In your professional opinion, what is the difference between chronic and acute pain? How is the assessment for each type of pain different? What must you keep in mind when assessing acute pain? What must you keep in mind when assessing chronic pain? Reflect upon a time when you assessed a patient in pain. What did you do well? What points could you have improved upon? How did the pain impact the patient? What specific treatments could have lessened the impact of the pain on the patient?
Expert Answer and Explanation
Assessment and Management of Pain
How Acute Pain is Different from Chronic Pain
Pain can either be acute or chronic, and the two differ in terms of the time they last, and the manner in which they occur. The former is sharp, occurs suddenly, and it does not go beyond a 3-month period. An example is pain linked to menstrual cycles in female. The latter takes a period that is not less than 12 weeks, and it is characterized by pain that continues even following the healing of the illness that is responsible for the pain. An example is the pain that results from the nerve damage (Crofford, 2015).
Difference in the Assessment of each Type of Pain
Different methods of assessment are used for different forms of pain, and when assessing the acute pain, for example, one may use the Numerical Rating Scales (NRS). This tool determines the intensity of the pain. Unlike this assessment, assessing chronic pain is systematic, and it involves critical procedures focused on identifying the source and the intensity of the pain. The process starts with exploring the patient’s health background, and evaluation of the characteristics of the pain. It also involves neurological exam to collect the subjective clinical information (Crofford, 2015).
What to consider when assessing Acute Pain
When examining the acute pain, one should consider the pain’s characteristics, severity and location. This information can help the individual conducting the assessment to know the affected area, the severity and intensity, and make inferences about the kind of pain (Raffaeli & Arnaudo, 2017).
What to take into Account during the Assessment of Chronic Pain
When assessing chronic pain, one should take into account the patient’s mental health, the previous medications the patient took, and the allergic reactions they have had while taking the pharmacological agents (Raffaeli & Arnaudo, 2017).
What I did well in terms of Assessment of Pain
Reflecting on thee past patient encounter, I managed to do certain things well in terms of the assessment of the pain. For instance, I observed the pain including how they psychologically responded, and relied on the patient to state the scale, intensity and location of the pain (Joypaul et al., 2019).
What I could have improved
Despite me assessing pain in an effective manner, I will need to consider identifying the source of the patient’s pain when making decisions pertaining to the assessment of the pain.
How the Pain impacted the Patient
The pain affected the emotional and psychological wellbeing of the patient considering that they became stressed. This further exacerbated the patient’s illness by causing the rise in their blood pressure (Joypaul et al., 2019).
Treatments which could have helped lessen Pain
Fentanyl was used to relieve the patient’s pain. The medication began working 1- 3 hours after administering it.
Crofford, L. J. (2015). Chronic Pain: Where the Body Meets the Brain. Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association, 126, 167–183. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4530716/.
Joypaul, S., Kelly, F., McMillan, S.S., & King, M.A. (2019) Multi-disciplinary interventions for chronic pain involving education: A systematic review. PLoS ONE 14(10). Doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0223306.
Raffaeli, W., & Arnaudo, E. (2017). Pain as a disease: an overview. Journal of pain research, 10, 2003–2008. Doi https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S138864.
[ANSWERED] Create your own script for building a health history and use the Health History Template for guidance (consider the type of language you would use to help your patient be more comfortable).