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National Initiatives Germany: "Pain Nurses"

"Pain Nurses" - A new profession in the struggle against pain

On the 24 October 2012 the German TV station “ZDF” broadcasted a segment on “Nurses fighting against Pain”, a healthcare project that was initiated in 2010. This report dealt with the improvement of pain management in German Hospitals. In order to enhance the treatment of patients who suffer from severe or acute pain, e.g. after a surgery, a totally new profession was created in Münster, Germany, the so called “Pain Nurses”.

The segment is about one of the new skilled Nurses, Martina Rettig. By her example the benefits of a Pain Nurse are described:  alleviate acute pain and thereby prevent pain of becoming chronic. According to her opinion an improved pain management is only possible if doctors, physiotherapists and nurses exchange their experiences mutually.

Prof. Jürgen Osterbrink consents with her point of view and states that “Origin and outset of our effort is to prevent acute pain from proceeding into chronic pain. This is only possible through a convenient interaction of doctors, nurses and the patients themselves.”

Another benefit of this new treatment is that healthcare costs decrease because patients recover sooner and therefore regain a higher quality of life.

Meanwhile, all hospitals employ “Pain Nurses" and several cities intend to optimize their pain management according to this model.