Multidisciplinary Pain Team Members
Pain specialist clinics or practices may consist of a medical consultant in pain medicine working alone or they may have some multidisciplinary pain specialists working alongside them. A multidisciplinary team provides a broad spectrum of specialisation and valuable diverse expertise.
Consultant in Pain Medicine
A doctor who has specialist training and expertise in acute and/or chronic pain medicine.
They may often be a consultant anaesthetist but they could also be a practitioner from another field e.g. a Rheumatologist or a Dentist. Theyreview in-patients while hospitalised in addition to seeing out-patients who have been referred to them from a GP or another consultant or a physiotherapist. They may perform interventions or injections that can assist in both diagnosing and relieving pain.
Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner (RANP)
The registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner (RANP) plays a direct role in the provision of the pain service at every level, including case management of the person with acute pain/cancer pain or chronic non-cancer pain. They also have a role in patient advocacy, triage and the development of the practice of nurses in relation to pain managment. The RANP with prescriptive authority is ideally placed to develop a plan of care with the Pain Consultant incorporating pain treatments for patients referred to a pain service with a diagnosis of chronic non-cancer pain and cancer pain.
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
The Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) in pain medicine is a hospital based nurse with specialist experience and training in managing patients in pain.
They may focus on managing patients with acute post-operative pain/cancer pain or patients with chronic pain. Many nurses have expertise in both acute and chronic pain. In addition to caring for hospitalised patients with recent onset pain related problems, they often review patients with chronic pain in the out-patient clinics. The pain clinic may be a nurse led or a consultant led clinic.
Both the RANP and the CNS in Pain Medicine are involved at different levels in direct and indirect Clinical patient care, Audit and Research,Education and Training, Audit and Research, Patient Advocacy and also Consultancy.
The physiotherapist will assist in assessing patients with acute or chronic pain conditions. This will aid diagnosis and treatment of pain.
In chronic pain, physiotherapy and exercise plays an important role in maximising and preserving mobility and function. This in turn allows for better quality of life both in the workplace and in the home and social life.
The occupational therapist assists in assessing patient’s functionality and limitations due to chronic pain.
They can advise and assist patients in order to promote independence and provide a more fulfilling life in the home, where possible. They may be able to provide specific aids that would help to reduce the pain and minimise the challenges caused by living with chronic pain.
The psychologist assists patients to manage or minimise the effects that pain has in other areas of your life.
If indicated, the pain consultant may refer you to a pain psychologist for assessment or for therapy. Pain, especially chronic pain can influence many aspects of your life in addition to your physical well-being. It can impact upon your relationships with others, your social interactions, your work life or your family life.
The services of a psychiatrist where available, may benefit some patients with chronic pain due to the broader impact of pain in their lives.
In situations where the pain consultant feels it would be beneficial, they can arrange a referral for a patient to attend a psychiatrist either in the hospital or on the community.
The pharmacist is a valuable resource when checking the suitability and availability of various pain relieving medications.
They may be involved either in the hospital or in the community. The pain nurse specialist and the Consultant in pain medicinewill often liaise with them, as their specialist advice and contribution is greatly valued.
The office administrator is usually the first person you speak to when contacting the pain service.
They ensure the co-ordination and smooth running of communications within the pain service. They handle incoming referrals from the GP and outgoing letters from the pain consultant to your GP. They are involved in making appointments for clinic visits and pain interventions, in consultation with the pain consultant. They forward your queries to the pain consultant or pain nurse specialist.