Is pain still the "5th Vital Sign"? - page 3

by SuzieF 4,361 Views | 21 Comments

I believe that when we went to using pain as “the 5th vital sign” and began to routinely use a pain rating scale such as “0 to 10”, we watered down the effect of self-reporting with a large portion of our patients. I also... Read More


  1. 0
    The beauty of the 5 traditional vital signs (plus SPO2) is that they're 100% objective data.

    Pain, on the other hand, is purely subjective.

    Pain is important, but not a true vital sign.
  2. 0
    It's still the 6th vital sign.

    Why?
    If a patient is in pain, their HR, RR, and BP can be affected. If you solve the pain issue, you'll get a better picture of what the patient is really going through.

    Overmedication?
    I follow my assessment and doctor's orders. Does it mean overmedication? Not necessarily. If I gave the patient their PRN and they don't exhibit any adverse effect, does it mean I overmedicate them?

    Bottomline, nurses are there to assess and evaluate, to relay to the doctor that the treatment is too little or too much. How can it be then that a doctor can overmedicate when it is still nurses who administer the medication?


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