Pain: how can nurses support patients living with it?

Our podcast explores the management of acute and chronic pain, including the physical and mental health support patients may need

Photo of nurse listening to patient, illustrating a story about pain management
Picture: iStock

Half the UK population experiences chronic pain, making nurses increasingly likely to encounter patients living with it.

So, what skills do nurses need to employ to understand how pain impacts an individual’s life and assess what physical and mental health support they may need?

The latest episode of the Nursing Standard podcast explores the management of acute and chronic pain with three experts in the field.

Pain assessments and motivational interviewing

Guest podcast host Martin Galligan, lecturer practitioner and programme lead of advanced clinical practice in cancer care at The Royal Marsden Hospital in London, interviews fellow pain specialists nurse consultants Felicia Cox and Karin Cannon.

They discuss the importance of recognising pain as being what the individual describes it to be, and explore the use of functional pain assessments to determine what the patient wants and needs, including psychological peace, to help manage their condition.

The trio also talk about using motivational interviewing skills to support people with pain, as well as acknowledging the sense of loss that patients may experience in coming to terms with chronic pain.

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