Effective Measures Toward Pain Management, comment


Nursing assessment plays a significant role in the management of pain in caring for a patient.  Pain being a very subjective area to measure you can not only take the subjective level of pain you must also take into account the objective level of pain observed.  The level of pain is a grey area; it is not as simple as being in pain or not being in pain.  There are different levels to the pain and this varies from patient to patient.  Each patient has their own level of pain tolerance.  For example; in the practice I work in now we use a NIBP to measure the patients’ blood pressure in which most patients are not affected by this instrument.  However there are some patients that cannot tolerate the NIBP, it is too painful for them to use to measure their blood pressure; these patients have a lower threshold for pain.  They experience pain in a different way, however their pain is real.  As a nurse you need to be alert and conscious of each patient’s pain threshold.

An accurate pain assessment holds such an imperative function of a nurses advanced health assessment when caring for their patients.  When a nurse is functioning in the role of some area of forensic nursing their experience and knowledge of pain assessment may be called upon to use in their responsibility as a forensic nurse.  For example; if a forensic nurse is being called upon in the court of law to provide testimony in a legal matter they may have to incorporate this experience and knowledge of assessing pain to give an honest and accurate testimony.  Another example of pain assessment being incorporated into forensic nursing would be when a forensic nurse is assessing a possible victim of abuse; the victim may downplay their pain.  As a victim they may try to hide their pain and the forensic nurse will be required to be able to observe accurately any objective signs of pain to give the victim the care they need.

Original Post

September 2, 2009

Title: Effective Measures Toward Pain Management

Pain is an alteration in ones comfort level, which can significantly impact the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Pain is a subjective experience that can only be explained by the patient. Cultural and ethnicity are a few factors that influences patients response to pain, to improve outcomes nurses must be able to understand pain from a cultural perceptive. People respond to and view pain differently. Among various groups for various reasons emotions may or may not accompany pain it is viewed by some as an act of punishment or as a spiritual test. Having knowledge of patient’s views and how they define pain is very valuable in that it can assist the nurse in achieving positive outcomes by incorporating this information in the plan of care. Nurses who ignore or refuse to develop cultural sensitivity not only do they violate patients’ rights but also a chance of having a trustful relationship and without this you can expect poor outcomes. Pain is often poorly assessed and poorly managed due to reasons like misconceptions and nurses lack knowledge. This usually leads to under medications and poor outcomes, such as the post-op abdominal surgery patient that develop pneumonia because is unable to perform cough and deep breath exercises every 2hrs secondary to pain because of the nurses’ misconceptions about administering pain medication to a patient with history substance abuse. To achieve goals of effective pain management nurses must first be aware of their values and personal beliefs concerning pain and the behaviors associated with it, this will assist in developing an awareness and sensitivity to the patient’s need. Nurses must be knowledgeable and skilled in collection of both subjective and objective data (by accepting the patients’ assessment of pain by using pain assessment tools and observation of emotional behaviors such as crying or moaning), which will assist in identifying the intensity of patients’ pain and promote better outcomes. Misconceptions must be explored and addressed because these also impact outcomes, such as administering pain med on regular basis will lead to addiction or those who abuse drugs usually over exaggerate their pain, by acknowledging these misconceptions nurses will be able address patients’ pain related issues more professionally and improve steps toward effective pain management.

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