Barriers to Effective Pain Management

Topics: Pain, Health care provider, Patient, Suffering, Health care / Pages: 16 (3762 words) / Published: Jan 27th, 2011
Barriers to Effective Pain Management


Pain is a fundamental and inevitable form of human suffering, the experience which is unique to every individual.

Nurses have a unique role in alleviating the pain experienced by their patients. With their professional knowledge and regular close contacts with patients, they are ideally placed to listen and respond to any concerns. Taking time to assess the individual will allow for the development of a thrusting relationship between the nurse and patient. Accurate assessment and documentation can help to chart the multi- dimensional nature of the pain, aiding decision making and patient care planning (Mcguie 1992).

Adequate control of pain is only achieved in 50% of patients in Western societies. This emphasizes that pain control is a serious problem for a great number of patients. Health care professionals, patients and the health care system itself all contribute to this problem. Other factors that add to this undesirable situation include the following:

- Poor decision making on part of health care professionals - myths and misconceptions about pain and opoids - patients non compliance with treatment and their reluctance to report pain - Problems within the organization of health care

Pain assessment and management is an integral part of the daily nursing routine. Health care professionals must strive to overcome the barriers to effective pain management in practice. The tendency to under medicate older adults may be related to several factors, including misguided beliefs, fears regarding complications, and a failure to assess ant treat confused older adults. It is imperative that nurses don’t act upon false misconceptions in delivering patient care.

The management of pain in the elderly represents a considerable nursing challenge. This is because the elderly are more likely to experience both acute and chronic pain than their younger counterparts. Age related

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