Approaches to Pain Management

Approaches to pain management

There are four approaches for using analgesia, they are as follows;
    - PRN
    - Preventive approach
    - Individualized dosage
    - Patient controlled analgesia

Analgesia as required approach:

The PRN approach to administrating analgesia, is giving the analgesia when it is needed. The patient is either sedated or in pain for long periods of time. The serum level of the opoid must be maintained for effective pain relief. When the serum level decreases, the individual will consequently experience pain. It is important that the nurse doesn’t delay administering the analgesia when required, as the lower the serum level, the harder it is to achieve a therapeutic level with the subsequent dosage.

Preventive approach:

With the preventive approach the therapeutic serum level is maintained. The analgesia is administered at set intervals, therefore the pain medication acts before the pain becomes severe. The difference between the preventive approach and the PRN approach is that the preventive approach doesn’t wait for the patient to complain of pain and is administered on a time basis as opposed to a pain basis. Smaller doses of analgesia are required with this approach because the pain is not allowed to escalate. It is vital that the nurse assess the patient’s sedation level prior to each dose.

Individualized dosage

The individualized dosage is based on patient requirements rather than routine. The nurse should assess the patient and give the required dose of analgesia, based on the severity of the patient’s pain. It is important that the nurse doesn’t under medicate the patient due to fear of side effects and addiction etc. The nurse must monitor the patient for side effects of the analgesia. Prior to the 1st dosage it is imperative to get a baseline assessment of the patient’s respiratory rate, blood pressure, and pain score. Once the nurse administers the analgesia, it is important that she evaluates the...