Emergency Department Pain Management News

Author: Phyllis L. Hendry

Emergency departments are paying so much attention to pain management now. When you look at about two years ago, if you picked up one of our three major emergency medicine journals, maybe every few months there was a pain article. And now there's several articles in each issue. Part of it has to do with the opioid crisis. But I think we're also looking at new ways to treat pain in medications, nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic. It's just great to see the interest in pain management because we have so many other priorities and different types of diseases we're treating. We're looking at new ways to treat pain, new ways to assess pain. One of our biggest struggles is our patients often have minimal funding. They really can't get into see a pain specialist through a pain clinic. So we're their only resource. It's not like we're in a clinic or in an office and we have the same nurse, the same clerk, the same team, the same psychologist. Every day, we walk in and it's a new adventure with a different team. We see acute. We see chronic. We see infants. We see adults. What can we do differently in the ED to improve their care?

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