Home Health & Hospice

Q: Are there key times during patient care that staff should actively look for signs of pain?

Homecare Insider, October 28, 2013

Q: Not all of our homecare patients openly express when they are feeling pain. Are there key times during patient care that staff should actively look for signs of pain?

A: The absence of a report of pain does not mean that pain does not exist, and there are many reasons that a patient may not complaining. Some clients simply cannot express or respond to pain, others may be embarrassed to admit pain, or cultural differences could play a role. Clinical staff should maintain a high degree of suspicion and carefully observe clients for pain:

  • During personal care and activities of daily living (ADL)
  • During movement, transfers, and ambulation
  • During and after activities
  • After pain medications or nondrug nursing interventions have been given. Inform the nurse if problems are noted

Relieving pain is a key nursing measure and an important responsibility. You are an important partner in the pain management team. Using basic comfort measures will increase client satisfaction and enhance quality of life.