- Use a pain scale in the triage assessment of pain. Consider pre-printed pain scales on charts for compliance.
- The patient self report is the most reliable indicator of pain severity.
- The basics, such as cold pack/elevation/ splinting/ positioning, are important components of effective pain management.
- Treat pain early: use oral medications for less severe pain and IV medications titrated to pain relief for moderate/severe pain. Re-assess after treatment and document the pain score at discharge.
- Develop, document, and provide a pain management strategy at discharge.