The opening story is funny! Unfortunately most patients will say "yeah, that's how I feel, like someone smashed my balls with two bricks" as they are sitting there smiling, hads placed neatly on their lap, waving to a passerby.
Um, Chas....I had a patient who was sitting, smiling, chatting, etc. He was there simply for a vital sign check. I asked if he was having any pain at this time. There seemed to be no need to ask about pain, but I have to ask. He said "I have a slight headache right now." "It's a 10/10." Maybe he misunderstood, 10 is the WORST pain ever! Even attempts at educating about the pain scale did not help. It was still a 10/10. I have to disagree with you Chas, this patient even said "slight headache". Sure, we are not to judge a person's perception of pain, but I feel that it would be poor medicine to medicate with a narcotic based on this. If it's a 10 and we are supposed to believe them, then why would we give Tylenol? This guy needs the full treatment. It's a 10! Call 911, get out the big guns, run to the nearest pixis!
Their perception is either a lie, or they do not understand the pain scale. Well, I have already tried to educate this man, so.....
As nurses we are taught to assess. You can assess someone sitting and smiling vs. someone in the fetal position. But we are not allowed to do this because their pain is what they say it is, period. Our assessment skills are being thrown out the window. I think this is a complete joke!
If nursing was doing a bad job at managing pain, I think we could have found a better solution than this.