A Donation to Brighten the Pain Clinic
The Nanaimo District Hospital Foundation had the opportunity to chat with Dustin Lahaise, Clinical Nurse Lead and Neuromodulation Coordinator at Island Health. Dustin oversees a multidisciplinary team focused on treating patients with chronic pain through a variety of methods. The department is dynamic and diverse, collaborating with multiple departments within the hospital to provide patients with the best possible care. By taking a holistic approach to chronic pain management, this team helps patients regain control of their lives and alleviate their pain.
As November 5-11 is National Pain Awareness week in Canada, we thought it was fitting to have a chat with Dustin about his department and bring awareness to the importance of chronic pain and its impact on the one in five Canadians who live with it.
This past year, the foundation provided art and reclining chairs for the department, and this is just one way the foundation is doing its part in improving the lives of those who suffer with chronic pain.
Learn more about the Pain Program at NRGH and its impact on the Central Vancouver Island community through the conversation with Dustin Lahaise below:
NDHF: Can you share your role and the work your department does at the NRGH?
DUSTIN: My role is the Clinical Nurse Lead and Neuromodulation Coordinator. I run the day-to-day operations of our program which includes a diverse chronic pain focused multidisciplinary team.
That team is positioned around our interventional fluoroscopy suite where our 2 Pain Specialist Physicians perform fluoroscopic guided spine interventions to treat chronic pain refractory to conservative self-management. We also have three nurses that keep the flow of our interventional suite seeing on average about twenty procedures per day and another twenty consults for new patients seeking care of their chronic pain conditions.
For the patients that we can’t treat with a spine intervention, we focus on the best evidence to manage their care through self-management education from our Rehab colleagues. We also have a pharmacist who assists with medication management, and collaborate with two Physiatrists to manage complex pain cases.
A large part of chronic pain is unmanaged anxiety, stress, anger and poor sleep. Our program takes a holistic approach of mind and body to help patients alleviate chronic pain and regain control of their lives.
NDHF: To bring awareness to the readers, can you describe where the Pain Program is located at NRGH?
DUSTIN: The Pain Program is located on the second floor of NRGH, next to the UBC Family Practice Office and Sim Lab.
NDHF: What kind of people and pain-related issues does your team support within the community?
DUSTIN: Mainly chronic back and neck pain, but we also see a myriad of chronic pain conditioners including complex regional pain syndrome. We also collaborate with the Workers Compensation Board and Department of National Defence.
NDHF: Can you tell us about how the art and furniture donation has benefitted the department and your patients?
DUSTIN: Our patients are susceptible to depression, anxiety, frustration and have been struggling with their pain for quite some time. The artwork that the foundation provided our patients acts as a distraction and promotes a healing atmosphere where patients can feel at ease. The art is also of local landscapes around BC and becomes a conversation starter amongst the staff and patients.
NDHF: Are there any other items or campaigns for the department that you are fundraising for?
DUSTIN: Our consult rooms and rehab areas are in desperate need of modernization. We are also in need of about $500,000 to renovate a second Fluoroscopy suite. Our catchment encompasses north and west of Duncan all the way up to Cape Scott, so as our population grows, we will need to adapt and grow our program.
Thank you, Dustin and the team, at the Pain Program at NRGH including the nurses, specialists, physicians and front office staff for all the hard work you do for our community. We hope to continue to provide fundraising opportunities to better the Pain Program for those in need.