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Topic 6 DQ 2

Please respond with a paragraph to the following question, add citations and references:

After speaking with my mentor, we came up with many different ideas on how this practice change would affect our facility. For my project proposal, educating nurses on current information on opioid use and misuse in the healthcare system and how it is affecting our community, this education will impact each one of these specific areas. From the financial standpoint, I am offering an education that will ultimately provide the hospital’s nurses with the confidence to medicate their patient’s safety as well as provide them with alternative therapies to try before the use of opioid medications. Nevertheless, there will need to be ongoing education brought to the staff due to the continuing research of opioid medication misuse. The initial training would need to be done at either the quarterly staff meeting or a special in-service. This would require paying the staff to come in over their expected work hours. We would also need to take into consideration the amount of time I would need to develop a plan for the continued annual competency training. In contrast, this change will likely save the facility on medication expenses if patients were able to control their pain with alternative therapies such as heat, ice or ambulation. We have many alternative therapies available as well as analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) that can be as effective as an opioid medication. This would decrease the number of opioid medications purchased and therefore decrease the cost for the hospital and the patient. From a quality perspective, although this proposed practice change is primarily focused on preventing future misuse of opioid medications, we will also be able to offer quality care to our patients that keep them healthy. By implementing the proposed nursing interventions, the patients will not be at risk for developing complications such as constipation, ileus and nausea/vomiting from continuous opioid use or misuse while admitted to the hospital (Benyamin et al., 2008). This will provide overall higher care and better patient outcomes. Some barriers for staff may be that they do not feel comfortable enough to offer other therapies or are unaware of therapies available. The clinical aspect that needs to be considered will be the patients that have chronic pain issues. Some of the less invasive therapies may not be adequate enough for those with chronic pain. The proposal of decreasing the number of opioid medications used is great for the patients but it may make it difficult for the nursing staff to offer these patients with chronic pain other therapies because they think they will never work. At this time, I believe their special circumstances will be taken into consideration for these patients. One of the resources available to the nursing staff is our pain management coordinator staff. They are available to discuss with the patient about pain management regimens and different medications available. If a patient already has a pain management contract or physician, then they are able to work with them to put a plan in place. We will need to make sure not to cause more stress for the staff or increase the chance of a poor patient outcome.

Instead of changing the current practice into a strict policy we have decided it is the best interest of the patients and staff to allow for nursing judgment. There will be times when patients will need more than just the analgesic, NSAIDS or alternative therapies.


Benyamin, R., Trescot, A. M., Datta, S., Buenaventura, R., Adlaka, R., Sehgal, N., … Vallejo, R. (2008, March). Opioid complications and side effects. Pain Physician, 11(25), S105-S120. Retrieved from

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