Outcome 1 Understand approaches to managing pain and discomfort 1.1 Holistic care takes care of the whole person not just the physical needs (eg. Pain) but it also their mental and emotional needs (eg. Being afraid, not knowing what’s wrong), their social needs and their spiritual needs. This is important because the purpose is to ensure the individual is comfortable and brings peace and dignity as well as supports the individual’s family. 1.2 There are different approaches to alleviate pain and minimise discomfort which can include drugs, physical methods, self-help methods or alternative methods. Drugs can be used for pain relief, these can include analgesics such as asprin, paracetamol, opiates such as morphine, anti-infammatories such as ibuprofen, anaesthetic blocks such as an epidural. Drugs that are supplied on a prescription for pain relief are likely to be analgesics. In some extreme cases of severe or prolonged pain an individual may be given opiates.
Physical methods to relieve pain may include massage (superficial or pressure), transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (tens), repositioning. Self-help methods can help relieve pain and have been found to be effective this can include moving or walking about (if possible), having a warm bath, doing something to take their mind off the pain, doing recommended exercises. Alternative therapies can often help relieve pain. Alternative therapies can include using aromatherapy, reflexology, acupuncture, yoga and meditation.
1.3 The individuals care plan should have information about the best way to manage their pain also to enable them to rest and sleep. The care plan should always be checked before you start to work with the individual who you are supporting and making comfortable. It is important that you enter any new information into the care plan so that your colleagues can take appropriate action. It is important that you take the necessary steps to keep information confidential in line with the data protection act 1988.
Outcome 2 Be able to assist in minimising individuals pain or discomfort 2.1 Pain and discomfort may affect an individual’s wellbeing and communication because pain and discomfort can affect the amount and quality of sleep that individuals can get. Sleep deprivation can affect individuals day to day living, it can make people irritable which can affect the way they communicate with others. It isn’t always easy for an individual to express the discomfort they are in as everybody experiences pain in different ways. 2.2 It is important to encourage an individual to express their feelings of discomfort or pain so that you can ensure you are able to assist them in the most beneficial way. It is important that the individual doesn’t feel like a nuisance. A way to find out how much pain the individual is in, you could ask them to put it on a scale of 1-10 1 being mild discomfort and 10 being the worst pain that they have ever felt. That way you get an understanding of the level of pain.
2.3 To encourage an individual to use self-help methods of pan control you could assist them too change the position that they are sat/ laying in or provide them with a hot water bottle. Sometimes encouraging an individual to take part in an activity or talking to them can distract them from the pain/ discomfort they may be in. Self-help methods can be beneficial because it give the individual control on how they deal with their own pain. 2.4 It is important to ensure that the individual is as comfortable as possible, pain can be a hindrance to an individual’s personal comfort. If an individual needs turning during the night then it is important that it is don with as little disturbance as possible. Everybody has their own preferred way to be positioned to sleep or rest. You should check the individuals preferred positions that they feel comfortable in to ensure that they have a comfortable sleep/rest. Some individuals may have to rest propped up or sitting in a chair due to medical conditions. You should check their care plan to see if there are any positions they need to maintain.
2.5 The individuals care plan will include a plan for dealing with any pain that the individual may experience. It is important that you offer sympathy and support to the individual in pain. If the individual is suffering in pain because they have had an accident or got an injury then you will need to discuss it with your manager or senior who may need to request a medical assessment so that the appropriate pain relief can be prescribed. It is important that the individual who you are supporting is asked what help and support they would like to receive.
Outcome 3 Be able to monitor, record and report on the management of individuals pain or discomfort. 3.1 An individual’s pain and discomfort levels should be monitored regularly, this shows if there are any changes. It will also show if the pain relieving methods are effective or not. It is important that if you are have any difficulty assessing an individual’s pain then you should let your manager know. You should never guess because you may get it wrong. You could use a pain scoring sheet to get an idea of the level of pain.
3.2 When recording an individual’s comfort, sleep and rest it should be accurate and contain all the information so that other care workers can continue to support them. Never assume about an individual’s comfort or sleep levels. One way you could record an individual’s comfort or sleep levels is you could observe them or you could ask them. It is important that the correct information is recorded because how an individual has slept may affect the care and support that is required after periods of rest. It should be written clearly so that it is understood easily. Care records are legal documents, not completing a care record is just as bad as not completing it correctly.
3.3 It is important that if an individual is in pain it should be recorded especially if it is a different type of pain. You should record an individual’s pain is better or worse. If an individual is becoming reliant on pain medication then it needs to be recorded so that the doctor can review it. Some individuals may find it difficult to sleep, relax or rest this will also need to be recorded so that the issue can be resolved for the individual.