At Hurley, our goal is to help you control your pain as much as possible
Pain control is a critical part of your overall treatment and recovery. The medical team at Hurley Medical Center is dedicated to working with you to develop a pain management plan specifically for you. Your nurse will ask you frequently about the type and severity of your pain, and work with you to manage and control it. It is very important for you to be honest and clear about the level of pain you are experiencing, and report it as soon as it occurs. Make sure to report any pain that is not being adequately controlled.
It is important that you describe your pain
You are the expert about how you are feeling. Be sure to tell your doctor or nurse when you have any kind of pain. To help describe your pain, be sure to report:
- When the pain began
- Where you feel pain
- How the pain feels—sharp, dull, throbbing, burning, tingling
- If the pain is constant, or if it comes and goes
- What, if anything, makes the pain feel better
- What, if anything, makes the pain feel worse
- If your medicine helps with the pain, the length of time that you get relief
Controlling your pain
As a patient, you can control pain by:
- Using relaxation techniques or listening to relaxing music
- Changing your position in bed or getting up and move around
- Asking a family member or friend to rub your back
- Using cold packs or heat if your doctor approves
Medications can play an important role in pain management:
- Your doctors and nurses will work with you to decide which medications are right for you. This may include anti-inflammatory drugs that relieve pain and swelling. There is no risk of addiction to these drugs.
- You may also receive narcotic drugs (opioids). These medicines are effective for severe pain. You may receive these drugs in pill form, a shot, an IV, or even through a Patient Controlled Analgesia Pump (PCA), or epidural catheter. It is not common that hospital patients develop an addiction to the medications used to manage their pain. However, some patients may have higher risk factors than others depending on their history.
Be sure to:
- Set a pain control goal, such as being able to participate in therapy.
- Report your pain before it becomes severe. It is harder to control the pain once it has taken hold. Also, if you wait to ask for pain medication until the pain is severe, the pain may get worse if there are any delays.
- If you know your pain will get worse when you start walking or doing breathing exercises, take pain medicine first.
- Use the numbered scale (0-10, with 0 meaning no pain, 5 or 6 meaning moderate pain, and 10 meaning the worst pain possible) to report the level of pain you are experiencing. This helps the doctors and nurses know how well your treatment is working and whether to make any changes.
- Tell your doctors and nurses about pain control methods that have worked or not worked for you before.