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Pain management is a specialty in medicine that works with patients to observe and alleviate long-term chronic pain. Patients can experience pain as a symptom of many different types of illness and injury. Doctors working in pain management generally prescribe and administer medication to help with a patient's pain. Pain management doctors can work in hospitals and in clinics that focus on pain relief. Clinics have a need for nurses that are familiar with pain treatment, and for medical technicians that operate diagnostic equipment.
Doctors who specialize in the area generally complete a residency focusing on managing pain, while nurses and technicians can also receive certification. Others working in pain clinics such as radiographers and nursing assistants generally do not receive additional certification in their area, though it may be possible to obtain pain specific training. The nursing certification process generally requires a nurse to pass a test and complete a set number of hours working with pain clinic patients.
Pain management is a process that can first involve the diagnosis of what is causing the pain for a particular patient. Long-term pain can debilitate people and their lives in serious ways, so if possible, pain management jobs work towards providing the patient with as much relief as can be given. The pain treatment process can involve administering pain blocking procedures to certain areas of the body. It can also include doctors issuing prescription drugs to patients who are in need of them. As some of the medicines given to patients are part of a controlled group of prescription drugs in some regions, pain management jobs may require background checks and licensing by regional authorities.
Doctors in many different kinds of medical specialties can choose to complete a fellowship and receive pain management jobs. As pain can be caused by all regions of the body and affect mental processes as well as physical, it is possible to first finish a residency in a variety of areas including neurology and psychiatry. Since some of the medicines administered by pain management jobs involve completing a physical procedure to a person while they are under anesthesia, many anesthesiologists choose to work in pain management.
Medical assistants working in pain management jobs typically first gain experience working in hospitals or general clinics. Technicians that are employed by pain clinics include radiographers, and x-ray assistants. The size of a pain management clinic generally determines the number of pain management jobs available, as not all clinics are able to own their own diagnostic equipment.
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