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An ASPMN 2019 Preview with President Debra Drew

An ASPMN 2019 Preview with President Debra Drew

An ASPMN Meeting Preview with Debra Drew, RN, President of the American Society for Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN)

This year’s theme is “bridging the gaps in pain management.” What led to this focus and what should attendees hope to get out of this year’s meeting?

This year’s event is being held in Portland, which has more than a dozen road and pedestrian bridges that make the city a fitting metaphor for the topic of linking efforts in identifying and managing current gaps in optimal pain management. For instance, there are gaps in pain care as a result of fear of opioids and addiction. While the tragedy of unintentional deaths (ie, opioid overdoses) is of great concern, so is the concern that some patients are now being undertreated or not treated for severe pain which judicious use of opioids could help. Patients are sometimes negatively perceived and labeled. Prescribers are leery of appearing to contribute to the misuse of opioids. Providers and patients must learn how to talk with one another about the opioid crisis, substance use disorders, and appropriate pain management strategies.

In addition, many practitioners/clinicians need more education in non-opioid analgesia and how to use multimodal approaches in a synergistic fashion to optimize pain management with minimal negative outcomes. The community needs a prescriptive move to integrative healthcare that utilizes the most helpful therapies from all cultures.

Finally, clinicians and patients need reassurance and resources in these challenging times. As a valuable resource for the education of nurses and a supporter of optimal clinical care of the patient in pain, ASPMN hopes to address some of these gaps.

How do you envision pain management changing over the next 5 to 10 years for nurses and other advanced practice providers?

Multimodal analgesia – the use of different medications and non-medication interventions – will become the standard of care. Patient-specific, holistic nursing approaches will epitomize optimal care. Opioids will be used more judiciously for moderate to severe pain for appropriate lengths of time. Science will be able to better predict which medications work best for each individual so that we can skip the trial of sequential medications.

How can nurses better work together?

Pain management nurses can better work with their fellow nurses by providing continuing education about optimal analgesia, especially in the light of complex, challenging populations.  Many emergency department nurses, medical surgeons, and critical care nurses struggle with patients who have chronic pain and substance use disorders or other behavioral health diagnoses. Nurses want to do what is best for their patients, and pain management nurses are positioned to help teach, counsel, and support their fellow nurses. Collaboration through interdisciplinary care will provide a model for the type of care needed for managing persistent/chronic pain.

The upcoming ASPMN conference will hold mentoring sessions for journal writing and conducting research. A course, Pain 101, is being developed to help nurses gain a basic understanding of the physiology of pain and the best ways to assess and manage it.

What are you most excited about for the upcoming conference?

The energy that comes from sharing ideas and visions with colleagues is very exciting.  Networking with like-minded individuals offers ongoing support. Having fun with old friends and making new friends nourishes that spirit! •

–Q&A Reported by PPM Editor Angie Drakulich


Follow our "Ask the APP" column with Theresa Mallick-Searle, RN-BC, ANP-BC


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