Cultural Effects on Pain Assessment and Management Essay

Pain is a bad sensation due to strong or destructive stimuli. The discernment of pain differs widely from one individual to another making the description of pain a hard task (Narayan, 2010). Pain can be categorized into two main types, which are chronic and acute pain. Acute pain lasts a short time and is commonly an outcome of surgical procedures, wounds or illnesses (Yceer, 2011). Chronic pain, on the other hand, is an unending state of pain that is usually associated with an illness. Pain decreases the quality of life, lengthens hospital visits, and increases morbidity and death (Yceer, 2011).

Pathophysiology of Pain
Pain arises from the brains translation of feelings felt by the body. The nervous system transmits these indicators from their points of origin to the brain. The physiology of pain entails four key steps. These are transduction, transmission, modulation, and perception (Zacharoff, 2013, para. 2). Afferent nerve endings work through A-delta fibers and C fibers. These nerves convert unpleasant stimuli into nociceptive signals, which are then conveyed to the brain through the spinal cord along sensory regions (Zacharoff, 2013). The pain-associated impulses are modulated in the dorsal region of the spinal cord. The modulation can result in strengthening or reduction of the signals. The ultimate pain experience is subjective and comes from the interrelations between the patients psychological viewpoint, transduction, transmission, and modulation of pain (Zacharoff, 2013).

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Nursing and Medical Management of Pain
People belong to diverse cultural groups and their perception of pain varies significantly. Nurses ought to accept this perception of pain to be able to provide patients with culturally and medically acceptable pain management remedies (Edwards et al., 2001). To understand patients perception of pain, nurses first need to establish their own cultural norms about pain by (Narayan, 2010). Efficient communication is fundamental for a . Therefore, when dealing with patients who speak languages other than English, nurses must engage the services of certified medical interpreters to facilitate efficient communication of patients opinions concerning pain (Narayan, 2010).

The mnemonic LEARN (listen, explain, acknowledge, recommend, and negotiate) is a vital model that provides key steps in educating nurses on appropriate pain management strategies (Narayan, 2010). Nurses ought to comprehend patients cultural beliefs about pain and clarify the harmful impact of such values without criticizing the patients viewpoints. Nurses ought to let patients know that it is right to be relieved of pain by encouraging them to seek help whenever they feel any discomfort (Edwards et al., 2001).

Application of Information to Professional Nursing Practice
This paper emphasizes the relevance of culture in the perception and treatment of pain. It also points out the importance of patients psychological satisfaction in effective management of pain. However, patients tend to cling to and procedures associated with pain. Consequently, nurses ought to educate and enlighten patients on the negative effects of such practices. It is, therefore, important that nurses and patients arrive at mutually acceptable treatment options. These options should take care of the patients cultural values as well as the underlying scientific advantages and disadvantages (Narayan, 2010). This strikes a balance between bodily comfort and emotional interests of the patients thereby attaining the best outcome in pain management. The shortage of consistent pain assessment instruments is a major barrier to efficient pain management (Reisman, 2007). This paper solves this problem by providing nurses with important pain management guidelines.


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