Pain and Pain Management
Presbyterian Wants You To Know We Care About Your Pain
Your health care team at Presbyterian will believe what you tell us about your pain and how it is affecting you.
We will work with you and your family to:
- Have your pain looked into and promptly treated.
- Have your pain looked at regularly, and your treatment changed if your pain has not been eased.
- Stop your pain if possible, or find ways to help you control your pain to get around during life or give you comfort at the end of life.
Presbyterian's Pain Management Plan is to prevent pain when possible, and treat pain as quickly as we can by:
- Checking your pain -Your pain is important to us. Nursing personnel will ask you if you have pain when they check your temperature, pulse, respirations, and blood pressure. You will be asked to rate your pain on a 0-10 scale. Zero means "No Pain" and 10 means the "Worst Pain Possible". For infants or patients unable to speak, the nurses will use other pain scales.
- Understanding your pain - If your pain score is 4 or more, we will look at how long the pain lasts, how much it hurts, and other aspects of the pain, such as how it affects your mood and what you do everyday.
- Diagnosing Your Pain -We may use various tests, and ask experts who will help us understand the causes of your pain. We will work with you on a plan to help you feel better.
- Helping Your Pain - We will look at medicine and other therapies to treat the causes of the pain, and, if we can, give you relief from the pain, and as much ability to get around as possible.
- Learning More About Your Pain -We offer you and your family or caregivers information to help YOU control your pain, instead of the pain controlling you and what you do.
The Truth About Pain
- Pain is NOT a natural part of aging. Constant pain may be treated with long-acting medicines.
- Pain can usually be controlled. The pain you have every now and then should be treated during the painful activity. Other therapies such as a TENS machine, hot and cold therapy, massage, biofeedback, imagery, relaxation, stress management, and support groups also help manage pain.
- Pain can be prevented during painful procedures, and by treating pain quickly when it starts. Treating pain right away controls pain more easily with less medicine.
- Pain is harmful. Pain can slow healing, prevent deep breathing and important movement after surgery. It may also make you have more constant pain, make you moody or sad, make you tired, keep you from sleeping, keep you from exercising, and cause problems with your family or job. Pain can also make the end of someone's life less peaceful.
- Pain medication should not be avoided. Some people fear using strong narcotic medicine to relieve severe pain because they believe they will become addicted. Use of pain medicine within the hospital rarely causes addiction. Don't be afraid to take enough medication to do what we need you to do for recovery.
How We Measure Pain
Each person has different pain. A person feels pain based on their past, their family, their culture, and their spirituality in addition to physical injury, disease, or surgery.
Because each person's pain is different, health care providers must rely on YOU, the patient, to tell us how much pain you have, and how it is affecting your life.
Pain cannot be measured by a machine like your temperature, pulse, or blood pressure can. Your health care team members will ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 0 -10. Zero means "No Pain" and 10 means the "Worst Pain Possible".
Very Severe Pain
Worst Pain Possible
The 0-10 scale will help you and your health care team to know if your pain management plan is working, or needs to be changed to better manage your pain.
Your health care team at Presbyterian will believe what you tell us about your pain and how it is affecting your life. We will work with you and your family to stop your pain if possible, or find ways to help you control your pain to get around during life or give you comfort at the end of life.