Acute Pain Nursing Care Plan

Nursing Care Plans for Acute Pain

Acute Pain Diagnosis Interventions Care Plans and NCLEX Review

5 Nursing Care Plans for Acute Pain

Acute pain is an experience that is known to virtually all human beings. It is an unpleasant feeling that can be described as highly subjective as a person experiences it.

As a nursing diagnosis, Acute Pain is defined as an unpleasant emotional and sensory experience resulting from an actual or potential damage of a body tissue.

It can be sudden or slow onset of any intensity, ranging from mild to severe, and can be experienced for a few seconds, up till 6 months.

Chronic pain is defined as pain that is long-term experienced for more than 6 months.

The following nursing care plans can help a nurse to provide efficient and excellent care to a patient with Acute Pain.

  1. Nursing Diagnosis: Acute Pain related to hip fracture secondary to fall, as evidenced by pain score of 10 out of 10, guarding sign on the affected limb, restlessness, and irritability

Desired Outcome: The patient will report a pain score of 0 out of 10.

InterventionsRationales
Assess the patient’s vital signs. Ask the patient to rate the pain from 0 to 10, and describe the pain he/she is experiencing.To create a baseline set of observations for the patient. The 10-point pain scale is a globally recognized pain rating tool that is both accurate and effective.
Administer analgesics pain medications as prescribed.To provide pain relief to the patient.
Ask the patient to re-rate his/her acute pain 30 minutes to an hour after administering the analgesic.To assess the effectiveness of treatment.
Provide more analgesics at recommended/prescribed intervals.To promote pain relief and patient comfort without the risk of overdose.
Reposition the patient in his/her comfortable/preferred position. Encourage pursed lip breathing and deep breathing exercises.To promote optimal patient comfort and reduce anxiety/ restlessness.
Refer the patient to a pain specialist as required.To enable to patient to receive more information and specialized care in pain management if needed.
Acute Pain Nursing Care Plan
  • Nursing Diagnosis: Deficient Knowledge related to acute pain management as evidenced by patient’s verbalization of “I want to know more how to relieve my pain.”

Desired Outcome: At the end of the health teaching session, the patient will be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of his/her acute pain and its management.

InterventionsRationales
Assess the patient’s readiness to learn, misconceptions, and blocks to learning (e.g. denial of diagnosis or poor lifestyle habits).To address the patient’s cognition and mental status towards pain management and to help the patient overcome blocks to learning.
Explain what his/her pain management program entails (e.g. medications, relaxation techniques, related physiotherapy or exercises). Avoid using medical jargons and explain in layman’s terms.To provide information on his/her pain management program.
Inform the patient the details about the prescribed medications (e.g. drug class, use, benefits, side effects, and risks) to treat acute pain. Ask the patient to repeat or demonstrate the self-administration details to you.To inform the patient of each prescribed drug and to ensure that the patient fully understands the purpose, possible side effects, adverse events, and self-administration details.
Educate the patient about non-pharmacological methods for acute pain such as imagery, distraction techniques, recommended exercises, and relaxation techniques.To reduce stress and to promote optimal pain relief without too much dependence on pharmacological means.
Acute Pain Nursing Care Plan
  • Nursing Diagnosis: Activity intolerance related to acute pain as evidenced by pain score of 8 to 10 out of 10, fatigue, disinterest in ADLs due to pain, verbalization of tiredness and generalized weakness

Desired Outcome: The patient will demonstration active participation in necessary and desired activities and demonstrate increase in activity levels.

InterventionsRationales
Assess the patient’s activities of daily living, as well as actual and perceived limitations to physical activity. Ask for any form of exercise that he/she used to do or wants to try.To create a baseline of activity levels and mental status related to acute pain, fatigue and activity intolerance.
Encourage progressive activity through self-care and exercise as tolerated. Explain the need to reduce sedentary activities such as watching television and using social media in long periods. Alternate periods of physical activity with 60-90 minutes of undisturbed rest.To gradually increase the patient’s tolerance to physical activity. To prevent triggering of acute pain by allowing the patient to pace activity versus rest.
Administer analgesics as prescribed prior to exercise/ physical activity. Teach deep breathing exercises and relaxation techniques. Provide adequate ventilation in the room.To provide pain relief before an exercise session. To allow the patient to relax while at rest and to facilitate effective stress management. To allow enough oxygenation in the room.
Refer the patient to physiotherapy / occupational therapy team as required.To provide a more specialized care for the patient in terms of helping him/ her build confidence in increasing daily physical activity.
Acute Pain Nursing Care Plan

4. Nursing Diagnosis: Acute Pain related to infection secondary to pleurisy as evidenced by pain score of 10 out of 10, pain upon inhalation, shortness of breath

Desired Outcome: The patient will have a pain score of 0 out of 10.

InterventionsRationales
Assess the patient’s vital signs. Ask the patient to rate the pain from 0 to 10 and describe the pain he/she is experiencing.To create a baseline set of observations for the patient. The 10-point pain scale is a globally recognized pain rating tool that is both accurate and effective.
Administer analgesics pain medications as prescribed. Administer antibiotics as prescribed.To provide pain relief to the patient. To treat the underlying infection.
Ask the patient to re-rate his/her acute pain 30 minutes to an hour after administering the analgesic.To assess the effectiveness of treatment.
Provide more analgesics at recommended/prescribed intervals.To promote pain relief and patient comfort without the risk of overdose.
Elevate the head of the bed and encourage the patient to sit in semi Fowler’s position. Encourage pursed lip breathing and deep breathing exercises.To relieve shortness of breath and help in lung expansion. To promote optimal patient comfort and reduce anxiety/ restlessness.
Refer the patient to a pain specialist as required.To enable to patient to receive more information and specialized care in pain management if needed.
Acute Pain Nursing Care Plan
  1. Nursing Diagnosis: Imbalanced Nutrition: Less than Body Requirements related to decrease food intake secondary to acute pain as evidenced by weight loss, poor muscle tone and lack of appetite

          Desired Outcome: The patient will be able to achieve a weight within his/her normal BMI range, demonstrating healthy eating patterns and choices.

InterventionRationale
Create a daily weight chart and a food and fluid chart. Discuss with the patient the short term and long-term goals of weight gain.To effectively monitory the patient’s daily nutritional intake and progress in weight goals.  
Administer analgesics as prescribed  To provide pain relief, as acute pain may result to disinterest in eating and eventual lack of proper nutrition.  
Instruct the patient to avoid carbonated beverages and gas-producing food.To reduce abdominal distention which can worsen acute pain.
Refer the patient to the dietitian.To provide a more specialized care for the patient in terms of nutrition and diet.  
Acute Pain Nursing Care Plan

With the use of the nursing care plans above, the patient will be able to experience pain relief, or reduced pain level, and will be able to perform his/her activities of daily living optimally.

Nursing References

Ackley, B. J., Ladwig, G. B., Makic, M. B., Martinez-Kratz, M. R., & Zanotti, M. (2020). Nursing diagnoses handbook: An evidence-based guide to planning care. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.  Buy on Amazon

Gulanick, M., & Myers, J. L. (2017). Nursing care plans: Diagnoses, interventions, & outcomes. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. Buy on Amazon

Ignatavicius, D. D., Workman, M. L., Rebar, C. R., & Heimgartner, N. M. (2018). Medical-surgical nursing: Concepts for interprofessional collaborative care. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.  Buy on Amazon

Silvestri, L. A. (2020). Saunders comprehensive review for the NCLEX-RN examination. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.  Buy on Amazon

Disclaimer:

Please follow your facilities guidelines and policies and procedures. The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be nursing education and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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