Here are some questions that you need to ask if you suspect or know that the person in your care has pain. Don't wait for nurses or doctors to ask you about the pain; be prepared to report this information to them.
- Have you experienced this type of pain before? Does it hurt more or less than the previous times?
- Where does it hurt? Is the pain in the same place, does it move or does it just hurt all over? Is the pain sharp, dull, throbbing, achy, etc.? Does the pain have a burning, electrical shock or shooting quality to it?
- How long does the pain normally last? Has the pain gotten worse over time?
- How strong or weak is the pain? Many people measure their pain on a scale from zero to ten. Zero is no pain and ten is the worst pain imaginable. What number from zero to ten describes the pain? What number describes the amount of pain that is tolerable daily and still allows the individual to maintain a normal life? Is it worse at a certain time of day or after a particular activity?
- What measures have been used to relieve the pain? Did they work? If they didn't, what else was done?
- What effect does the pain have on sleep patterns, appetite, functioning in daily living, emotions, mood, relationships, etc.?