Essay on Barriers to Effective Pain Management

Words: 3754
Pages: 16

Barriers to Effective Pain Management


Pain is a fundamental and inevitable form of human suffering, the experience which is unique to every individual.

Nurses have a unique role in alleviating the pain experienced by their patients. With their professional knowledge and regular close contacts with patients, they are ideally placed to listen and respond to any concerns. Taking time to assess the individual will allow for the development of a thrusting relationship between the nurse and patient. Accurate assessment and documentation can help to chart the multi- dimensional nature of the pain, aiding decision making and patient care planning (Mcguie 1992).

Adequate control of pain is only achieved in 50% of patients
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Regular education sessions in the hospital with numerous health care professions from different specialties may be a great opportunity for nurses and other health care professionals to learn together.

Communication Barriers

The collection of information at assessment is dependent on the nurse’s ability to communicate effectively. However, nurses commonly lack the skills required in this area.

Health care professionals often expect the patients to complain spontaneously of pain and patients often assume the nurse will enquire about their pain. This is one significant issue within communication that is commonly demonstrated in practice. Certain nurses don’t even ask the patient if they are experiencing pain. This is a serious issue as patients may be reluctant to report their pain because they don’t want to appear unpopular or don’t want to distract the health care professionals from treating their condition. The omission of verbal assessment may result in these patients suffering unnecessary pain for a prolonged period of time. This can have devastating long term consequences to an individual’s health.

A quantity of nurses may employ some form of verbal communication to the patient’s pain assessment. However, they usually confine the assessment to asking one question only, such as, are you experiencing any pain at present? This can be misinterpreting as the patient may be pain free lying still in bed, yet the