At St. Vincent's, our nurses, pharmacists, anesthesia staff, and physicians are dedicated to relieving your pain.
Pain that is left uncontrolled can lead to problems such as loss of function, sleep problems, and depression. So it's important to be honest about your pain, and to determine the level of pain you are experiencing so that you can communicate it to your physician, nurse, and family.
A pain rating scale helps you describe how much pain you are feeling, and helps your medical team measure how well the treatments are relieving your pain.
Your doctor or nurse will ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 1-10 with 0 being no pain and 10 being terrible pain. This will be done on a regular basis and any time the potential pain is present, such as an injury, surgery, or infection. You will also be asked to rate your pain before and after you take your pain medication. By doing this, you can help your physician know whether your medication is working.
When it comes to pain, many people believe they should "tough it out." However, unrelieved pain actually can be harmful to you, according to research studies. Pain can make it hard to do things like getting out of bed, walking, and sleeping which will slow healing and recovery.
Everyone is different when it comes to pain. Many people need a pain rating of 3 or less to be able to function without problems. Studies show that ratings of 4 or higher make it difficult for patients to carry out activities.
Talk openly and honestly with your doctor and nurse about what you feel is an acceptable level of pain control. This provides your healthcare team with valuable information to meet your pain relief needs.
After reading this information, if you and your family have any questions about pain or how to manage your pain, talk to your doctor or nurse. They will be able to answer your questions and work with you to develop the best pain management plan for you.
Pediatric Pain Management
As a parent, it is difficult to see your child in pain. At St. Vincent's, we want to do everything we can to make your child's stay as pain-free as possible. Our nurses, pharmacists, anesthesia staff, and physicians are dedicated to relieving your child's pain and are here for you, too, to address any questions or concerns you may have about your child's care.
It's important to determine if your child is in pain. Sometimes, children cannot put their pain into words. REMEMBER: Pain that is left uncontrolled can lead to problems such as loss of appetite, reduction in fluid intake, restlessness, irritability, and loss of sleep. So it's very important to assist the healthcare team in determining your child's pain levels so that the most appropriate pain management treatments and medications can be utilized.
How can I help my child describe pain to the doctor or nurse?
A pain rating scale helps your child and/or you describe how much pain he or she is feeling, and helps your healthcare team measure how well their treatments are relieving your child's pain.
When will my child use a pain rating scale?
The FACES Pain Scale will be used any time your child is experiencing pain or the potential for pain is present such as drawing blood, after surgery, or during periods of illness. Crying, facial expressions, holding of breath, rigid body posture, drawing up of legs, agitation, and clinging can be indicators of pain and should be reported to the nurses and doctor.
How do I help in my child's pain control plan and treatment?
As a parent, you play a key role in the management of your child's pain. You know your child better than anyone. You can help the healthcare team to identify those things that cause or increase your child's pain as well as methods that provide comfort. These could include medications, a favorite toy or blanket, rocking, a special position, and a way of being held or cuddled.
After reading this information, if you and your child have any questions about pain or how to manage the pain, talk to your child's doctor or nurse. They will be able to answer your questions and work with you to develop the best pain management plan for your child.