Course Objectives

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

1. Recognize problems created by under-treating pain and identify individuals who are at greatest risk for having their pain under-treated.
2. Distinguish between nociceptive and neuropathic pain.
3. Identify 3 classifications of analgesic drugs.
4. Recognize how nonopioid analgesics differ from opioid analgesics.
5. Identify the mechanism of action, side effects, and maximum daily dose of acetaminophen.
6. Identify the relationship between aspirin and Reye’s syndrome.
7. Recognize the mechanism of action of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and distinguish between nonselective and selective NSAIDS.
8. Identify common side effects of NSAIDs, ways to prevent and/or manage them and advantages and disadvantages of combining NSAIDs with opioid analgesics.
9. Discuss the concept of "opioid dose sparing."
10. Identify the mechanism of action of mu agonist opioid analgesics.
11. Discuss the concept of "analgesic ceiling."
12. List 3 opioid analgesics that are commonly used to treat severe escalating acute pain.
13. Discuss guidelines for using opioid analgesics and the concept of "titrating to effect" as it applies to opioid analgesics.
14. Recognize the rationale for avoiding using meperidine as an analgesic.
15. Discuss the value of giving analgesics on an around-the-clock rather than on a PRN basis to manage continuous pain.
16. Recognize common side effects associated with opioid analgesics and ways to manage side effects.
17. Recognize ways to assess respiratory depression in patients receiving opioid analgesics.
18. Distinguish among the terms "tolerance," "physical dependency," and "addiction."
19. Identify the percentage of patients who become addicted to opioids when receiving them under medical supervision.
20. Discuss conditions under which the following administration routes for opioid analgesics are used: oral, rectal, subcutaneous, intramuscular, intravenous, transdermal, and intrathecal.
21. Recognize nursing considerations for patients receiving opioid analgesics and identify ways in which patients receiving opioids can minimize adverse effects.
22. Discuss the mechanism of action of antidepressants and anticonvulsants in relation to pain management.
23. Evaluate the effects of the CDC Opioid Guidelines on your nursing practice.