Role of the nurse in the assessment and management of post-operative pain
evidence and practice    

Role of the nurse in the assessment and management of post-operative pain

Anne-Marie Coll Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Life Science and Education, Lower Glyntaff Campus, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, Wales
Rebecca Jones Community Nurse, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, Bridgend, Wales

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand patients’ experience of post-operative pain

  • To develop an effective method of assessing patients’ post-operative pain

  • To recognise the nurse’s role in the management of post-operative pain

While post-operative pain is a common and unavoidable consequence of surgery, evidence suggests that the levels of pain experienced by patients are unnecessarily high. In the past two decades, evidence has also indicated that nurses’ knowledge of the assessment and effective management of pain is suboptimal. This article considers the elements required for an effective post-operative pain assessment, as well as examining the barriers that result in many patients’ post-operative pain not being assessed. The article also provides an overview of the main pain management interventions available to nurses.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11530



Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Coll AM, Jones R (2020) Role of the nurse in the assessment and management of post-operative pain. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11530

Date accepted 13 February 2020

Published online: 16 March 2020

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Try 1 month’s access for just £1 and get:

Your subscription package includes:
  • Full access to and the Nursing Standard app
  • The monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student
Already subscribed? Log in

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now