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Comfort and Pain Management
What is the prevalence of pain in older adults? How will you, as a nurse, be more aware of pain issues related to older adults, and what will the nurse incorporate into practice to alleviate these issues?
Persistent pain is pain that lasts for more than three months. According to Gibson and Lussier (2012), “persistent pain is one of the most prevalent health conditions faced by adults of advanced age, and is recognized as a major concern for this segment of the population.” The older population is often associated with chronic pain, which s makes it necessary for nurses to be aware of the situation and find a way to be more sensitive to the matter and incorporate it into practice to alleviate the issues. Assessing risk factors for pain could help nurses reduce pain levels among the older generation by mitigating these risks and finding solutions for them. “Chronic pain has been linked to several detrimental impacts in older persons, including mood disturbance, functional impairment, poorer sleep, and reduced quality of life” (Gibson & Lussier, 2012). Therefore, to alleviate these issues, a nurse must first understand the causes and if there are basic contributing factors such as hard mattresses and pillows.
Determining the pain level and the type of pain can help the nurse determine ways to improve the patient’s quality of life. Somatic pain affects “the bone and soft tissue masses, is well localized and is described as a throbbing or aching” while visceral pain is “associated with disorder or referred pain and I described as deep and aching” (Eliopoulos, 2018). Pain assessment through ongoing physical and cognitive examination enables the nurse to be more aware of pain issues and incorporate them into practice to alleviate the problems.
Eliopoulos, C. (2018). Gerontological Nursing (9th Ed.).
Wolters Kluwer. ISBN: 978-0-323-40167-8
Gibson, S. J., Ph.D., & Lussier, D., MD, FRCP. (2012). Prevalence and Relevance of Pain in Older Persons.
Retrieved November 18, 2020, from https://academic.oup.com/painmedicine/article/13/suppl_2/S23/1847844
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