Nurse Prescribing

A Nurse in the House

Sue CollinsAs a documentary filmmaker exploring the issue of untreated pain and palliative care delivery globally, I discovered the extraordinary difference health workers make to patients facing end-of-life issues. The quality of care a patient receives at this critical time can have a profound impact on both patients and their families. When I learned that nurses in Uganda were able to prescribe oral morphine in the homes of patients, thereby relieving pain and returning quality of life to many who were too sick to travel, I had to find out more. 

“Many developing countries still have a real problem about the use, importation, and manufacture of morphine,” explained Eugene Murray, former CEO of the Irish Hospice Foundation. “The second thing is having appropriate ways to distribute it. In Uganda, they dilute powdered morphine into water which is colored with a dye to indicate the three different strengths and is distributed by nurses in a community using recycled water bottles. That may seem very crude but in terms of pain control that is absolutely transformational.” Read more »

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