Importance of Proper Pain Assessment?: Discussion Paper


Topic: Discuss the Importance of Proper Pain Assessment Differentiate between acute and chronic pain, the different assessment tools that can be used depending on the patient’s age, and pain management. List 3 pain assessment tools used (Newborn, Toddler, Adult). Your response should be at least 250 words. APA formatted paper (Title page, Introduction, Conclusion, Reference […]

Importance of Proper Pain Assessment Discussion Paper


Accurate evaluation of agony in patients is vital for establishing an effective pain management strategy. Nurses play a crucial role in pain assessment, owing to their relationship with the patients. Regardless of substantial advancement, unmanaged agony’s negative psychological and physiological effects remain extensively unresolved (Glowacki, 2015). Pain assessment can be challenging due to the multidimensionality and subjectivity of the pain experience. The self-reporting of pain by a patient comprises the cultural, psychological, emotional, and sensory dynamics of the pain experience, which evades capturing on the unidimensional tools routinely utilized in practice. To this end, differentiating between chronic and acute pain and understanding the different assessment devices based on the patient’s age would enable a nurse to develop a proper pain management approach.

Difference between Acute and Chronic Pain

The difference between acute and chronic pain management is so vast that the two should be regarded as different entities when using hypnosis. The methods pertinent to chronic pain are often contraindicated with acute pain and vice versa (Turk, 2018). On the one hand, chronic pain is often linked to the disease process or perceptible lesion. It is regarded as the pain that persists after healing from an injury. Furthermore, it may result from ongoing disease processes, such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and cancer, or it may be due to developing lesions and ongoing tissue damage. Acute pain, On the other hand, is regarded as discomfort that results from active nociception or tissue damage (Qiao & Hu, 2017). However, it is anticipated to resolve once the nerve damage is complete or the tissue has become ill.

Different Pain Management Assessment Tools 

A regular evaluation of pain contributes to the quality offered by a nurse and is advantageous in monitoring and treating pain levels. The nurses often use several valuation devices subject to the patient’s age. As an illustration, in the case of a newborn, such devices must be centered on understanding behavioral responses to stress and pain since an infant is not a small adult. In a newborn, the behavioral reactions to noxious stimuli are not always predictable due to the immaturity of the central nervous system.

Therefore, many neonatal units are currently utilizing the tool, such as N-PASS (Neonatal Pain, Agitation, and Sedation Scale) or PIPP (Premature Infant Pain Profile). The mentioned tools evaluate differences in newborns who may not mount a vigorous behavioral reaction to pain (Witt, Coynor, Edwards, & Bradshaw, 2016). The tools also use a combination of physiological and behavioral indicators to analyze the pain.

Conversely, self-rating scales are commonly used for toddlers. For instance, for children that are four years and older, a nurse can use Hester’s Poker chip tool; it contains four chips, with the 4th one being the most hurt and the first one a little hurt. Another example is the Face Interval Scale. It includes a set of faces with different expressions; in this regard, the Wong-Baker Faces Pain Rating Scale is made up of numbers from 0-5 and six faces with word descriptions, making it easy for children aged four and above (Miró et al., 2016). Lastly, the Geriatric Pain measure is recommended for the routine practice of pain assessment in adults because it allows for salient dimensions of the experience of pain and it is easy to complete (Motta, Gambaro, & Santos, 2015; Karadag Arli, Bakan, Varol, & Aslan, 2018). The various devices assess pain in adults, making them easy to understand and apply.

Management of Pain

Adequate control of pain is a universal and compelling necessity in health care. Effective management of agony is a vibrant dynamic of nursing care to prevent the development of an incurable state of distress, reduce suffering, prevent complications, and promote healing. A decrease in the patient’s overall quality of life and desirable psychological and clinical outcomes may result from ineffective pain management. Conversely, effective chronic and acute pain management lead to increased patient satisfaction and improved patient outcomes. The knowledge of the evaluation of agony is precedence for taking measures for relieving pain suitable for the client (Onianwa et al., 2017). In brief, this further outlines the significance of nursing competence in managing and assessing acute and chronic pain.


Pain management is one of the challenging scenarios that a nurse faces. The patients they encounter may experience pain to very different degrees and in very different ways. Although it is up to the attending nurse to manage and prescribe the agony a patient feels, it falls within their role to closely monitor the patients, ensure that the levels are well maintained and acceptable, and act as a liaison between the patients and other doctors. Based on the pain management assessment tools, a comprehensive pain assessment should comprise intensity, functional goals and pain relief, timing and duration, alleviating and aggravating factors, and location and quality. Therefore, to guide further interventions and the effectiveness of treatment, subsequent assessment of pain should focus on responses to treatment, pain intensity, and the nature of suffering.


Glowacki, D. (2015). Effective pain management and improvements in patients’ outcomes and satisfaction. Critical Care Nurse35(3), 33-41.

Karadag Arli, S., Bakan, A. B., Varol, E., & Aslan, G. (2018). Investigation of pain and life satisfaction in older adults. Geriatrics & Gerontology International18(1), 5-11.

Motta, T. S. D., Gambaro, R. C., & Santos, F. C. (2015). Pain measurement in the elderly: evaluation of psychometric properties of the Geriatric Pain Measure–Portuguese version. Revista Dor16(2), 136-141.

Miró, J., Castarlenas, E., de la Vega, R., Solé, E., Tomé‐Pires, C., Jensen, M. P., … & Racine, M. (2016). Validity of three rating scales for measuring pain intensity in youths with physical disabilities. European Journal of Pain20(1), 130-137.

Onianwa, P. O., Alonge, T. O., Otegbayo, J. A., Ike, E. U., Chukura, F. O., Are, O. O., … & Yaya, O. S. (2017). Pain as 5th vital sign: impact of pain assessment training program on Nigerian nurses knowledge of pain management. International Journal of Nursing and Midwifery9(11), 129-135.

Qiao, H., & Hu, L. (2017). Modeling of visual cognition, body sense, motor control, and their integrations. Lausanne: Frontiers Media.

Turk, D. C. (2018). Psychological Approaches to Pain Management, Third Edition: A Practitioners Handbook. New York: Guilford Publications.

Witt, N., Coynor, S., Edwards, C., & Bradshaw, H. (2016). A guide to pain assessment and management in the neonate. Current Emergency and Hospital Medicine Reports4(1), 1-10.

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