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The role of Nursing in the care of patients undergoing treatment with cannabinoids

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Today, May 12th, marks World Nurses Day. According to the ethical and deontological code of nursing, the nurse is the agent responsible for health promotion and for the adequate response to the needs of the community in which he is professionally inserted. The dissemination of information and respect for self-determination is also a duty of these health professionals, who play a crucial role in patient education.

In this way, providing health care centered on the person, the nurse has the duty to seek, in all his professional act, the excellence of the exercise, maintaining the continuous updating of his knowledge and implementing mechanisms to respond to the health situation of the user, collaborating with other professionals on programs that respond to their needs.

The profound sociocultural, economic, demographic and epidemiological transformations that modern societies face generate complex realities that shape new care needs due to the increase in conditions and pathologies that are refractory to existing therapeutic options and which translate into greater challenges and demands for health systems.

The discovery of the endocannabinoid system boosted not only scientific research on the cannabis plant but also its use to alleviate symptoms arising from various pathologies. This interest culminated in the amendment of the legislation in order to allow its use for medicinal purposes in the most diverse countries, including Canada, Israel and some American states, or at European level, Germany, Italy, Holland, Czech Republic, Portugal. , among others.

Law n.º 33/2018 of 18 July and the respective regulation by Decree-Law n.º 8/2019 of 15 January, establish the legal framework for the use of medicines, preparations and substances based on the plant, for medicinal. Thus, in addition to medicines containing cannabinoids as an active ingredient, the prescription and dispensing of cannabis-based preparations and substances, namely, containing the leaves and flowering or fruiting tops, the oil and other standardized extracts or preparations extracted or obtained from of the plant. The prescription is made by means of a special medical prescription and its exclusive dispensation in a pharmacy.

Legislative changes related to the medicinal use of this plant, show not only the need for a correct and comprehensive understanding of its properties, but also the need to invest in the prevention, diagnosis and monitoring of these users, making the transition from the biomedical model to an approach centered on the person and its multidimensionality.

These constant changes envisage investment in the education and training of nursing health professionals, professionalizing their contribution through the acquisition and consolidation of new concepts and skills.

It is crucial that, in the short term, standards of good nursing practice are defined within the scope of the patient undergoing treatment with cannabinoids, simultaneously covering the nursing process and the professional performance requirements of any registered nurse wishing to incorporate knowledge about this therapy in your practice.

This commitment will allow the formation of informed, collaborative, motivated and receptive multidisciplinary teams to new treatment options, which will translate into significant improvements in the health of patients, communities and health systems. _______________________________________________________

* Soraia Tomás is a Nurse, graduated from the Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Coimbra in 2015. She worked in the intensive care of Cardio-Thoracic surgery and lung transplantation in Lisbon. She currently works at the Spine Center, a spine surgery service and an intensive care unit for general surgery at Hospital da Luz in Coimbra, the city where she lives. Enthusiastic in the field of Medicinal Cannabis, he is a member of the scientific council of the Portuguese Observatory of Medicinal Cannabis, attended conferences in this area (Portugal Medical Cannabis, Cannabis Europa, CannX, among others) and obtained a postgraduate degree in GMP's for Medicinal Cannabis, course carried out by the Portuguese Observatory of Medicinal Cannabis in partnership with the Military Laboratory of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Products and the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Lisbon. President of the Board of APCNNA – Portuguese Association for Information on Cannabis, intends to develop projects dedicated to the dissemination, education and training in medical cannabis to health professionals and the general public, thus promoting excellence in professional practice and safe and effective access. to cannabinoid therapies.

 

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[Disclaimer: Please note that this text was originally written in Portuguese and is translated into English and other languages ​​using an automatic translator. Some words may differ from the original and typos or errors may occur in other languages.]

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