Policy Initiative: Pain Management in Oncology
The policy initiative discussed in this paper was championed by the department of oncology in my hospital. The main aim of the policy was to champion for more research in the management of pain in oncology. As a department, we all agreed that pain management has been a big challenge in cancer management, not only in our hospital, but worldwide. We decided to incorporate in the hospital policies that; oncology nurses in the hospitals will participate in a research conference every year, whose aim was to present on the evidence-based practice methods of managing pain in oncology. The incorporation of this initiative meant that it would be compulsory for all the oncology nurses in the hospital.
Management of pain in oncology has remained a challenge over the years. Ripamonti, Banderi and Roila (2011) assert that research shows no difference between pain management in the past and the present, despite the sophisticated methods of cancer management in the present. According to this author, undertreatment of cancer patients in terms of pain management is prevalent. Campbell (2011) reiterates that 36-61% of cancer patients have continued to experience prevalent pain, despite efforts to reduce it. According to Maxwell (2012), approximately a quarter of the worlds population will develop some cancer at a certain point in their lifetime, with a high proportion of them expected to experience a lot of pain. With such facts, our initiative is very appropriate and timely.
This policy was highly supported by the Florida Oncology Nurses Group and the Florida Oncology Associates. However, the hospital board was reluctant to implement the programme because of the cost implications. However, the department of oncology took actions to sensitize on the need and also to mobilize finances for the conference. After its implementation, we realized improvements. As a result, the conference has been expanded to include nurses from various hospitals in the state.
Campbell, V. (2011). The challenges of cancer pain assessment and management. The Ulster Medical Journal, 80(2), 104-106.
Maxwell, K. (2012). The challenges of cancer pain assessment and management. The Ulster Medical Journal, 81(2), 100-101.
Ripamonti, C. I.,Banderi, E., &Roila, F. (2011). Management of cancer pain: ESMO clinical practice guidelines. Annals of Oncology, 22(6), 69-77.