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Nursing care for a patient with pain


Set of activities performed by the nurse when faced with a patient presenting with pain.

Objectives:

– To relieve or reduce pain to a level of tolerance that is acceptable to the patient. – To control the pain felt by the patient as much as possible. – To teach the patient and family how to control pain.

Equipment:

Pain rating scales: visual analog and pediatric.

Material:

– Prescribed medication. – Nursing records.

Procedure:

– Perform a comprehensive pain assessment. – Ensure that the patient receives appropriate analgesic care. – Adjust an antalgic position to promote patient comfort. – Use therapeutic communication strategies to acknowledge the pain experience and show acceptance of the patient’s response to pain. – Assess cultural influences on the pain response. – Determine the impact of the pain experience on quality of life (sleep, appetite, activity, relationships, work, etc.). – Evaluate with the patient and family the effectiveness of previous pain control measures. – Provide information about the pain, such as the causes, how long it will last and how to control it. – Assess the patient’s and family’s ability to control their pain. – Control environmental factors that may increase the patient’s discomfort (room temperature, noise, light, etc.). – Administer the prescribed pain medication and evaluate its analgesic effect. – Administer analgesics at the appropriate time to avoid peaks and valleys of analgesia. – Administer complementary analgesics when required by the patient. – Instruct the patient and family to request additional pain medication before pain becomes severe. – Correct patient or family member misconceptions or myths about analgesics, especially opioids. – Instruct the patient and family that receiving narcotics produces drowsiness for 2-3 days, but this drowsiness then subsides. – Assess the efficacy of the analgesic at regular intervals after administration, especially at initial doses, and also observe for signs of adverse effects such as respiratory depression, nausea and vomiting, constipation, and dry mouth. – Assess the level of sedation of patients receiving opioids. – Carry out actions that decrease the adverse effects of analgesics such as constipation or gastric irritation.

– Teach the patient and family the use of non-pharmacological pain relief techniques such as: transcutaneous nerve stimulation, progressive muscle relaxation, music therapy, distraction, acupressure, massage, application of cold or heat. – Administer additional medication to the patient before an activity that will cause pain. – Instigate and modify pain control measures according to the patient’s response. – Encourage adequate rest periods to facilitate pain relief. – Notify the physician if analgesic measures are unsuccessful or if the current pain has undergone a significant change from past experiences of pain. – Record in nursing documentation: the results of objective and subjective pain assessment as well as the patient’s response to pain relief measures taken.

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