Evaluating Pain Management Strategies
An important aspect of caring for the patient in pain is reassess-ing the pain after the intervention has been implemented. The measure’s effectiveness is based on the patient’s assessment of pain, as reflected in pain assessment tools. If the intervention was ineffective, the nurse needs to consider other measures. If these are ineffective, the pain relief goals need to be reassessed in col-laboration with the physician. The nurse serves as a patient ad-vocate in obtaining additional pain relief.
After interventions have had a chance to work, the patient is asked to rate the intensity of pain. This assessment is repeated at appropriate intervals after the intervention and compared with the previous rating. These assessments indicate the effectiveness of the pain relief measures and provide a basis for continuing or modifying the plan of care. See the accompanying Plan of Nurs-ing Care for more information.
Expected patient outcomes may include:
1. Achieves pain relief
a. Rates pain at a lower intensity (on a scale of 0 to 10) after intervention
b. Rates pain at a lower intensity for longer periods
2. Patient or family administers prescribed analgesic medica-tions correctly
a. States correct dose of medication
b. Administers correct dose using correct procedure
c. Identifies side effects of medication
d. Describes actions taken to prevent or correct side effects
3. Uses nonpharmacologic pain strategies as recommended
a. Reports practice of nonpharmacologic strategies
b. Describes expected outcomes of nonpharmacologic strategies
4. Reports minimal effects of pain and minimal side effects of interventions
a. Participates in activities important to recovery (eg, drink-ing fluids, coughing, ambulating)
b. Participates in activities important to self and to family (eg, family activities, interpersonal relationships, par-enting, social interaction, recreation, work)
c. Reports adequate sleep and absence of fatigue and constipation
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