NBME Answers ↦
prefer “patients with hx of substance abuse” over more conveniently typed but less redemptive “drug addict”
I don't see why switching her to oral pain meds when she is ready would be incorrect. Clearly she is worried about being on the pain meds, I feel making a proclamation that she has a low risk of addiction would be profiling just because she doesn't have a history.
The opioid epidemic also affects people who didn't have a previous history of drug abuse. Just a thought, not trying to push any buttons. Maybe I am thinking to hard about this, but I don't see the clear A vs B line for this question.
@sugaplum I thought the exact same thing as you and chose the acetaminophen answer accordingly. I maintain that I am correct, my score be damned!
I had a similar question on UW and the explanation stated that the correct answer choice was the only one that addressed the patient's concern and answered her question. The rest were just alternative treatments, so they were incorrect.
But I too answered with oral pain meds.
couldn't agree more with you all. I chose acetaminophen because opioid abuse is NO joke. The crisis is still going strong because of answers like this...
I ruled out oral acetaminophen because they described in great detail the severity of her injuries, and indicated that she wasn't even fully conscious/aware when she asked this question about opioids. Rather than expose her to more pain, and possibly worsen her long-term pain prognosis, by switching to acetaminophen too early, in this case it makes sense to keep her comfortable because she's very seriously injured and not even fully lucid. It's kind to reassure her in this case.
I appreciate all of the passion for the opioid crisis, and the wording of the answer is definitely not ideal. However, PAIN is also very real, and there is no way acetaminophen alone would cut it in a case like this, not "as soon as she can take medications orally." Maybe I'm lucky to have 6 months in clinicals before STEP or had a mom who just went through urgent spine surgery for breast cancer mets, but there is a time and place for opioids and this is clearly one of them. Thank you for coming to my ted talk.
I agree with anastomoses, cmon guys have you ever had serious pain? oral acetaminophen is NOT enough for that type of pain.
I r/o oral acetaminophen b/c she's post-op for major GI surgeries so you might want to avoid PO meds for a while
As argument against the oral acetaminophen answer choice, it says "switch the patient to oral acetaminophen boldas soon as she can take the medication orallybold" This means you're just waiting for her swallowing inability from the facial fracture surgery to come back, which might not have much to do with her pain, and so it seems somewhat arbitrary.
Maybe logically/clinically A is true, but this seems like a "patient communication" question to me and I could NEVER imagine A being a good way to phrase this point IRL.