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What is pain?
Pain is an unpleasant physical feeling or sensation. It also causes emotional discomfort. Each person will feel pain
differently based on past experience and personal, cultural and religious beliefs.
How do I report pain?
You will be asked to use a pain rating scale to rate how MUCH pain you have. The 0 to 10 scale shown here is the
most common method. If you are not able to rate your pain using a number, tell us how much you hurt by using
words like mild, moderate or severe OR point to a face that shows how you feel. Using a pain rating scale lets you
tell us about pain and set goals for pain relief.
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We want to know WHERE you have pain. We also want to know HOW your pain feels. Use words like sore,
sharp, aching, throbbing, buming, pressure and more. We want you to tell us whether your pain is new or old and
if your pain gets better or worse. Please tell us what things you do that help your pain or that make it hurt more.
Please tell your nurse, your doctor or your nursing assistant that you are in pain right away.
We want to work with you to help manage your pain and make you more comfortable.
How can I make my pain better?
There are many different things to help ease or cope with pain. These may include medicines, treatments or non-
medicine options. You and your doctor will decide together what is best for you based on the type of pain you
There are other things-called Alternative Therapies-that can help pain besides medicines. These can be:
Ask us about things you can do on yorr own to help manage your pain and keep you comfortable.
What is a Pain Goal (also known as Comfort-Function Goal)?
We know that it may not be possible to get rid of all pain. The purpose of setting a pain goal is to find how much pain
you can have without it interfering much with your function or quality of life. You and your nurse will set your
comfort function goal based on your condition and treatments. Most patients who reach a pain goal of 4 or less are
able to function and have an acceptable quality of life. We believe you when you tell us you have pain!
American Cancer Society, lnc. (2011). Getting Help for Cancer Pain. No. 213300-Rev.04/l l.
Retrieved from
Wuhrman, E., & Cooney, M. F. (201 I
Acute Pain: Assessment and Treatmeni. Topics in Advanced Practice Nursing eJournal. / /(1). Retrieved from
htto ://rvww.rnedscaoe. com/viewartic le/73.5034
@ 2001 University of Col,orado Hospilal, Aurora
February 2001 (Revised 1/14) Pain_PEC DOD:PED05219-0414