Posted: July 8th, 2016
Patients frequently present with complaints of pain such as chronic back pain. They often seek medical care with the intent of receiving drugs to manage the pain. Typically, for this type of pain, narcotic drugs are often prescribed. This can pose challenges for you as the advanced practice nurse prescribing the drugs. While there is a process for evaluating back pain, it can be difficult to assess the intensity of a patient’s pain because pain is a subjective experience. Only the person experiencing the pain truly knows whether there is a need for drug treatments. This makes it important for you, as the prescriber, to watch for red flags and warning signs of abuse. In this Discussion, you explore the ethical implications of prescribing narcotics to patients with chronic back pain.
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