Patient-controlled analgesia
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Patient-controlled analgesia

Nicky Thomas Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Nursing Studies, King's College, London

This article explains the complexities of this increasingly popular method of pain control. It was first published in Nursing Standard, December 1,1993. Readers who successfully submitted an assessment on first publication may not do so again

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, 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.

This article relates to UKCC Professional Development Category: Care enhancement.

Nursing Standard. 9, 35, 31-37. doi: 10.7748/ns.9.35.31.s31

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