For this written assignment, select one recent (within the past two years) evidence-based article from a peer reviewed nursing journal that describes a “best practice” in an area of nursing you are interested in. For example, if you would like to be a pediatric nurse, select an article that discusses a best practice in pediatric care.

Cite the article and provide a brief overview of how the results or findings were obtained. Then describe the “best practice.” Conclude your discussion by explaining whether you thought the research findings supported the conclusions and the best practice.


Use APA Editorial format and attach a copy of the article.

20 AJN ▼ May 2022 ▼ Vol. 122, No. 5


A cute pain, characterized as sudden in onset and of limited duration, is one of the most common reasons people seek medical care.1
Acute pain has the potential to interfere with activ-
ities of daily living, and if unrelieved, can progress
to chronic pain. Inadequately managed postoper-
ative pain can worsen patient outcomes and lead
to increased hospital readmissions and health care
costs.1 In 1996, amid numerous reports of inade-
quately managed pain, the American Pain Society
introduced the concept of “pain as the fifth vital
sign,”2 which was soon widely promoted by orga-
nizations such as the Joint Commission3 and the
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.4 While an
emphasis on appropriate pain management was
intended to improve patient care, there is some
evidence that this has instead contributed to the
overuse of opioids.5

Opioid pain medications, which are often pre-
scribed for acute pain, work by interacting with
specific opioid receptors in the body and brain.
When taken as prescribed by a physician for a short
period of time, these medications are generally safe.
But because they also induce feelings of euphoria,
there is potential for misuse. As the National Insti-
tute on Drug Abuse has cautioned, their “regular
use—even as prescribed by a doctor—can lead to
dependence and, when misused, . . . to addiction,”
as well as to the abuse of unprescribed opioids such

The evidence supports the use of opioid-sparing strategies in managing
acute pain.

as heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.6
The likelihood of developing an opioid use disorder
depends on several factors, including the amount of
opioid taken and the length of time the medication
is used for acute pain.7

The misuse of and addiction to opioids has
become a national health crisis of epidemic propor-
tions.7, 8 In 2019, opioids accounted for more than
70% of all drug overdose deaths in the United
States, with accidental opioid overdose claiming
nearly 50,000 lives.9 The economic burden associ-
ated with opioid misuse and addiction—including
health care costs, lost productivity, and crime—has
been estimated at $78.5 billion per year.7

Federal and nonfederal agencies have taken steps
to address the opioid epidemic, including increased
surveillance and tracking of drug overdoses,
improved access to addiction treatment programs,
enhanced prescription drug monitoring programs,
and new prescribing practice guidelines.8, 10-12 Among
the last are guidelines issued by the Enhanced Recov-
ery After Surgery (ERAS) Society (https://erassociety.
org/guidelines), which emphasize the use of multi-
modal analgesia (also called opioid-sparing analgesia).13
(ERAS protocols also include other interventions
such as preoperative counseling, nutritional recom-
mendations, and early postoper