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Improving pain management.

70 million or more Americans continue to live with persistent and unrelieved pain. In addition, 50-70% of patients who are dying have unrelieved moderate to severe pain. Since the 1980s, research studies continue to validate that people of all ages, ethnicities, and genders receive inadequate pain management. ANA advocates for the education of consumers and healthcare practitioners to change misconceptions, fears, and lack of knowledge in order to improve pain management. At present regulatory standards focus more on addiction than pain management and the relief of suffering. Providers often fear investigation by the DEA when prescribing controlled substances for pain on a regular basis to the same patient. Hence, there is substandard pain relief in our hospitals and the healthcare arena.

The use of Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) prescriptive authority for pain management has proven to be safe and an important factor for patient access to adequate pain management. Legislation has been proposed to address improving pain management within HR 1020, the National Pain Care Policy Act of 2005, which has yet to pass into law. American Nurses Association:

* supports statutory protection for appropriate prescription and administering pain management strategies for patients of all ages

* encourages Constituent Member Associations (CMAs) to participate in state pain care and management initiatives

* supports education of nurses on culturally sensitive pain management including information about addiction dynamics using evidence-based practice

* supports legislative and regulatory authority for APRNs to prescribe controlled substances and for registered nurses to appropriately prescribe pain management strategies and/or administer controlled substances to mitigate intractable end of life pain

* supports protection from criminal prosecution, excessive regulatory scrutiny or licensure harassment for those nurses managing the pain

* supports consumer and professional education about pain management, and

* supports the principles of the primacy of pain management over the fear of addiction when prescribing and/or administering controlled substances.

Barb Prescott DNP, FNP, RNC
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Title Annotation:ANA House of Delegates
Author:Prescott, Barb
Publication:The Pulse
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2006
Previous Article:Kate Steenberg elected to ANA Board of Directors.
Next Article:Pay-for-performance.

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