PATIENT Dilemma: Pain Control or Drug Seeking Behavior


Suitable for all levels. Short, versatile format that emphasizes the “art” and ethical aspects of practice.

Help your students care and act more like a nurse with a patient who is having pain but may also be drug seeking.


Overview of Dilemma 

Is pain always what the patient says it is? Though the patient’s rating of pain is always relevant, the nurse must collect and cluster additional clinical data to make correct clinical judgments regarding pain control. In this dilemma, a post-operative patient with a history of narcotic tolerance and chemical dependency continues to require increasing amounts of narcotics for pain control. How to guide clinical decision making without being judgmental is the essence of this patient dilemma.

Key Components:

1. Develop “art” of Nursing

  • By emphasizing importance of caring, compassion, and spiritual care.

2. Develop Ethical Decision Making

  • By applying ethical decision making to real-life dilemmas of practice.

3. Develop Professional Behaviors

  • By emphasizing how a nurse acts as a nursing professional.

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