Pain and pain management are a major focus for an orthopedic nurse. However, reliance upon opioid monotherapy creates adverse effects for patients and has contributed to the opioid epidemic across the United States. There have been strategies developed locally and nationally to address the epidemic. Nurses, too, have an ethical and moral obligation to balance the management of pain therapies to alleviate the suffering of their patients, all while being good stewards of opioid medications. Nurses must also take the time to properly educate their patients on good stewardship techniques including proper use and disposal of their opioid medications.
Ida Anderson, MSN, RN, ONC, WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center, Marietta, GA.
Jessica Alger, BSN, RN, ONC, WellStar Health System, Atlanta, GA.
The authors have disclosed no conflicts of interest.