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Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center recognizes that every patient has the right to have his or her pain effectively managed. Research has shown that uncontrolled pain causes physiological as well as psychological damage and can adversely affect physical, emotional, social and occupational functioning. All of these changes can lead to complications, reduced quality of patient care and increased lengths of stay and cost of care.
The Pain Management Program is an interdisciplinary program focused on providing support to patients in pain and their families. The team effort is lead by Advanced Practice Nurses (APRNs). Each member of the team has an active role in assisting patients and their families in understanding and coping with the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of pain. The Pain Management Program relies on the collaborative efforts of other medical and nursing staff as well as pharmacy, outcomes management, patient relations, nutritional services, social services, pastoral care and other support services. In addition to the APRNs, there are unit based pain resource nurses who are available to assist in pain management issues until the APRNs are contacted.
The program can be divided into patient assessment and interventions; education and outreach to patients, families and the healthcare team; and research through application of evidence-based practice and current research data
The Pain Management Program is lead by Advanced Practice Nurses (APRNs). An APRN is a master’s prepared registered nurse who is prepared to practice in an expanded role to provide healthcare services. Services that are offered by these individuals include:
- Perform and document comprehensive or focused patient assessments and reassessments for pain consultations
- Provide patient/family education related to pain management
- Implement pain management strategies after consultation and collaboration with referring physician
- Provide staff education regarding pain management related issues
- Implement referrals from the attending physician for pain specialists as directed
- Facilitate integrative approaches for pain relief as indicated
Any patient, family member, hospital staff member or physician may make a referral. A physician’s order is not needed for the referral. Potential referrals could include:
- Patients who have unrelieved pain
- Patients readmitted due to pain issues
- Patients with a history of chronic pain
- Staff who need assistance in establishing a pain management regimen for their patient
- Patients who wish to employ complementary therapies in their pain management regime