Saturday, April 18, 2009
What's up with Dilaudid?
This week I have had three different post-op c/s patients who had poor pain control. I spent the first half of my shift knocking myself out trying to get their pain under control.....giving Toradol to supplement pain relief, adding comfort measures, encouraging more frequent doses, increasing their dose, etc. When I was finally able to switch them to po pain med's, their pain relief improved dramatically! All three were on IV Dilaudid. Has anyone else noticed this? Very frustrating!!!!! I also find myself frustrated with some nurse's and physician's attitudes regarding pain medication, especially for people with a history of substance abuse. We all deserve adequate pain relief regardless of mistakes we have made, or are currently making for that matter. I have had a patient for the last two nights who is in a rehab program and is now recovering from an emergency c/s to deliver her first child at age 38. When I first met her she was in quite a lot of pain and had been receiving stingy doses of pain medicine. I added the Toradol that had been ordered prn (that she had not been receiving) and made sure she was medicated regularly through the night. That, combined with a little empathy and kindness was rewarded with the sweetest, most heartbreaking look of gratitude through moist eyes that I think I have ever received. We should never underestimate the impact we have on people's lives and we should strive to always use that power for good.