Nursing: Nonopioid Analgesics

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About the Course

This course provides current information about nonopioid treatment modalities for pain to help nurses both educate patients about pain and advocate for safe and effective pain treatment based upon scientific evidence.  The course discusses, in detail, acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin, nonselective cyclooxygenase inhibitors, and cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors.  Adjuvant medications including tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, botulinum toxin, and anticonvulsants are also covered.  Interventional pain therapies as therapeutic pain management tools are presented, as such tools can assist in the diagnosis or confirmation of certain pain states and be used in the management of acute and chronic pain.

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:
  • Discuss the pharmacologic options for pain management and the role of nurses in caring for patients receiving nonopioid analgesics.
  • Discuss adjuvant analgesics and the nursing role in caring for persons receiving these medications.
  • Explain the role of interventional pain therapies in acute and chronic pain.
  • Explain the difference between sympathetic and nonsympathetic nerve blocks and nursing interventions for patients receiving nerve blocks.

About the Author: 

Ann Schreier, PhD, RN

Ann Schreier, PhD, RN, is a professor at East Carolina University (ECU) College of Nursing in Greenville, NC. Dr. Schreier received her BSN degree from Boston University, an MSN from University of California - San Francisco, and her PhD from Stanford University. Dr. Schreier has clinical experience in oncology and in hospice. This clinical experience has motivated Dr. Schreier to study and promote best practices in pain management. She is actively engaged in research with studies examining the relationship between pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and anxiety of breast cancer survivors and the development of interventions to assist cancer patients cope with pain and co-occurring symptoms. In her 25 years of experience as a faculty member at ECU, she has taught undergraduate and graduate students. By her colleagues, she is considered an expert in the education of nurses in pain management. She has extensively lectured about pain management at a local, regional, and national level. In 2017, she received ECU’s distinguished Faculty Mentor Award for her outstanding contributions to mentoring of doctoral students in their research. She is a past president of American Society for Pain Management Nurses and serves on the editorial board of Pain Management Nursing. Dr. Schreier is active in advocacy for pain management.

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