Pain Assessment

Key Takeaways

  • Pain is a complex phenomenon that is often conceptualized as an unpleasant, sensory experience associated with, or resembling that associated with, actual or potential tissue damage.
  • Although self-report is generally considered the gold standard, pain can affect individuals in many ways, so a multifaceted approach to assessment is required.
  • If you are not aware of your cultural biases, you may judge the validity of another person’s pain based on your own answers.
  • Always remember: pain is what the client tells you it is. This is an important tip because of the unconscious bias and myths concerning pain that result in institutional racism and ageism.
  • Pain assessments are often repeated to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment and medication.
  • Choosing the correct pain tool, and using a combination of subjective and objective assessments along with critical thinking, are vital to the accuracy of your assessment.


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