The way we ask for someone's pain level? - page 6

I've come across patients, usually post op, that needs to be routinely assessed on their pain levels. Now I'm trying to look for a way to ask them on their pain level without planting into their... Read More

  1. by   FMF Corpsman
    Quote from tewdles
    My pain assessment is a bit different dependent upon where I am working, what the goals and focus of the care is, and how much time I have.

    In the ED I am going to get directly to the point and may poke you in the stomach to prove you have acute pain... ;-)
    In the PICU I am going to ask you about owies, and am going to watch your every movement and VS.
    In the L&D, I am not going to ask you anything, I am going to offer you something before you kill that young man next to your bed.
    In the office I am going to sit for a few minutes and talk about your aches and pains using whatever language you use to tell your friends about them.

    In hospice, I make certain that I understand exactly what YOU want (which may takes hours to unwrap using whatever tools available) and then I work tirelessly to make certain you never have to WANT for better pain relief.
    Tewdles, you make a very good point, so far one that hasn't been spelled out quite as well. Each nurse or at least, each specialty needs to develop their own method or nomenclature to utilize when assessing their patients pain levels. Obviously, Pediatrics might have some degree of difficulty understanding what it is exactly you are asking them, just as someone whose first language was something other than English. This is a little bit off the pain score, but I once had a woman the staff was trying to collect a urine specimen from and try as they might, they simply couldn't communicate with her. It wasn't until someone finally came up with instructing her to "pi$$ in the cup," that she finally understood. Sometimes communicating with patients can be difficult and occasionally, we have to look from where they came to get a better understanding of how to reach them. Being able to do that doesn't diminish us, it makes us all the better.