Roles and Responsibilities for the Practice Team

Every member of the practice team has a potential role in implementing a culture that supports pain management strategies for canine and feline patients. It is extremely important that each staff member understands their respective role and responsibilities in the practice’s integrated approach to pain management. In order to accomplish this, team members should be given role-specific instructions and training for applying an appropriate pain management plan individualized for each patient. Delegation of each role will vary based on a particular practice’s needs. Important roles for team members are as follows:

  • Providing pain-related continuing education for the team.
  • Attending pain-related continuing education.
  • Developing hospital-specific materials from the AAHA toolbox.
  • Holding consistent meetings/communication across the team to discuss pain management assessment and protocols.
  • Scheduling pain-related appointments.
  • Implementing specific, consistent discharges in relation to pain management plans.
  • Communicating low-stress handling with owners and use of antianxiolytic medications prescribed by veterinarian.
  • Conducting pain clinics.
  • Implementing an acute pain scale and providing in-house education on its use.
  • Facilitating pain-related medication, diet, and therapeutic refills.
  • Evaluating patients for any pain postures or signs noted upon arrival, at check-in, or during history taking.

* These guidelines are supported by generous educational grants from Arthrex Vet Systems, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc., Elanco, and Zoetis.