Pain management can be a touchy subject when discussed in broad medical terms and often there are very rigid arguments to be made for or against certain practices depending on the situation at hand. Factors like ethics, addiction, holism, patient history and more all come into play and there’s generally no rigid standard that dictates how all cases of pain management are to be approached—it all depends on the person responsible for treatment.
The grey areas and rigid approaches generally fall to the wayside when it comes to palliative care, however—for the simple fact that pain management becomes a focus of comfort during end of life care, rather than recovery. In this way, when assessing and approaching pain management, hospice care professionals often observe a different set of variables.
Many people don’t often realize the hierarchy of medical professionals in different segments of the healthcare system. Knowing the difference between a physician, a nurse and a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in particular, is tremendously important to understanding the duties, responsibilities and abilities that a healthcare worker has. Nowhere is this more important than in a hospice environment.
Generally, hospice environments are staffed by registered nurses (RNs) and through their scope of experience and abilities, a nurse will be able to provide comfort to a terminally ill patient through the end of their life. A nurse will also have the medical knowledge and know-how to act in specific situations that may require action.
While a nurse might “run the show” so to speak, it doesn’t mean there’s not a need for other medical professionals. In fact, certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are also tremendously helpful to have on staff or working part-time in a hospice environment!
People often take up careers in the healthcare field because they have an inherent desire to help people. What’s more rewarding than being there for someone who is experiencing hardship in their life and being able to see them through to recovery? There’s absolutely no feeling in the world that trumps it.