Friday, April 06, 2007

Checklist: 11 Ways to Ensure Proper Pain Management

• Don't wait until chronic pain is too severe to treat. Pain is easier to prevent than treat. Begin to understand the kinds of medications that you might take if you begin to have pain.

• Talk with your physician about your concerns for good pain care. Be assertive, and tell your doctor you will not tolerate under-treated pain.

• Demand comfort care in your advance directive. Be clear and assertive.

• Ask a family member or friend to be your advocate if you cannot speak for yourself. Keep this person informed of your pain.

• Maintain a pain record. Note location, time of day, severity, and what relieved the pain. Share with your doctor or nurse.

• If you're receiving hospice care, identify your pain level for the nurse at each visit.

• Understand your doctor's orders for your pain medication. Make sure you understand the frequency, dose and type of medication. If you have questions, ask them.

• Insist that you have enough pain medication for weekends or holidays.

• Get the names and phone numbers of any doctors covering for your physician.

• If you are hospitalized and your pain is not being treated, ask to speak to the medical director or nursing supervisor.

• For end-of-life pain, expect medication amounts to increase rapidly.

I hope and pray that this post has helped someone today.

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