Prescription of pain medication is a serious matter that health professionals should approach with caution. Considering the epidemic with misuse of opioids that leads to addiction in the United States, each patient who presents pain symptoms should be assessed carefully to determine if they need pain medication that is potentially addictive or not. This discussion post will focus on the case of a 15 years old Mattew, who has a moderate ankle sprain and requests pain medication.
Generally, ankle sprains should be treated with sufficient rest and gradual restoration of mobility. According to the recommendations by a Nursing Board, a medical professional’s role in similar cases is to help assess and manage the patient’s pain (“Oregon State Board of Nursing: Interpretive Statement,” n.d.). Science this patient reports feeling acute pain that is ranked at eight on a 10 point scale. The nurse can use non-opioid pain medication to help this individual, for example, NSAIDS and acetaminophen. These over-the-counter medications should be sufficient to relieve Mattew’s pain.
Apart from medicine, the patient’s pain can be managed by using non-pharmacological interventions that will help ease the feeling and help his ankle heal. For example, he can use ice packs to reduce swelling and pain. The side effects of non-opioid pain medication are minimal and are disclosed by the manufacturer. For example, the patient can experience nausea, stomach pain, itching, change of urine color, or jaundice, among others (Durbin, 2021). However, this medication is widely used and is considered safe for most patients, making it a good choice in this case. As for the non-pharmacological interventions, the patient should be warned to use ice with caution to avoid having a freezing. Additionally, in his case, having sufficient rest is necessary to induce healing.
The pain management strategies for this patient should be a matter of discussion because he reports intense levels of pain with no indications of an injury on an X-ray, and it is essential to involve Mattew’s parents in this discussion. Due to the fact that managing pain is one of the core responsibilities for a nurse, a debate is necessary to select interventions that will help reduce Matt’s suffering while not subjecting him to potential harm. The dangers include prescribing medication that will not provide the needed pain relief or prescribing opioids that will subject him to addiction if misused. Notably, since Mattew is only 15, his parents should be involved in the discussion. It is best to describe the selected management treatment plan with Mattew and his parents to ensure that they understand what to do. Moreover, the parents should be instructed to ensure that Mattew gets enough rest since they are his legal caregivers until he reaches the age of 18.
In conclusion, this case scenario is interesting because it allows one to reflect on a complex patient case and appropriate pain management strategies. Pain management, in general, is one of the central tasks for a nurse. However, one should approach this matter with caution. In many cases, patients feel pain, and medical professionals cannot gain confirmation from an X-ray or lab test to determine the cause. However, in some cases, patients fake pain symptoms to receive a prescription for drugs. Hence, a nurse should carefully assess each case and offer a strategy that will help the patient and not subject them to addiction danger.
Durbin, K. (2021). Acetaminophen. Drugs.
Oregon State Board of Nursing: Interpretive statement. (n.d.). Web.