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Clinical Nurse Specialist in Acute Pain

"I think the whole Rapid Recovery Programme is excellent in telling patients what to expect."


Teresa Box

Our goal in the Rapid Recovery Programme is to get patients home, hopefully by day three, and often if patients are in pain then it’s going to stop them going home. So good pain management will hopefully get patients home quicker.
 

It would be hard to say they will have no pain at all. Our goal is to get patients’ pain down to a level of 4 out of 10, hopefully less; that’s what we consider to be an acceptable level for them to be: 0, 1, 2, 3 out of 10.  Anything more than that, we need to be helping them and giving them something extra. 
 

There’s always something we can give for patients’ pain, often it’s a question of giving them adequate pain relief for the pain that they have, but there will be something to give patients for their pain control however bad it is. Ibuprofen, Nurofen - those types of tablets which are anti-inflammatories; adding in some opioids like Codine or Tramadol or Morphine. So we have quite a wide range and we will be able to control patients’ pain with those types of pain relief.
 

Pain is really, really individual; very, very subjective.  It is hard to say how much pain somebody is going to be in, so “pain is whatever the patient says it is,“ is really quite a good motto for us.  And we will go with that, whatever they say it is, we will treat it accordingly.
 

If a patient’s pain isn’t controlled, then they shouldn’t really be going home.  We wouldn’t really let them go home until their pain is controlled with regular pain killers.
 

I think the whole Rapid Recovery Programme is excellent in telling patients what to expect. I think if patients have lots of information, they know what to expect and their recovery tends to be much better.
 

So by knowing that they’re going to have some pain, knowing there’s something that we can do about it, hopefully it will set them in good stead to have a rapid recovery and to get home quickly.
 

I’m always available to be called whenever a patient’s got a problem with pain, and if I can’t deal with it then I have an anaesthetist who will come and help, and give some advice as well.


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