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The fear of pain

Understanding pain can be complex for a nurse, but clinical nurse specialist Lizzie Morgan's recent experience as a patient made her reflect on the concept of pain. 

Having been a cancer nurse for more than 12 years, I have assessed hundreds of patients’ pain and have seen how my assessment and actions have brought about improvements in what they are feeling.

Picture: iStock

I have prescribed interventions for patients’ pain using recognised assessment tools and the World Health Organization Cancer Pain Ladder . Yet, my experience as an orthopaedic patient over the past 12 months has changed how I approach pain assessments and reminded me that pain is more complex than I realised.

In October 2016, I was persuaded to go to the GP due to a deteriorating gait. A few weeks ago, after one year of diagnostic tests and treatments, I had a total left hip replacement owing to osteoarthritis.

My family told me that

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