Sunday, November 18, 2007

Veterinarians receive 3 times more training on pain than doctors and nurses

This is a Canadian survey, but I believe it and it is probably worse in the USA. I also recently learned from a reliable survey that "old people" are the most undertreated for pain, followed by "children", then "women". "Men in the 30 to 45 year old range get the best pain treatment".

"Toronto - A recent survey for the Canadian Pain Society found students in veterinary medicine received an average of 98 hours on pain education, while medical students spent about 16 hours studying the subject.

Among the vets in training polled in the University of Toronto survey, the least amount of specific pain education received was 27 hours, whereas some medical and nursing students admitted they'd received no training on pain at all.

Nursing students spent an average of 31 hours on the subject of pain.

"All the veterinary colleges had way more hours than medicine, nursing, dentistry (and) pharmacy," said lead researcher of the study, Judy Watt-Watson.

She told 680News a stubborn stigma around chronic pain is playing a role. "There are chronic diseases related to pain that we can't take an X-ray of," she said.

One in four Canadians have suffered from chronic pain, according to researchers, who suggest training on the subject should be mandatory, not elective, in more medical schools across the country.

The society said this lack of training is leaving Canadian health care professions inadequately equipped to treat pain-related problems".

Source:Taiwo Lewis
.680 News

I receive a lot of e-mail from people all over the world, especially Canada, New Zealand, UK, and of course here in the USA and it really doesn't matter where, its the same horror stories and the same stigma no matter what the country. It is also a damn disgrace.

I will leave my first bit of education for the medical profession. Here is the stigma. "I am afraid you will become addicted". That statement in itself is wrong. You don't become addicted. Addiction is a behavioral problem, part of it even hereditary, where by people get medication for the high, the euphoric feeling and most have no chronic pain problems.

Chemical dependency is the correct word and is a natural occurrence when people have to take powerful medication for a pro-longed period of time. All you do is start slowly reducing the amount of medication you are taking until you are off of it. As a matter of fact "addiction" and "chemical dependency" take place in two totally different areas of the brain.

How do I know? Because I have gotten off of powerful opiods myself, seven or eight times. If I felt like I needed help getting off of them, I would tell my Doctor and ask him to help me. Why, because like the majority of people in chronic pain, I am not a damn drug addict.


Staci Rose said...

"There are chronic diseases related to pain that we can't take an X-ray of," she said.

This really hit a nerve. I have severe chronic TMD from an accident four years ago. I was sent to see a DDS at one point and our first conversation was about him telling me how the insurance companies don't believe it exists because you can't take a picture of it! That guy was a lousy DDS, besides his terrible bedside manner.

I do have to say, though, I have given the same shpiel about addiction and it's relation to chronic pain, myself. I've gone on and off many medications since my accident, some opiods, without problems. I have never felt like I needed a certain drug, but boy, when I take some of them, they sure do help alleviate the pain...

And, while my grandmother had to wait one year before her doctors even believed she had REAL pain, it was too late. The cancer had spread to her vital organs, hip and arm bones. She hung on for four more years but I do miss her. My aunt suffered from fibromyalgia before it had a name and her MANY doctors flat out told her it was in her head. It took seven years for her to be treated properly...

Thanks for this post - and your dedication to this subject. I try to keep a good sense of humor, my loved ones close by, and accept all the help I'm offered. I hope you do, too!

Lily said...

When it comes to being chemically dependent on opiods, have you heard of Suboxone? I would love to pass along more info. I was on vicodin then switched immediately to this. There are pro's and con's but overall I've been happy with it. Sometimes I wish it was just a little stronger! I've been on it for over a year, not as addictive as other drugs, can be a good maintenance drug for some people.


Jerry said...

Yes Lily, I have heard of it Suboxone is buprenorphine and from what research I have done on it, it is a fairly new drug that is used similiar to methadone for people who are truely addicted. It basically fools the brain into thinking it is a pure opiate and does have some pain relieving ability. I hope you read this post because I would be interested in knowing what level of pain you have on a 1-10 scale. Thank you for your comment, because that is the only thing that keeps me going with the level of pain I have.