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Pain 

Chapter:
Pain
Author(s):

Maria Flynn

, and Dave Mercer

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198743477.003.0023
Page of

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date: 23 October 2019

It is widely recognized that the experience of pain is unique to the individual, which makes caring for people in pain a challenge. The general hospital nurse is most likely to see people in pain due to an acute injury, an episode of ill health, following surgery, or at a wound dressing change. People living with chronic pain conditions will most often be in the care of community nurses or specialist pain management teams. In both acute and chronic pain conditions, it is important that general nurses can accurately assess, monitor, and treat pain. This chapter identifies the key features of acute and chronic pain and describes pain assessment tools which are in widespread use. It outlines common pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches to pain management, along with a summary table of frequently prescribed pain medications. Key considerations in nursing practice and decision-making are outlined.

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