Whole Health approach to pain management - Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System
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Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System


Whole Health approach to pain management

Non-pharmacologic treatment along with self-care approaches were discussed.

Clinicians were given the opportunity to practice techniques for acupuncture needling.

By Mary Kay Gominger
Monday, June 17, 2019

            GCVHCS was selected by the Office of Patient Centered Care & Cultural Transformation (OPCC&CT) to host the Whole Health for Pain & Suffering Course (WHPS) on June 4-5, and the Battlefield Acupuncture (BFA) Course on June 6. The courses convened at the McMillan Auditorium in the College of Nursing at Pensacola State College.

            Nearly 50 GCVHCS clinicians and five national VA travelers participated in the WHPS Course. This two-day advanced clinical education course was designed to support VA clinicians working with patients who experience pain with evidence-based, safe and effective non-pharmacologic approaches to pain in its various forms. The course centered around the Whole Health Model with special emphasis on the nature of suffering and how to integrate non-pharmacologic treatment along with self-care approaches to enable Veterans to work with pain and become more empowered in their response to it.  Several GCVHCS providers and clinicians facilitated sessions on self-care, mindfulness, and movement.  Clinicians completing the two-day course earned 14.5 CEUs.

            Twenty-five GCVHCS clinicians and two national travelers participated in the BFA Course. Providers received classroom and clinical instruction in the limited auricular (ear) acupuncture needling technique for pain management.  One to five acupuncture needles are inserted into specific locations for each ear until a patient experiences a one to two point reduction in their pain score.  The 1.5 mm ASP needles usually remain in place for three to four days then fall out or may be removed by the patient.  Clinicians practiced the techniques on ear models then quickly transitioned to practicing the techniques on their fellow providers.


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