Figure 172 Example of a pain Intensity Instrumentscale numeric rating scale National Institutes of Health Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center Pain Intensity Instruments July 2003

Once the nurse has made a plan of care for the patient, pain assessments are to be completed using the Assessment, Intervention, and Reassessment (AIR) cycle of the patient's pain. This is used with the chosen pain assessment scale and is performed according to the institution's guideline.

The nurse must be knowledgeable of the different pain scales and how they are to be applied and included in the pain plan of care (Figs. 17.2 and 17.3; Table 17.1; also see Chapter 5). Pain scores should be assessed and documented at a minimum as follows:

• prior to any pain-relieving intervention (pharmacological or non-pharmacological),

• with complete set of vital signs (temperature, pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation).

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