Monitoring Patients on Pain Medication


When monitoring patients on pain medications, such as morphine, dilaudid, and demerol; it is important to make sure that certain side effects do not occur. It is very important to monitor the respiratory status because decreased respiratory status is one of the main side effects that can happen from giving pain medications.

Narcan is another medication that it is important to be aware of. In one case, a patient was having apneic spells for about 30 seconds at a time and I had to administer narcan two times within a half an hour. I had my doubts about narcan through my readings, but seeing it personally really made me a believer. A simple medication can reverse respiratory depression and help the patient have a normal respiratory status.

It is also important to educate patients about pain management at home. When patients are taking pain medications at home, there is not a nurse or a physician there that can help if something goes wrong.

The main area that needs to be covered before discharge is side effects that need to be reported and the right dosage amounts that can be taken at certain times. Make sure that the patient is very knowledgeable about the medications they are taking and that they know when to call a physician or nurse when something is not right.

Pain medications are a wonderful thing, but can have their side effects that are not so good. However, by keeping a good eye on your patients and making sure that their vital signs are stable you will help the patient have a quicker and less painful hospital stay. Also, make sure that patients know what medications they are taking and what side effects may happen as a result of the medications before leaving the hospital.

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