Do You Have Pain?
Safely manage your pain so your hospital stay is as comfortable as possible.
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.
- How much pain, if any, your medicine is taking away.
- If your medicine helps with the pain, how many hours of relief do you get?
If you are not able to talk and cannot tell us how bad your pain is, we have a picture scale you can use to let us know how much pain you are having. If you cannot use the picture scale, your nurses have been trained to observe and assess patients for pain and for response to pain medications.
You do not have to “just put up with” severe pain. You can work with your nurses and doctors to prevent or relieve pain. Ask questions so you know what to expect. This will help you be less afraid and more in control, which will make pain easier to handle. Do not worry about getting “hooked” on pain medicine. Studies have shown that the short-term use of pain medication is not addictive unless you already have a problem with drug abuse.