This message is in response to the three articles in the May 3rd Valley Courier about chronic pain, access to pain medication, patient and community safety with regards to narcotic drugs, and the inappropriate prescribing practices by a local nurse practitioner which resulted in several fatalities. As members of District 6 of the Colorado Nurses Association, we are deeply saddened by this front page news centering on a person experiencing chronic pain, the health care community’s response to trying to meet patient needs while assuring public safety, and the egregious prescribing practices by a nurse colleague.
These issues are complex and multi-layered and will take time to resolve. Our hope is that all parties—patients, health care providers, and the community at large—can continue to work together to meet everyone’s needs in a timely manner. Certainly solutions exist which can assure patient integrity and comfort, excellence in professional practices, and public safety without one compromising another.
We current and past members of District 6 of the Colorado Nurses Association are available to participate in and support the resolution of these serious health care issues. As members of the “most trusted profession” for 15 years in a row, we registered nurses remain committed to the health and well-being of individuals as well as our community.
Mabel M. Cotton