When patients cannot communicate, the level of pain they are experiencing is estimated using the “FACES” scale. Patients are asked to choose a face that closely matches their pain.
Adults who are able to communicate can express how much pain they are having by using a number scale. When asked how much pain they are in, patients should respond with a number. A response of “0” means no pain. The number “5” indicates some pain and “10” communicates the worst pain possible.
How to Help
When you are experiencing pain or discomfort, it is important to give a full description to the nurse. Using this information, the nurse and physician will work together to help relieve your pain. You can help the nurse by including the following in your description:
- Location of pain
- Type of pain – dull, sharp, etc.
- The rating of pain on a scale of “1 – 10”
- How long you have been experiencing pain
- Prior pain relief used
Things to Consider
The following could affect the severity and cause of pain:
- Medical history
- Medication type
- Dosage of medication
- Ask for pain relief when pain first begins.
- Help your physician and nurse locate your pain.
- Ask your physician or nurse what to expect regarding pain management.
- Talk about relief options.
- Discuss your worries with taking pain medication.
- Work with your physician or nurse to develop a pain management plan.
- Tell your physician or nurse if pain is not relieved.