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Continuing Education » Glossary

Glossary

Please click any of the following terms to reveal its definition.

Acupuncture
An Asian practice that utilizes the injection of fine needles into innervated body areas to elicit analgesia.
Addiction
Psychological cravings that can include the continued use of specific medications despite harm; should be considered if patients no longer have control over drug use.
Adjuvant Analgesic Drug
Medications that have primary purposes other than pain management; when combined with an opiate analgesic they produce optimal analgesia
Advance Directive
Identification of an individual's healthcare goals and guidance for his/her future treatment options; also called a Living Will.
Advanced Illnesses
Chronic malignant and non-malignant diseases that are no longer responsive to curative bio-medical interventions. They are considered the point along the disease trajectory when the goal of care should focus on palliative care rather than curative interventions.
Advanced Practice Nurse
Masters prepared nurse who functions as a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, midwife or nurse anesthetist.
Adverse Effect
Individual variations to the response of endogenous medications that interfere with quality of life.
Advocate
Person selected by the patient to act on his/her behalf regarding advanced directives in the event that the patient is unable to advocate for himself/herself; also referred to as Durable Power of Attorney.
Allodynia
Result of extreme dermal neuropathic pain; the patient is unable to tolerate touch, pressure or sensation to the affected skin area.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Physical skill that combines giving artificial respiration and chest compressions to a person whose breathing and/or heart rate have stopped.
Caregiver
Someone responsible for tending to the functional needs of an ill person. An informal caregiver is non-paid, usually a member of the family or a friend; a formal caregiver is paid and has undergone specific educational training.
Chilling Effect
The influence that perceived (real or unreal) regulatory or disciplinary action has on the prescribing practices of a healthcare provider.
Chronic Pain
Pain that does not have a predictable course and usually extends beyond six months; pain due to various etiologies, both malignant and non-malignant.
Conscious Sedation
Used in the treatment of unrelenting symptoms (e.g., pain, dyspnea and delirum); requires patient and family consent.
Counter Stimulant
Use of sensory stimulation such as cold, heat, rubbing, pressure and electrical current to help decrease the pain perception; can be used alone or with an opiate.
Controlled Substances Act (CSA)
Formally "Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970," a federal law that consolidated numerous laws regulating the manufacture and distribution of opiates, psychostimulants, antidepressants, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids and pharmaceuticals used in the production of controlled substances.
Curative Care
Traditional bio-medical approach to the treatment of disease; active and aggressive interventions
Drug Abuse Warn Network (DAWN)
Federal program that uses medical records to monitor national drug abuse trends and adverse health effects from various medications.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
The federal agency within the U.S. Department of Justice that is responsible for the enforcement of controlled substance laws and regulations.
Disciplinary Action
A decision made by acting professional licensure boards to act against an individual licensee for the violation of statute or rules.
Diversion
Using medications for recreational, financial and/or illegal purposes.
Doctor-Shopper
A person often perceived as going from physician to physician in order to obtain medications.
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order
Physician's or individual's explicit written instructions to NOT attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in case of cardiac or respiratory arrest.
Drug
A chemical compound used to solicit desired outcomes.
Eutectic Mixture of Local Anesthetic (EMLA)
An ointment matrix that contains local anesthetics and is applied topically.
End-of-Life Care
Both palliative and hospice care; in the United States this is determinant upon reimbursement issues.
Equianalgesic
Description of how one medication and/or the route are equally effective to another; for example, the use of Morphine 30 mg by mouth is equal to 10 mg intravenously.
Evidence Based Practice
Practice based on current research-based interventions; applying evidence to practice verses anecdotal practice.
Family
Identified by the patient and can include familial relatives, spouses, life partners, unrelated friends and informal caregivers.
Healing
To restore health, mend or have a sense of well being; includes the various dimensions of the patient.
Hospice Care
Interdisciplinary approach to care based on the patient's and family's goals; the patient must have a life-limited prognosis of six months or less. Hospice views death as a normal experience.
Hyperalgesia
Occurs when opiate therapy becomes toxic as a result of too much medication; symptoms can include renal failure and dehydration.
Illegal Drug/Narcotic
Medications sought for recreational purposes; used for therapeutic benefits and those that are produced in the communities.
Loading Dose
An aggressive dosage of a specific medication to promote active bioavailability of the medication in order to improve patient symptoms.
