Reply To: 0-10 pain scale, what do you think?

Home Forums Nurse to Nurse Advice 0-10 pain scale, what do you think? Reply To: 0-10 pain scale, what do you think?

Profile photo of LisaRN

I myself loathe the pain scale question. On my floor (post op) this question is asked 100 times a shift because I spend most of my time assessing and reassessing pain for patients and Jason is right when he says this scale is worthless. I can tell you 75/100 times the patient will give me a number OVER 10, and I have had to wake them up to receive this answer. 15 of the remaining 25 will say “I don’t understand the question”, after explaining once again, 1 is very little pain like a bee sting and 10 being the worst pain in your life, the response is often “huh?” We are also required to ask the patient and write on a board in their room what they would like their pain to be maintained at during their stay. If I hear “0” one more time I will scream! LOL How can you go in for surgery and expect NO PAIN? AND we are penalized, written up and threatened with termination if a pt remains above a 5 and we do nothing for this. I’m handing out DIlaudid, Morphine, Percocet, Valium, ect in huge doses and these chronic pain pts. eat it like candy and ask when their next dose is due before they finish swallowing the pills. Pain is such a personal thing. I am a firm believer in pain control. I go above and beyond to assist these pts. to maintain an acceptable pain level but it is frustrating beyond reason to hear 10/10 after giving the pt something every hour, and trying to keep them breathing at the same time. We don’t Narcan pts often but when we do we are penalized as well. If we treat the pain to pt satisfaction we may end up with a dead pt, or with Narcan and an ICU visit, and thus an unhappy pt and family, if we do not treat it the pt is unhappy and there again we are penalized. ALSO, there is no consistency between nurses when treating pain. One may give something IV an hour after a PO, another may decide they can’t until 2 hrs after, another it has to be an either OR situation. This is very confusing to the patients. Why is it YOU can do this but SHE cannot? or vice versa? I also agree that Ativan or valium may be a better solution than pain meds at times, but docs are leery to sedate anymore than they already are sedating with the pain meds. When I asked my manager if we could get some type of rules, guidelines, something to make pain management more consistent, I am told use your nursing judgement! Well DUH! but there again we all practice differently. I like Mary’s education effort above, and might borrow her idea and try it, at least it might clarify for some and educate others. Thanks for all the input I’m through complaining now lol sorry guys long weekend exploring this subject. lol

Skip to toolbar