Treating and managing a patient’s pain is a team effort; a multidisciplinary approach to managing chronic pain is necessary. Besides medical doctors, pain management teams can include, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, social workers and more. Understanding views from across the spectrum can help when attempting to treat or manage a patient’s symptoms.
Darlene Saberito, a registered nurse (RN) at the Maimonides Medical Center, sat down with me to discuss several pain-related topics: setting up a pain practice, residents with bad attitudes, communication failures, acute pain service and regional anesthesia service.
Here are several points from our conversation.
On working with residents. Residents who put the effort into working with a pain management specialist will see their hard work pay off later on. The knowledge acquired from this specialty can assist residents with other medical specialties.
“If the resident who doesn’t see the need for this, because they’re not really interested in this, doesn’t fully immerse themselves in the experience, they’re going going to regret it later on,” Saberito said.
“Not one person in one area of medicine can know it all,” she said, “and that’s why there are areas of expertise, so you need to call on the people who have expertise, and you need to communicate.”
Don’t be afraid to refer patients to competitors. Know your limits. As long as your competitor is competent, don’t be afraid to refer a patient to your competitor if your competitor is able to do something you can’t do.
“It’s important to remember — no matter what — the patient is the focus,” Saberito said.
You’re on camera, doctor. Videotaping physicians has become more common in the workplace. Most doctors would agree that recording to improve patient care isn’t an issue. Videotaping physicians becomes a problem when the intent is punitive.
DISCLAIMER: Dr. Rosenblum is here solely to educate, and you are solely responsible for all your decisions and and actions in response to any information contained herein. This blog and related podcast is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of a physician to a particular patient or specific ailment.