Margo McCaffery, a nurse expert on pain, defined pain as “pain is whatever the person says it is and exists whenever the person says it does.” Physical pain experienced by the patient is highly subjective. Pain is usually associated with tissue damage and is an emotional and sensory experience for the person.
It is also self-evident that acute pain indicates that the person is in agony due to an accident or sickness. Suffering patients will seek help, support, and relief as soon as possible. The discomfort seldom lasts longer than six months. The physiological symptoms of pain appear over time.
The detection of pain in older patients becomes challenging as they suffer from sensory-perceptual deficits and cognitive impairment. The assessment and management of acute diagnoses is the primary emphasis of the care plan.
Symptoms of Acute Pain
The following are some of the most frequent symptoms of acute pain:
- The most common symptom of acute pain is when the patient complains about it. It is also the most prevalent primary issue that sends patients to their doctors.
- The Wong-Baker FACES scale, a numeric rating system, is handy in determining the degree of pain.
- Aching, burning, electric shock, pins, and needles are all common pain characteristics.
- Additional signs of discomfort include moaning, weeping, and agitation.
- Other autonomic reactions to pain include pupil dilation, increased blood pressure, and excessive perspiration.
Some nursing plans for persons suffering from acute pain are:
- Brain Tumor
Nursing Assessment of Acute Pain
The pain in the person’s body should be appropriately managed and assessed by nurses who play a crucial role. These steps should be carried out in the diagnosis of acute pain.
1. Comprehensive assessment of pain
A comprehensive assessment of pain is the first task that needs to be done. The inspections can reveal the onset of pain, its length, quality, frequency, and intensity. An interview can also be used to determine optimum pain, which assists the nurse in developing optimal pain management methods.
There is also a nursing mnemonic “PQRST” that guides through pain assessment:
- Provoking Factors: What are the factors that make the pain better or worse?
- Quality: The review of the characteristic of pain, whether it is dull, throbbing, stabbing, etc.?
- Region: Showing the place from where the pain originates
- Severity: Different pain rating methods to rate its severity
- Temporal: The duration of the pain, whether it affects the region continuously or comes and goes.
2. Analysis to find out the area affected by pain
Drawings of the body recognize the specific point of pain. Patients suffering from acute pain are also asked to pinpoint the affected location. This technique is particularly effective for children.
3. Investigate the medical history of pain
Nurses can identify the history of the pain. Prior therapeutic intervention and medications are taken. The allergies and side-effects of receiving medication.
4. Determine the patient’s view of treatment
The patient view of his medical history can be evaluated by asking him. He must be asked what the pain means to him and how he manages it. The effect of pain on his mental health should also be accounted for.
5. Showing up of vital signs needs to be addressed
Facilities for routine check-ups should be made available, and the nurse at duty must make reluctant patients speak.
6. Determine the patient’s requirement
Some patients want the pain to be eliminated entirely, while others are satisfied when they find out that it is no longer intense. This often is crucial in determining the treatment the patient will opt for.
7. Determine factors that will diminish pain
Nurses can inquire patients about any techniques that they can practice, like meditation or deep breathing, that helps decrease pain. These techniques can well be a part of pain management planning.
8. Evaluation of a patient’s response to Pain Management Strategies
The effect of pain relief measures must be understood and expressed by patients. The meaning of pain can differ from patient to patient. Some may consider the physical pain of suffering as a divine penalty.
Intervention from the Nurse’s end for Acute Pain
Nurses should be more occupied with treating patients. These are some exceptional cases where nurses intervene for therapeutic purposes.
1. Providing pain-relief measures in critical situations
An analgesic is used for pain relief before the pain becomes severe. It is also administered just before surgery to reduce pain. It is also used before postural drainage, dressing changes, physical therapy.
2. Accepting the patient’s pain and providing pain relief
Nurses should have faith in the patient’s concern about his body and the pain he is undergoing. Not relying on pharmaceutical medications to manage physical and cognitive-behavioral issues can provide patients with much-needed pain alleviation.
The expected outcome of pain relief measures:
- The patient will reach a level of pain that is tolerable.
- He will try to experiment with a clutch of pharmacological techniques.
- His comfort level will gradually increase.
- He will try to show up an increase in activity level.
- The patient will henceforth notify a member of the healthcare team when his pain exceeds the tolerable limit.
Some patients suffer from chronic pains and are regularly administered pharmacological drugs at home for pain relief. The pain management plan for somebody receiving these drugs is different from those who never suffered from it.
Proper medication and a healthy meal delivered to your doorstep will be an ideal way to reduce pain. The expression of happiness and ache varies for people coming from different cultures. The presentation in some cultures is remarkably suppressed; the key to joy, however, lies in being open. The solution lies in frequent pain assessment and communication.