Maintenance Dose
Specific patient dosage that has been titrated to control pain and symptoms.
Mixed Opioid Agonist-Antagonist
A compound that has an affinity for two or more types of opioid receptors and that blocks opioid effects on one receptor type while producing opioid effects on a second receptor type.
Narcotic
An illegal drug; no longer used in literature, instead referred to as an opiate.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID)
Reduces inflammation (and hence pain) arising from injured tissue.
Nonselective NSAID
NSAID that inhibits both COX1 and COX2 isoforms of cyclooxygenase.
COX-2 Selective NSAID
An NSAID that inhibits the COX2 isoform of cyclooxygenase, but not the COX1 form.
Opioid
Found in ALL analgesics, both Class II and III; bind to the mu receptor site in the Central Nervous System and block the pain perception between the periphery and the brain (the gate effect). Opiates are both therapeutic and essential in order to control pain.
Opiate Receptor
Opiate-binding sites found throughout the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract.
Pain
A multi-dimensional, unpleasant sensory experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.
Pain, Acute
Has a predictable course and treatment and is a relatively straight-forward, temporary infliction.
Pain Effect
The emotional dimension of the pain experience.
Pain, Neuropathic
Pain that results from a disturbance of function or pathologic change in a nerveā€”in one nerve it is mononeuropathy, in several nerves, mononeuropathy multiplex, if diffuse and bilateral, polyneuropathy; most frequently associated with other pain syndromes such as somatic and visceral.
Palliative Care
Provides expertise in pain and symptom management for patients living and dying with advanced illness (as opposed to seeking curative care). It is interdisciplinary and begins sooner in the course of illness verses later. It is a medical specialty in many countries and newly developing in the United States.
Peer-Review
Assures competent, research based publications and/or resources.
Physical Dependence
Occurs with sudden withdrawal or cessation of opiates and should not be confused with addiction. If treatment cessation is indicated, the discontinuation of the drug should be tapered.
Physical Modalities
Exogenous and nonpharmacetuical interventions such as heat, cold, massage, aromatherapy, color and music, to be used in combination with therapeutic medications.
Pseudoaddiction
A perception that the patient is "drug-seeking" when the reality is that the patient's pain is not adequately managed. This behavior is resolved once the pain is relieved and is often stigmatized with the term "addict".
Regulatory Complaint
A mechanism for consumers to file their criticisms or objections to procedures or care provided by licensed healthcare providers (e.g., physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists) or licensed healthcare institutions or systems (e.g., nursing homes, home health agencies, hospices, hospitals, freestanding surgical units, ambulatory surgical units, end-stage renal dialysis centers) with the state licensing agency. The agency receives and processes such complaints by following specific guidelines and processes established by statute and/or rules.
Schedule I Drugs
Include heroin, LSD and marijuana and have these characteristics: (A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse. (B) The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. (C) There is a lack of accepted safety for the use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.
Schedule II Drugs
Include Marinol, methadone, morphine, methamphetamine and cocaine and have these characteristics: (A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse. (B) The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. (C) Abuse of the drug or other substances may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
Schedule III Drugs
Include anabolic steroids and have these characteristics: (A) The drug or other substance has a potential of abuse less than the drugs or other substances in Schedules I and II. (B) The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. (C) Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
Schedule IV Drugs
Include Valium and other tranquilizers and have these characteristics: (A) The drug or other substance has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in Schedule III. (B) The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. (C) Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in Schedule III.
Schedule V Drugs
Include codeine-containing analgesics and have these characteristics: (A) The drug or other substance has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in Schedule IV. (B) The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. (C) Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in Schedule IV.
Suffering
A state of severe distress associated with events that threaten the intactness of the person.
Taper or Titrate
A very patient-specific process in which a medication is gradually increased or decreased in order to produce optimal outcomes.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
A method of producing electro-analgesia through electrodes applied to the skin.
Terminal Illness
As defined by the Medicare Hospice Benefit, identifying that the patient has less than six months of a life-limited diagnosis.
Tolerance
A state of physiological adaptation after prolonged exposure to a specific medication; the need for an increased dosage of a drug to produce the same level of analgesia that previously existed.