Pain: Defined by patient or provider?

  1. I recently had to take a test that my clinical site requires and there was a question about how pain is defined or something like that (can't remember exact wording).

    There were three choices for answers (can't remember all three either). The answer I chose was "pain is what the patient says it is." Because that is what I have been taught all through school. Imagine my surprise when I got the answer wrong! The correct answer was "the healthcare provider is best suited to determine pain." WTH?

    I wandered if this answer was some kind of mistake or something? I really thought pain is what the patient says it is. Any thoughts?
    •  
  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Angels'
    wildcats:

    Welcome to the AllNurses Forums

    A returning student
    Angels’
  4. by   grannynurse FNP student
    Quote from wildcats
    I recently had to take a test that my clinical site requires and there was a question about how pain is defined or something like that (can't remember exact wording).

    There were three choices for answers (can't remember all three either). The answer I chose was "pain is what the patient says it is." Because that is what I have been taught all through school. Imagine my surprise when I got the answer wrong! The correct answer was "the healthcare provider is best suited to determine pain." WTH?

    I wandered if this answer was some kind of mistake or something? I really thought pain is what the patient says it is. Any thoughts?

    Don't know where you are located but pain is what the patient says it is and how severe it is. The healthcare provider is the one who prescribes but should do it with his patient's complaint.

    Grannynurse
  5. by   suzy253
    nope--doesn't sound right to me.

    pain is whatever the patient says it is.....that's what I was taught.

    I would question it with the instructor(s)
  6. by   luvmy2angels
    I agree, we have always been taught that pain is what the patient is.
  7. by   AtlantaRN
    wrong...pain is "subjective", it's whatever the patient says it is...and if we don't treat pain...we are NEGLEGENT!!!

    look up law suits regarding undertreatment of pain complaints....$$$$$$$$$

    linda
  8. by   GingerSue
    pain is what the patient says it is

    ask your instructor about that one - and provide a page number in a textbook to justify your answer

    (I have found in my own exams that there have been questions/answers that were wrong/error/etc - and the instructor does listen)
  9. by   cindyRN 2006
    Pain is determined by the patient. Pain is what the patient says it is, that is why we provide the pain scale because pain is subjective so we give the PATIENT a scale to rate THEIR pain. I have always been told this in school pain is what the patient says it is. Exsists when the patient says it does and is as severe as the patient reports it. Does your instructor agree that it is up to the health care professional to judge this??? I sure hope not that is just a scarry thought. Good Luck!!!!
  10. by   wildcats
    The instructor agrees pain is what the patient says it is. The test was written by the clinical site (a really large hospital). So maybe it was an error on the test but if not I don't think I want this facility treating me for pain anytime if their philosophy is pain is determined by the healthcare provider.

close