The Role of Nursing in Pain Management

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Nursing is wrought with conflicting duties, in the first instance a nurse must preserve life and dignity but also fulfil the wishes of the patient. In respect to pain management in the elderly there is various legal, moral and social implications for a nurse.


In order to do this the discussion will first of define pain, because it not objective as many nurses and health practioners may believe. In fact it is a very subjective term. The essay will then go on to the different types of pain relief and finally end with a discussion of the problems in the UK when dealing with patient's whose wishes are hard to discern and whether we should be administering pain relief and life saving methods without proper consent.
Pain is a multi dimensional experience and has a sensory, emotional, cognitive component. Pain management approaches that address all these three factors are likely to be more successful and popular (Carr C.J. Ellois. 2001). The World Health Organization estimates that 22% of people experience some form of pain (Gureje et al 1998). Potter in 1993 showed that 11.3% of the visits made to General Practitioners were to get treatment for chronic pain (DAY.R. 2002).
The losses in terms of quality of life and economy were rated high enough for the WHO to give pain the status of a "world health problem," by the WHO in 1986. In the UK, the Working Party Report Pain after Surgery (The Royal College of Surgeons of England and The College of Anaesthetists 1990) recognized the need for professional supervision and protocol development for pain management. The committee also highlighted the historical inadequacy in pain management. ...
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