My role in the team: Pain nurse

With Ms Zhao Pei Yu  |  16 Jul 2014  |  Print

My role in the team: Pain nurse

Ms Zhao Pei Yu is head nurse in the National Pain Clinical Research Center of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing, China

As a nurse caring for patients with pain, I assess and record the patient’s condition, administer pain-relief measures according to the doctor’s prescription, and educate both the patient and their family members about their illness, their pain and how it can be managed. It is also important to teach patients how to grade their pain so they can communicate their pain level clearly with medical staff, and they need to learn how to take their oral analgesics correctly, what side effects to expect, and when to seek medical advice after hospital discharge. I often need to address the concerns of patients or family members about addiction to painkillers. In addition, I always emphasize to them the importance of treatment compliance and never changing their medication dose without their doctor’s consent.

Apart from focusing on the necessary pain relief measures for individual patients, nurses also have to provide each patient with holistic care. I strive to understand not just the patient’s pain experience, but also their emotional and mental state and their social and family circumstances. Having a good understanding of all these aspects helps me build lines of communication and trust with my patient, which are essential to providing each patient with the care they need.

In this department, I work as part of a multidisciplinary specialized pain care team. As we are experienced in managing pain, we share our knowledge and clinical skills with other departments needing advice on pain management, as well as with other hospitals. This knowledge-sharing is very important because it helps to educate more people about pain medicine, which will ultimately mean better care for patients in pain.