Introducing Melanie H. Simpson, PhD, RN-BC, OCN, CHPN ASPMN® President 2016-17
Melanie H. Simpson, PhD, RN-BC, OCN, CHPN became the President of the American Society for Pain Management Nursing® (ASPMN®) at the organization’s 2016 National Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.
We are in a very interesting and challenging time for pain management. When I started in Pain Management over twenty-one years ago, the biggest challenge we had was making pain visible. We spent very little time on educating about how to treat pain appropriately because we were still in the stage of getting people to acknowledge it existed and that something could be done about it. Education was really focused on assessing pain, talking about it and giving patients hope. There was very little evidence-based practice; it was more “we have always done it this way.” Unfortunately, very little attention was paid to learning how to do appropriate pain management so too many providers used the easiest way to treat pain and just gave opioids. There was little discussion, minimal assessment and no education for patients. Fast forward after years of opioid monotherapy as the only treatment for pain and now we have an opioid crisis. Now our biggest challenge is getting providers to individualize pain treatment plans using a multimodal approach. We have to change the way people think about pain, the patients who have it and the treatment for it. We as advocates for those in pain have to embrace change and see is as an improvement in the care our pain patients receive. So I ask that you join me and Embrace Change.