Pain Management
Definitions of Pain
Common Barriers
Important Terms
Morphine Myths
Duty to Relieve Pain
Five Principles
Fifth Vital Sign
Pain Assessment
Begin with the patient
Types of pain

Symptom Management
Pain Management Issues in Healthcare

“The ethical obligation to manage pain and relieve the patient’s suffering is at the core of a health care professional’s commitment.”
—The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR)

Pain is a subjective experience, and patient’s self-report of pain is the most reliable indicator. Pain should not be judged by any healthcare provider to be other than what the experiencing person says it is.

Those least able speak for themselves — the elderly, women, minorities, disabled, the young; and those who are terminally ill — are the most vulnerable to inadequate pain assessments and management.

Yet, 85% to 90% of patients at the end of their lives could be pain-free, and 98% to 99% of patients could have their pain controlled by using the knowledge and tools currently available. Why then are we, as healthcare providers, unaware of, or unwilling to use these tools?