Living with pain is one of the toughest ordeals one can go through. It is important to know the severity and take proper measures to help the individual.
If you have someone in your care who is going through a life-threatening illness, you must be able to evaluate and assess the symptoms they have, to determine how much pain they are going through.
One of the crucial roles for you will be relaying back this information about the level of pain and the exact symptoms your loved ones suffering to the healthcare team. So you need to be very accurate about it.
How To Understand Pain Better
Before you can assess pain you need to understand what it exactly is. Pain can be categorized into several different forms. There can be Chronic pain or acute pain. Pain can get diffused or it can be localized, pain can be generated in several different ways. This is why the experience of pain is not the same in every individual.
It becomes much easier to record and relay the information back to the doctor if the person who is in pain can communicate the experience.
It becomes difficult and challenging to assess their situation if the individual is unable to communicate what they are going through.
To be able to assess their pain, you need to be knowledgeable about the symptoms and signs that physically convey what the individual is experiencing.
The healthcare professional will be assessing the pain every time they visit the person you are caring for. But it will be advantageous if you are also able to determine the pain in between these professional visits. Below is some information on how you can assess the pain by yourself.
The Severity Of The Pain
Before everything else you need to be able to tell how bad the pain is at the present moment. The person who is trying to communicate the severity of his pain can be aided by certain tools.
In the case of adults, there is a numeric scale of 0-10 that is used, in which zero means that pain is absent and 10 means extreme pain.
You can ask the patient to rate their pain on that scale. Generally speaking, the pain levels can be broken down as such: 0 means there is no pain. 1 to 3 indicates that the pain is mild, 4 to 6 indicates the presence of moderate pain, and 7 to 10 refers to very severe pain.
You can refer to several scales that are used to rate pain and make this process easier. One such scale is the FLACC scale, which estimates a number between 1 and 10 by describing the various signs that the person experiencing pain will be demonstrating.
The signs to look out for are whether they are lying quietly, jerking, or squirming. What kind of facial expression are they making. Whether their legs are tense, relaxed, or kicking. If they are calm or crying. Many health care professionals use the Wong-baker FACES Pain Rating Scale when they are trying to assess the pain of non-verbal adults or younger children.
The way this scale works is by pointing to each of the faces on the chart and ask the child to describe the intensity of the pain they are feeling.
They should be directed to choose the face that matches the pain they are feeling the most. Or if you are caring for a non-verbal adult then you can look at their facial expression and match it with the chart to correspond to the state of the individual.
Which Level Of Pain is Acceptable
How much pain an individual can endure is relative to them only. Some might have a very low threshold of pain while others may be able to tolerate pain on a much higher scale.
You need to be sure what is the level of pain that the person you are caring for can tolerate. This is particularly important as will let you decide how to help them to deal with the pain. You can buy co codamol for a better and easy way to bring relief from pain. Be sure to talk to the doctor and only take prescribed medicine from authorized sellers.
Trying to Assess The Non-Verbal Signs
If the person you are taking care of is unable to verbally express the pain level he is experiencing or unable to coherently determine by the FACES scale. it makes the task of assessing the pain a lot more difficult. However, there are a few signs that a person may show that might give you an idea of what they are going through.
You can look out for signs of a frown or a facial grimace, indicating pain or discomfort. They can be shifting in bed constantly or writhing from pain. If they are groaning, whimpering, or moaning then it is a clear indication of pain.
Withdrawing from touching the area or guarding the area of their pain is also a clear sign. The more a person is exhibiting the symptoms the more intense the pain is, and you will be able to recognize what exactly they are going through.
For the patients who are in advanced stages of pain, social factors often merge with psychological issues and create a cause for the pain.
As a result, a more holistic approach to pain is required to make an intervention successful in treating the pain. People who have cancer and are fighting the pain of this condition also brings the experience of isolation and fear along with it in many cases.
You need to have empathy and a deep understanding of all the psychosocial issues that the patient is going through to completely be able to care for them and to make it as humane an experience as possible for them.
Being able to ease the pain and suffering of the person you are caring for is a very important role and you achieve a deep sense of gratification from it.
You need to keep a log of the pain that the patient is experiencing and also use the scales regularly so that you can report to the health care professionals if medication needs to be altered. The log will also help you in identifying any sudden changes so you will be prepared to contact the doctors promptly to take urgent action as quickly as possible.
While this is probably the greatest thing that you can do for another person, you must also remember to take care of yourself in the meantime. Ask and take the help of other people and don’t forget to pamper yourself when you feel exhausted.