136 Pain Management

© 2015

This comprehensive four-part series includes current understanding about the causes of pain, and both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic methods of pain management.  Specific topics include the differences between nociceptive and neuropathic pain; the role of neurotransmitters; assessment techniques including numeric and visual pain rating scales; affects and side effects of analgesic medicines; adjuvant medications; the differences between acute and chronic pain; non-pharmacologic pain treatment, including cognitive-behavioral therapies; and pain assessment and control strategies for special patient populations including children, the elderly, and the cognitively impaired.  Animated graphics and realistic patient care scenarios support and enhance the information provided in the programs.

Schools:  Mid-level:  pain assessment; analgesics

Healthcare Facilities:  Applicable to all nursing areas
Addresses Joint Commission requirements


Individual program learning objectives



To preview the programs listed below, click on the clips in the right column and using your mouse select the controls.

These previews are the property of EMD and are not intended for instructional use.

136.1 The Pain Process and Patient Assessment (26 min.)

1. State the purpose for the sensation of acute pain.
2. Differentiate between nociceptive and neuropathic pain.
3. List the five components of nociceptive pain.
4. Describe the role of neurotransmitters in pain reduction.
5. Discuss how beliefs about pain affect pain assessment.
6. Explain the use of numeric and visual pain assessment scales.
7. List the four goals of a pain management program.

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136.2 Pharmacological Treatments (22 min.)

1. Name the mechanism by which NSAIDs control pain.
2. List three advantages to the use of NSAID medications
3. Give three disadvantages in using NSAIDs for pain management.
4. List three advantages to the use of opioid analgesics.
5. Define the term “adjuvant medications”, and list at least classes of medications which can be used as adjuvants.
6. Differentiate between acute and chronic pain.
7. Define the term “break-through pain.”
8. Discuss the World Health Organization’s 3-step approach to management of cancer-related pain.

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136.3 Physical and Cognitive Approaches to Pain Management (20 min.)

1. Define the term “complementary medicine.”
2. Differentiate between invasive and non-invasive non-pharmacological approaches to pain management.
3. Discuss the appropriate uses of heat and cold in pain management.
4. Describe how TENS can reduce the patient’s sensation of pain.
5. Differentiate between massage and vibration techniques for pain management.
6. List and describe the two categories of cognitive-behavioral therapies utilized in pain management.

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136.4 Pain Treatment Programs for Special Patient Populations (23 min.)

1. Discuss how patient education can enhance pain management strategies.
2. Explain why pain management is an important aspect of care for the unconscious patient.
3. Describe assessment of pain in the cognitively impaired patient.
4. List reasons why pain assessment can be difficult in the infant, pediatric, and adolescent populations.
5. Explain the role of EMLA cream in pain management.
6. Discuss reasons for altering the usual adult dosages of analgesics in the elderly patient.

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