My hospital uses a pain scale of 1-5 with faces. How effective is this, really? I had a patient tell me she was a 5 (worst pain) and yet she was on the phone laughing with a friend. Of course I documented that she said she was a 5 on the scale, but I also documented what she was doing at the time. And yes, I did make sure she knew that a 5 was the worst pain on the scale.
Why can't we go back to just documenting exactly what their pain level is by what they say, what they are doing, and our assessment? If my notes indicate a 5 (worst pain) and I don't document what is really going on with the patient, then I may be omitting information. Then again, a 5 is an oxymoron to how she is behaving with the laughing.
The 5 may be her worst pain, but the face on the scale says it is unbearable. How reliable are these scales?
Webbiedebbie this is another thread I would like to start - how do nurses REALLY assess pain. Yeah we use the 1-10 pain scale with varing success and yes I get the cardiac patient sitting up in bed wolfin thier meal damanding to know what is on TV while telling you their pain is 10/10.
Jay Jay posted this on one of my humour threads and I loved ot so musch I thought I would copy it down here.
A young man in his 20's who had been in a motorcycle accident and collapsed a lung was whining about his chest tube, and how much it hurt. Eventually, the doctor came by to see him.
"What's the problem?" he asked.
"My chest hurts!" whined the young man.
"How much on a scale of 1 to 10?"
"10!" responded the patient, without hesitation.
"I don't think you understand the pain scale," replied the doctor. "If I took two bricks and smashed your balls between them, THAT pain would be a 10. Now, how much does it hurt?"
"Uhhhh.... about a 3, I guess!"
Says it all really.................
Last edit by gwenith on May 13, '03