Introduction to Acute Pain Nursing Diagnosis
Acute pain is a warning symptom that indicates the presence of an underlying medical condition. It can range in severity from insignificant to a very debilitating experience, depending on the cause. In any case, nursing interventions are important to help the patient manage pain.
NANDA Nursing Diagnosis Definition
The NANDA Nursing Diagnosis for Acute Pain is defined as “a sudden, sharp sensation caused by tissue damage”.
- Patient expresses discomfort, pain, or distress due to pain.
- Patient verbalizes behavior changes resulting in the need for intervention.
- Patient exhibits muscle rigidity or facial expressions of pain.
- Vital signs indicate instability.
- Relocation (changing position) and manipulation of painful area sustains pain.
- Presence of bruises or wound in painful area.
There are many possible related factors responsible for acute pain, however some of the most common could be injury or illness, surgery, emotional stress, and environmental exposures related to temperature or physical contact with cold or hot.
Individuals who are at risk of acute pain include those with chronic illnesses such as cancer, arthritis, and diabetes, elderly population, individuals undergoing surgery or radiation treatments, and those who are in recovery from traumatic events.
An individual with acute pain may suffer from impaired mobility, fatigue, trouble sleeping, depression, lost appetite, difficulty performing ADL’s, social withdrawal, and decreased concentration.
Suggestions for Use
When assessing a patient with acute pain, it is important to assess the cause of the pain, the level of pain intensity, timing of the pain, duration of the pain, and what measures have been taken to relieve it. Additionally, the patient should have their mobility and mental status assessed regularly.
Suggested Alternative NANDA Diagnoses
- Ineffective Coping
- Actual or Risk of Disuse Syndrome
- Risk for Disturbed Thought Processes
- Altered Sleep Pattern
- Tissue Perfusion: Peripheral, Alteration in
- Mindfulness and relaxation techniques are effective tools for rapidly reducing acute pain sensations.
- Aromatherapy, massage, thermotherapy, hydrotherapy, and electrical stimulation can also be used in combination to relieve severe or chronic pain.
- Pain scale evaluation should be done regularly to assess the effectiveness of treatments.
- Pain Control: Ability to use mechanical and pharmacological measures to maintain acceptable levels of pain.
- Sleep/Rest: Ability to obtain adequate restorative sleep.
- Mood Status: Emotional well-being evidence by the expression of positive affect, and ability to interact with environment.
- Mobility Level: Ability to change positions without increase in discomfort.
- Pharmacological Pain Management: Administering medications to reduce the amount of discomfort experienced.
- Complementary Therapy: Utilizing non-traditional, non-pharmacological methods of managing pain such as aromatherapy, massage, and acupuncture.
- Distraction Therapy: Using diversional activities to decrease the perception of pain.
- Environmental Comfort Evaluation: Assessing and modifying the environment to provide comfort and relaxation.
Pain is one of the most common clinical problems encountered in nursing practice. By recognizing the signs and symptoms of acute pain and utilizing the strategies suggested in this post, nurses can effectively manage the pain and improve the patient’s quality of life.
- What is Acute Pain?
- Acute pain is a sudden, sharp sensation caused by tissue damage.
- How is Acute Pain Assessed?
- When assessing a patient with acute pain, it is important to assess the cause of the pain, the level of pain intensity, timing of the pain, duration of the pain, and what measures have been taken to relieve it.
- What Are Some Ways to Relieve Acute Pain?
- Mindfulness and relaxation techniques are effective tools for rapidly reducing acute pain sensations, as well as aromatherapy, massage, thermotherapy, hydrotherapy, and electrical stimulation.