Achieving effective pain relief is an important part of your treatment. Pain control or reduction is part of each patient's plan of care at Memorial Hospital. Pain control can help you:
Pain control methods
- Enjoy greater comfort while you heal.
- Get well faster. With less pain, you can start walking, do your breathing exercises and get your strength back more quickly. You may even leave the hospital sooner.
- Improve your results. People whose pain is well controlled seem to recover more quickly from illness or injury.
To get the best results, work with your healthcare team
to choose the methods that work best for you--they want to make you as pain-free as possible. You are the key to getting the best pain relief because pain is personal.
On admission, a nurse will discuss your pain goal with you. This goal will be used throughout your stay to determine how well your pain is controlled. For children, your role as a parent is key to interpreting behavior changes in your child that may indicate pain or discomfort. Please notify a healthcare team member of any behavior changes in your child.Pain control tips
- Ask your healthcare team member what to expect. Will there be much pain? Where will it occur? How long is it likely to last? Being prepared helps to put you in control. You may want to write down your questions to help you remember to ask them.
- Discuss various approaches to pain control with your healthcare team. Be sure to talk about
- pain control methods that have or have not worked well for you before
- concerns you may have about pain medicine
- other medicines you take for other health problems
- any known allergies to medicines
- any side effects that may occur with treatment
- Talk about how your pain medicine is scheduled. Sometimes pain medicines are given only when you call your nurse to ask for them.
Today, two other ways to schedule pain medicines are used and may give better results. Instead of waiting until pain "breaks through," you can receive medicine at set times during the day. Or, patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) may be appropriate for you. With PCA, you control when you get pain medicine. When you begin to feel pain, you press a button to inject the medicine through your intravenous (IV) tube. This button is only to be pressed by you! This will prevent you from getting too sleepy.
However you receive your pain medicine, you will be asked how it is working. If your pain is not relieved satisfactorily, the medicine, the dose or the timing will be changed.
- Take or ask for pain relief drugs when pain first begins. Take action as soon as the pain begins. If you know the pain will worsen when you start increasing your activity, take pain medicine first. It is harder to ease pain once it has taken hold.
- Help your healthcare team measure your pain. At Memorial Hospital, you will be asked to rate your pain using a picture of a face or using a scale of 0 to 10. You will also be asked to describe your pain. You will set a pain control goal such as having no pain that is worse than a 2 on the scale. "Rating" your pain helps your healthcare team know how well your treatment is working and whether to make any changes.
- Tell a member of your healthcare team about any pain that won't go away, if your pain becomes a different type or is in a different location. Pain can be a sign of other problems and your team needs to know about it.
- Work with your healthcare team to try non-medicine ways to help your pain. These methods can be effective for mild to moderate pain and to boost the effects of your medication. There are no side effects to these techniques, which include heat and cold; relaxation exercises; breathing exercises; and positioning techniques. Your physician may contact Physical Medicine to recommend other methods.
- Your pain plan or your child's plan can be changed.