Questions to determine patient pain

  1. 0
    Hi, All!

    I am a student in an LPN program, end of my 2nd quarter out of 5 quarter program.

    I am working on an essay question for a self-study take home test. One of the questions asks how I would assess a patient with post/op pain in order to understand their level of distress. I've read the chapter on pain, and I understand all about the 1-10 pain rating scale. What other particular questions should I ask? "Where is it located? Can you describe it? Is it constant? Sharp/dull?" What else? I tried searching this web site, but couldn't find any questions to ask the patient (nor on Google).

    I have to turn this test in next Monday. (Dec. 3, I think). Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!:spin:

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  2. 14 Comments...

  3. 2
    I like to use the OPQRST protocol, it gives a pretty good picture:

    Onset - What were you doing when the pain started? Did the pain come on suddenly or gradual?
    Provocation - does anything make the pain go away? Does anything make it worse?
    Quality - how would you describe the pain? Is it pain or pressure? Is it steady? (try not to put words in the pts mouth, let them describe the sensation).
    Radiation - Does the pain move? Where does it hurt the most? (Pointing with one finger is a good way to get specificity).
    Severity - the 1-10 scale. Ask how it feels now and how it felt when the pain began.
    Time - when did the pain start? Ever feel anything like this before? (If yes, find out what happened).

    Modify as necessary depending on the situation.

    G'luck.
    Last edit by emtb2rn on Nov 27, '07 : Reason: forgot a word here and there...
    Hydakins and studentnurse67 like this.
  4. 1
    Also, when using the pain scale, many people will say that the goal should be... "patient reports a level 3 or less." But it should be what the patient considers to be adequate. Pain is subjective, therefore a "3" is not a standard concept. I would mention something to that effect.
    studentnurse67 likes this.
  5. 1
    Also, don't forget to follow-up to make sure that pain has decreased after administering a pain medication!
    studentnurse67 likes this.
  6. 1
    sometimes pain occurs when doing something. be sure to ask when the pain began & what the pt was doing with this pain occured. if the pain is reproducible then what relieves the pain, is it meds, destraction, repositioning or what. you can also ask how frequently the pain comes & goes, this can help you prepare a med & give them the pain med before they are @ a 6/10 or whatever. the goal should be to minimize the discomfort of the pt.
    studentnurse67 likes this.
  7. 0
    [quote=emtb2rn;2516851]I like to use the OPQRST protocol, it gives a pretty good picture:

    Onset - What were you doing when the pain started? Did the pain come on suddenly or gradual?
    Provocation - does anything make the pain go away? Does anything make it worse?
    Quality - how would you describe the pain? Is it pain or pressure? Is it steady? (try not to put words in the pts mouth, let them describe the sensation).
    Radiation - Does the pain move? Where does it hurt the most? (Pointing with one finger is a good way to get specificity).
    Severity - the 1-10 scale. Ask how it feels now and how it felt when the pain began.
    Time - when did the pain start? Ever feel anything like this before? (If yes, find out what happened).

    These are great questions--thanks so much for your help!
    Laurel :spin:
  8. 1
    You can use the FLACC scale, if they're non-verbal.
    studentnurse67 likes this.
  9. 0
    Quote from mcknis
    Also, don't forget to follow-up to make sure that pain has decreased after administering a pain medication!
    Good point. We have to reassess one hour after administration.
  10. 0
    Quote from Conrad283
    You can use the FLACC scale, if they're non-verbal.
    There are many other scales besides this one to determine pain in non verbal pts. This one is probably the most used though.
  11. 1
    Another one in addition to the PQRST that We were taught is 'OLD CART'
    O- onset
    L- location
    D- duration

    C- characteristics
    A- aggravating and allieviating factors
    R- radiation
    T- time pain started
    studentnurse67 likes this.


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