Background: Integrative approaches to pain management (IAPM) are becoming valued and sought after in part due to the opioid crisis and current opioid shortages. Many front-line practicing nurses lack skills and/or confidence in using IAPM. Nurses are uniquely positioned to educate patients, healthcare colleagues, and organizations about IAPM. Incorporating IAPM into nursing practice will not only enhance patient comfort but also demonstrate the need for an integrative approach to patients’ health and well-being.
Purpose: The goal of this experiential workshop is to educate clinical healthcare team members about the use of IAPM with an emphasis on tools patients and caregivers can easily incorporate into daily practice.
Findings: 20 nurses participated in this pilot training program. Program evaluations from the participants show that learning methods, including skills practice sessions, clinical simulation, at home case studies, and a webinar with expert nurse panelist, were effective strategies to teach IAPM. 19/20 participants would recommend that their nursing and interdisciplinary colleagues also participate in this type of training program. IAPM taught in the program that participants reported to be most beneficial:
• Engaging patients in assessment and ways to promote comfort
• Breathing techniques
• Guided imagery
Conclusion: The workshop allowed participants to refresh and restock their toolbox with integrative strategies to augment and or replace pharmacological pain management. Participants left with tangible and practical ideas and resources for implementing these skills into their own work and practice settings. Revisions to the program based on feedback have included development of teach-back toolkit of materials to support clinicians. Discussions are underway with suburban and city medical centers to host this training and increase access to IAPM skills to healthcare teams.
- Recognize foundational integrative approaches to pain management.
- Describe the current science around the pain crisis and how integrative approaches can support patients, families and healthcare teams.
- The participant will be able to summarize how an innovative training program in integrative pain management was developed and evaluated by an interinstitutional nursing organization.
- The participant will be able to practice basic integrative strategies to help in the management of pain and empower a sense of well-being.
- The participant will learn where to access resources to support healthcare teams to implement integrative pain management in their clinical settings.