Nursing Pain Algorithms for Opioid Use in Post-Op Ortho Patients with Acute Pain

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Health Sciences


School of Nursing

Faculty Sponsor

Paula Molina-Shaver


In the hospital setting it is important for nurses to appropriately choose and deliver opioids to patients to optimize patient outcomes. Historically, therapeutic duplication of medications has been a common issue that nurses face in their practice, and therefore it is important for nurses to be knowledgeable about the current evidence on how to best administer opioids. The current focus on evidence-based practice requires nurses to be knowledgeable of the scientific basis for their interventions and to have the ability to apply evidence to practice. However, many nurses are not adequately prepared to locate, interpret, and apply research findings. Flowsheet formatted algorithms are effective in promoting learning and adherence to best nursing practice. Use of opioid medication pain algorithms enhances a nurse’s choice on analgesic use when faced with therapeutic duplication for pain, allows for effective pain management while maintaining safety, provides a step-by-step process for decision making using a patient's pain goal, and assists adherence to an effective regimen control of a patient’s pain.

Algorithms can be applied to the decision making process across multiple disciplines. The step-by-step approach helps individuals to conceptualize the work they are performing, to inform their decision making skills, to access the best evidence in their field, and to assess the effectiveness of their work when it is completed.

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