Nursing: Pain Management and the Identification of Addiction for Pennsylvania APNs

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About the Course

This course presents the best practices for the use of prescription opioid medications to treat chronic pain, implementing these guidelines all within the constraints emphasized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It also characterizes other strategies to combat the misuse of prescription medications and provides nurse practitioners (NPs) with a solid foundation for responsible opioid use in patients and vigilant monitoring to identify misuse.

In order to renew a prescriptive authority approval for the next renewal period, Section 9.1(a)(2) of ABC-MAP requires that all CRNPs with prescriptive authority approval complete at least two hours of continuing education in pain management and the identification of addiction or in the practices of prescribing or dispensing of opioids.  This course meets the requirements for CRNP continuing education as reported in Section 21.334 (a) of the Board’s regulations.

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, learners will be able to:
  • Discuss the scope of opioid use, to include the frequency of abuse and fatal overdoses.
  • Balance the need to provide pain relief against the risks inherent to using opioid medications.
  • Identify the increased risk of side effects from opioid medications in patients with psychiatric issues.
  • Recognize divergences in treatment for pain caused by different pathologies.
  • Identify equivalent opioid doses to best manage medication changes.
  • Be able to list at least three characteristics associated with an addicted patient.
  • Name at least one key step in treating an opioid addiction.
  • Describe which class of medication overdoses can be treated with naloxone.

About the Author: 
Bradley Gillespie, PharmD

Bradley Gillespie, PharmD, trained as a clinical pharmacist, has practiced in industrial and government settings for over 20 years. His initial role was a clinical pharmacology and biopharmaceutics reviewer at the FDA, followed by 18 years of leading drug development efforts in the pharma/biotech/nutritional industries. Currently, he supports development projects at the Department of Defense. In addition to his industrial focus, he remains a registered pharmacist, operates a medical writing business focused on developing health professional continuing education programs, and serves as part-time instructor at Montgomery College.

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  • Pennsylvania