Patient-controlled analgesia
Intended for healthcare professionals
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Patient-controlled analgesia

Nicky Thomas Senior Research, Fellow, Department of Nursing Studies, King’s College, London

This article describes the use and the benefits of this increasingly popular method of pain control. It relates to UKCC Professional Development category: Care enhancement

Aim and intended learning outcomes

The aim of this continuing education article is to develop the reader’s understanding of the basic principles of patient-controlled analgesia (PCA), its clinical uses and the factors that influence its effectiveness. At the end of the article, you should be able to:

Explain briefly how a PCA system works

Describe the advantages and disadvantages of PCA

Understand the importance of monitoring a patient using PCA

Explain the importance of patient control.

Nursing Standard. 10, 47, 49-55. doi: 10.7748/ns.10.47.49.s52

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