Tips for Assessing Pain

How much do you know about pain assessment? Pain is the fifth vital sign and should be assessed at least once each shift in facilities, and at each visit fro home care and hospice patients.

It’s not always easy to assess pain in patients with cognitive deficiencies. Portraits in Pain offers you several tips to help assess your patient’s pain level and teach caregivers and loved ones how to do this too.

I often hear from people upset with hospice care, or those who don’t understand hospice, that their loved one has or had no pain and yet they were given medication for pain. My response to them is to ask the nurse: WHY haven’t you taught me about my loved one’s pain assessment?!And what is it that tells you s/he is in pain? 

Pain affects quality of life and the ability to cope with other conditions. It needs to be taken seriously and understood by the nursing profession.  Please take the time to understand pain and pain assessment.


On the subject of pain, please note that brand name drugs Darvon and Darvocette (generic propoxypene) are being taken off the U.S. market. Advise your patients accordingly and update your drug info.

Continuing Professional Development in health and social care at Middlesex University, London.


  • steve smith

    It is really a difficult job duty in fact i will say that it is painful job duty of the nurses to educate the family of the patient about his/her present stage. But informing them is their duty and the nurses should define the situation very politely. For more information about the duty of nurse please explore http://www.allnursingprograms.org/

  • jhon

    I would ask that Why is Darvocet not being used anymore? Is it abuse of the drug? But I enjoy your blog.

  • Aaron N

    I would say that informing a patient's family members about the condition they are suffering from, including symptoms, pain managements, medication and side effects are a crucial part of a nurse's job duties. If you read a nurse job description you will almost always find some language involving explanation of health conditions to patients AND their families.

  • ChristyLyn

    Why is Darvocet not being used anymore? Is it abuse of the drug? Just curious. I just applied to nursing school. I enjoy your blog. thanx!