There are a number of factors involved in regards to a nurse's best practice associated in pain management. To ask a patient 'do you have pain?' is not an adequate intervention for effective pain management by nurses. As the literature shows, pain assessment is a much more comprehensive and important aspect of best practice. Firstly, the assessment of pain is both integral to understanding the patient and their experience of pain, and allowing the management of this pain to be of the highest standard. Pain management can only be executed to its full degree if the assessment is accurate and comprehensive, relating specifically to the individual. As Seers & Friedli (as cited in Manias et al, 2002) explains 'Indeed, pain is more than 'an unpleasant sensory or emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage; it is also determined by the…[individuals'] specific context and the meaning they give to their pain.' Another important factor to look at is the interpretation and analysis of this assessment. This is essential in deciding what interventions are appropriate for the individuals care (Daly, L 1999). These topics will be further explored and discussed throughout this essay and supported by the relevant literature.
Pain assessment must be accurate. To achieve this, the nurse must firstly provide an environment in which the patient is able to speak freely about their pain. The nurse should therefore create a trusting, non-judgemental therapeutic relationship with the patient. As McCaffery et al (as cited in Horbury et al 2005) states '...the patients' self-report of pain is the single most reliable indicator of pain.' The honesty of their self-report of pain coincides with a healthy therapeutic relationship with the nurse. Mistrust between the patient and the nurse can cause ineffective pain management due to the underreporting or exaggerated reporting of pain (Daly 1999). Therefore, for the integrity of patient assessment, it is vital that...
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