Pain scoring as a formal pain assessment tool
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Pain scoring as a formal pain assessment tool

Helen Taylor Pain Control Co-ordinator, Warwick Hospital

This article describes the introduction of subjective pain scoring as a pain assessment tool to the surgical unit of a district general hospital. The author highlights the advantages, and explains the actions taken to overcome the problems of changing practice through the introduction of a formal pain assessment tool

The working party report by the Royal College of Surgeons and The College of Anaesthetists (1990) concluded that the management of pain after surgery was unsatisfactory. A number of studies were cited showing that a significant number of patients experienced an unacceptable degree of pain after surgery. The report made several recommendations, including:

Hospital staff education should be improved and traditional attitudes to post-operative pain relief challenged

Pain should be assessed and recorded systematically, involving the patient whenever possible

New methods of pain control should be introduced and existing methods used more effectively

Audit should take place along with continuous appraisal of activity.

Nursing Standard. 11, 35, 40-42. doi: 10.7748/ns.11.35.40.s49

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