trauma population brings its own issues to this table. Anecdotally, patients undergoing procedures related to the foot are very huge pain problem patients. Those with multi-system trauma, chronic pain issues in addition to acute injury, and those who abuse prescription or street drugs are also challenging. Add an elderly population that tends to break hips and the issues become endless.
If I had three wishes to help my professional development one would be the ability to finesse pain management. Unless an NP genie pops out of the next bedpan I rub, this is going to take time.
With this new found exposure to the ortho-trauma patient I have been introduced to the blocks and pain pumps, or a version there of, discussed in blogborygmiâ€™s post. These military physicians, nurses and medics are making strides to better care for patients in the most grueling circumstances imaginable. How is it that they can do these things under fire, but on average, it takes over 15 YEARS for research to make it to the bedside? Damn that is frustrating.
These non-narcotized patients would get the heck off my unit and back into their own homes or to rehab so much faster. My elderly population wouldnâ€™t suffer from hospital craziness, physical therapy and occupational therapy would start sooner, patients would be happier, satisfaction with care would be better, nurses at the bedside would be less frustrated, doctors/PAs/residents/NPs would be called less often. Hospital acquired illness would decrease. Patients would get better faster. LIFE WOULD BE GOOD!
I need to become the Queen of Pain Control. How is that for a goal?
Thanks to Nicholas at blogborygmi for the post.