Ethical Decision-Making for Nurses Treating Acute Pain in Patients with Opioid Abuse History

Ethical Decision-Making for Nurses Treating Acute Pain in Patients with Opioid Abuse History

Identification: MSNJ2001
Issue: January-February 2020
Volume: Vol. 29/No. 1
Credits (Post Test and/or Evaluation Required)
Available until 02/28/2022
  • 1.30 - CH

Price: $20.00


Clinical nurses have an ethical duty to treat pain in all patients. However, many nurses struggle with treating acute pain in patients with history of opioid abuse. Evidence-based ethical interventions for treatment of acute pain among persons with a history of opioid abuse are presented.

Learning Outcome:
After completing this education activity, the learner will be able to apply ethical principles to improve pain management and provide holistic care to patients with a history of opioid abuse.

Learning Engagement Activity:
For more information on guiding ethical principles, refer to the ANA position statement - American Nurses Association Center for Ethics and Human Rights (ANA). (2018). Position statement: The ethical responsibility to manage pain and the suffering it causes.

Contact hours available until 2/28/22.

Requirements for Successful Completion:
Complete the learning activity in its entirety and complete the online CNE evaluation.

Authors Conflict of Interest Disclosure:
The author(s), editor, editorial committee, content reviewers, and education director reported no actual or potential conflict of interest in relation to this continuing nursing education article.

Commercial Support and Sponsorship:
No commercial support or sponsorship declared.

Accreditation Statement:
This session is jointly provided by Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc. (AJJ) and the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN).

Anthony J Jannetti, Inc. is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc. is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the California Board of Registered Nurses, Provider Number CEP 5387.

This article was reviewed and formatted for contact hour credit by Michele Boyd, MSN, RN, AMSN Education Director.


Credits Available

Ethical Decision-Making for Nurses Treating Acute Pain in Patients with Opioid Abuse History

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Paul DeJohn
3/25/20 12:27 pm

Very current evolving concerns in health care now.

Constance Barnes
3/27/20 9:39 pm

This was a thought provoking article. The content and review of ethical principals for pain management strategies with patients who abuse opioids was timely and needed.

Ginger Roberts
4/21/20 3:48 am

so valuable in this time of opiod abuse and over use

Kelly Pham
7/31/20 2:27 am

it is important to do a thorough assessment on patients who have a history of drug abuse. Many may have to have surgeries and it is unethical to leave the patient in pain due to their dependent issue. By talking to the patient and communicating with their providers, narcotics can be given after surgery in a safe environment

Brenda Williams
8/10/20 2:11 pm

I agree - very thought provoking article.

Anal Rathod
8/31/20 10:18 pm

Opioids abuse and overuse is the evolving concerns. Agree with the Non-pharmacological treatment measures and “patient advocate is an essential nurse role.”

Marta Paul
5/26/21 6:02 pm

This timely article addresses the ethical issue related to nurses providing appropriate pain control with patients that have a history of opioid abuse. I agree that we must provide pain control to patients, even if they have a history of opioid abuse. More non-pharmacological treatments should be offered and provided for patients.

Kathleen Almond
5/27/21 2:57 pm

This article was very appropriate for my scope of patient care. preoperative surgery/onc floor.

Eunice Sandoval
10/17/21 6:31 pm

In an ongoing opioid epidemic, we as nurses, not need to forget our essential values that led us to pursue this career. Even though it may be tough with "pain runs" it is important to address the patient's pain and work towards a common goal, which is their healing. Definitely not just a nurse only role, but the whole medical team to prevent addiction or relapse.