Assessment of Pain

It is the policy of this organization to assess the level of 
pain experienced by our patients on initial and follow up 
evaluations as well as throughout the peri-procedure and 
recovery periods.  Staff members monitoring the patient, both 
pre- and post-discharge are cognizant of the problems in 
managing post-procedure pain. All patients will be monitored 
for pain whether the procedure is performed under local or 
sedation.   Pain assessment is also addressed in the 
Anesthesia policy, 'Pre-Surgical Evaluation and 
Peri-Operative Monitoring of the Surgical Patient', pain will 
be measured at periodic intervals to assure that adequate 
pain management controls are in place.
An objective measurement will be used in interpreting or 
measuring the patient's pain (see below) so that staff and 
caregivers can quantify the pain and provide methods of 
When investigating a patient's pain the following will be 
determined as applicable: location, duration, pain character, 
frequency, and intensity.
This organization will use the number scale below   
          0 None or no pain,
          1-2  Mild, low level pain, 
          3-5 Uncomfortable, pain can be ignored at times, 
          6-7 Distressful, painful, 
          8-9 Horrible, pain severe, concentration difficult,
   10 Excruciating, incapacitation.
Various questions will be asked of the patient to help in the 
quantification of the pain such as, is the pain stabbing, 
throbbing, intermittent or constant.
It is the responsibility of the clinical staff to document 
the absence or presence of pain during initial and follow up 
visits and the pre- and post- procedure timeframes.  Should 
pain be verbalized by the patient it must be documented in 
the patient's record using all descriptors indicated.  
Methods for the relief of the pain need to be documented as 
well as the efficacy of the method for relief of pain.
Additionally when conscious sedation is being performed, 
although the patient can be aroused during the procedure, 
cognitively the patient may not be able to express or assign 
a number to his/her level of pain.  Therefore, other 
demonstrations of pain which may be subjective need to be 
recognized such as grimacing, groaning, flinching, movement 
on the procedure table, etc.
Approved By Governing Board    
Control #287.3