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Grand Rounds Series to Focus on Pain Management and Safe Opioid Prescribing



When it comes to treating patients suffering from chronic pain and the appropriate use of opioids, there are no easy answers—especially if the patient has a history of addiction. Weighing the risks and benefits associated with prescribing narcotic pain medication is an ongoing concern for many frontline clinical staff.
     
“Some of the most challenging patients we see in the hospital come in with both chronic pain and a substance use disorder,” says Nicholas Weida, MD. “It can get very complicated trying to manage both the pain and withdrawal symptoms at the same time, and there are a lot of gray areas. We all do it somewhat differently.”
     
To help clinical staff navigate this difficult terrain, a special series of Grand Rounds are taking place in October —Opioid Month—that focus on treating chronic pain, the safe prescribing of narcotic pain medication, and substance use disorders. Organized by Dr. Weida and Kristina Conner, MD, director of Palliative Care and Support Care Services, this educational series grew out of work being done by Lawrence General’s Pain Committee and Substance Use Disorder Task Force.
     
“We have a huge issue with opioid use and abuse in our community, and one of the goals of these Grand Rounds is to help nurses and other staff members feel more comfortable caring for these patients,” says Dr. Conner. “I think everyone is a little bit leery of using opioids to treat pain in the midst of an opioid epidemic and staff are looking for information and guidance.” 
     
Opioid Month Grand Rounds, Kurth Auditorium, Noon.
  • October 3—Initiating Opioid Therapy and Discussing Monitoring for Adherence, Safety, and Benefit
  • October 10—Assessing and Managing Aberrant Opioid Taking Behavior
  • October 17—Treatment of Pain and Withdrawal in Patients with Substance Use Disorder
For more information on the Opioid Month Grand Rounds, or to learn more about the Pain Committee or Substance Use Disorder Task Force, please reach out to Dr. Conner at Kristina.Conner@lawrencegeneral.org, or Dr. Weida at nicholas.weida@glfhc.org.

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