Cranwell & Moore P.L.C., Attorneys at Law

You may not receive the pain medication you need

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Surgery can be a scary prospect for even the bravest patients. After all, if you have to go under the knife, you likely face weeks of recovery. You may also have a great deal of pain. Of course, modern medicine offers a variety of ways to help you manage your discomfort. Unfortunately, though, you may not receive the pain medication you need to recover successfully. 

Recently, a nurse in Wythe, Virginia, pleaded guilty to stealing fentanyl from the hospital where she worked. Fortunately, she did not take pain medication from specific patients. With the opioid epidemic raging in Virginia and across the United States, you have to wonder if an addicted professional may deprive you of necessary pain medication. Here are some ways to ensure you receive the medication you need: 

Accurately describe your pain 

Healthcare professionals use a 10-point scale to encourage patients to accurately describe their pain. When talking to your doctor or a nurse, you should always be truthful. That is, do not overstate your discomfort. If the pain becomes extreme, say so. 

Ask about medication 

When in the hospital, strive to be an informed patient. Rather than blindly accepting the medication your physician prescribes, ask about it. Further, make sure you understand why you are taking medication. Then, inquire about side effects and drug interactions. 

Pay attention to your symptoms 

You know your body better than anyone else. Even though doctors receive extensive training on how to diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries, they sometimes make mistakes. If pain medication does not make you feel better, your physician may need to rethink his or her approach to treating you. Accordingly, always pay attention to your symptoms, and communicate changes to your doctor as soon as possible. 

You probably do not have to worry about having a healthcare professional steal necessary medication from you. Nonetheless, you want to receive proper care during your hospital stay. If you think your doctor is not adequately managing your pain, you may need to act quickly to remedy the situation.

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