Advocate Aurora Trinity Hospital

Presentation Notes

Quality Improvement poster presented at Nursing Passion: Re-Igniting the Art & Science, Advocate Aurora Health Nursing & Research Conference 2022; November 9, 2022; virtual.


Background/Introduction: Fear and anxiety can affect the patient’s level of pain. Pain can be well managed by educating patients preoperatively and will reduce the effects of fear and anxiety.

Local problem: The evaluation and treatment of our patient’s post-operative pain is a challenge presented to us daily in Outpatient Surgery. We discovered that patients needed better education on using the pain scale. Dugdale (2019) notes that education helps the patient to have a bigger role in their care. It also supports the growing movement toward patient- and family- centered care.

Method: In addition to education on using the pain scale, several other modalities were discussed and evaluated. These included re-education of the patient on our pain scale, non-medication therapies, and pre-op medications. Extra time and effort were given in teaching patients how to rate their pain level in an easier, more basic, and realistic way. Because pain is so subjective and personal, we stress the importance of accuracy in its reporting so that they can receive the very best treatment.

Results/Conclusions: With this early and vigorous implementation, we have gotten good results. In a 3-month’s random sampling of patient’s reported pain level at discharge, that of approximately 20 patients per month, in December 2021, January and February of 2022, there were decreasing scores above 4/10 noted.

Implications for Practice: Our investigation into this issue has confirmed the importance of the education that we provide to the patient. It has reinforced that the patient and nurse must have a clear idea of what the pain scale numbers represent and what they will mean in treatment. It has also been beneficial to discuss the other modalities for pain relief that they can expect besides post-op opioid medications.

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