Sunday, October 21, 2012

Assessing the Pain

Pain Meds for You
I walked into the patient’s room and his adult children stood around his bed concerned about his pain after surgery.  He was still in a lot of pain days later, but told us he didn’t know what the nurses thought was a lot of pain when they asked him how he was feeling.  He just kept saying he was OK figuring that’s what they wanted to hear.
I asked the nurse about him getting medication.  I knew she was busy with other things but thought it was important that she knew he was not wanting to complain but was still hurting.  The nurse agreed and went about her work.  I waited a reasonable amount of time and when she didn’t come, I went back to her desk.  She was still at her desk doing paperwork.  I now asked her “when you assessed his pain on a scale of zero to ten, what number did he give you?”  The nurse looked at her papers, looked at me and jumped to her feet.  Obviously realizing that she, nor anyone else had properly or appropriately assessed his pain, within 3 minutes she was in his room asking about his pain and distributing his pain medication.