Symptoms: Using Medications to Manage Symptoms

In hospice palliative care, effectively managing symptoms is key to providing comfort for the dying.

Kath Murray teaches basic principles of pain management using medications. This podcast will help you to understand how to treat different types of pain, the importance of treating all pain, and how to keep pain under control for the patient.


  • 0’00” Start
  • 0’08” Principles for Using Medications to Manage Symptoms.
  • 0’45” More than one medication may be needed.
  • 1’20” Medications need to be given regularly and around the clock.
  • 2’08” Giving the right dose of medication.
  • 2’40” Give breakthrough doses as needed.
  • 3’00” Start with the oral route.
  • 3’38” Consider other routes as necessary .
  • 3’55” Be prepared for changes in symptoms.
  • 4’26” Respond to family concerns around medications.
  • 5’38” Examples of care giving scenarios with medications.
  • 6’36” Start with short acting medications.
  • 7’48” Families may be concerned about their loved one becoming drowsy.

Chapter 3, Enhancing comfort and managing symptoms, Essentials in Hospice Palliative Care, 2nd Edition, Katherine Murray, 2009.

Study Guide for Nurses, Enhancing comfort and managing symptoms, Essentials in Hospice Palliative Care Workbook, 2009
Managing Pain, Essential’s Videos.

Powerpoints™ – Introduction to Pain, Teaching Presentation.

Written and recorded by Katherine Murray, All Rights Reserved, Life and Death Matters, 2010.