Pain is a complex phenomenon whose understanding is subjective and relative to each individual. It is difficult to explain and measure; however, healthcare specialists believe that it is whatever the patient describes it to be. The concept of pain management is often inadequately defined. A concept analysis of pain therefore would assist healthcare professionals to have a better understanding of pain management and how it impacts on patients.
Lack of universal definition of pain management is an obstacle to its growth in practice. Pain management understanding is fundamental nursing knowledge requiring a proactive approach. This presents challenges to nurses as they spend most of their time with patients and therefore must have a clear understanding of pain management. Efficient healthcare professionals acts as advocates for patients and must ensure that their pain is managed properly (Larsen, 2007).
The purpose of this concept analysis is to clarify the defining attributes of pain management in practice with a view to encourage communication and the development of skills and tools to estimate and asses pain management quality. Concept analysis helps in clarifying the ambiguities of concepts common in nursing so that a widely accepted definition is arrived at (Walker and Avant, 2005). Background Pain management depends on the causes of the pain. Depending on the causes managing it can either be a simple or a complex process.
Simple cases of pain could be alleviated by performing simple therapy. However, at times the pain does not disappear and therefore pain management calls for a range of techniques in order to treat pain. These techniques might include medical and intervention procedures as well as conducting psychological counseling. Pain management is guided by different aspects of pain. These aspects includes past history of pain, the intensity of pain, its duration and the structure responsible for the pain.
A potential pain causing structure has a nerve center which must be susceptible to any injury and stimulation. Pain management therefore involves identifying the sources of the pain and isolating them for optimal treatment to be achieved Thompson (2008). Isolating questions of the concept Because of lack of a clear definition of pain in the available literature, several questions are asked. These questions include: (1) what are the characteristics and nature of pain? (2) What are the symptoms of pain?
(3) Does pain differ from discomfort and suffering? (4) Can pain be treated? Separating these questions under categories of the concept, fact and value provides a framework upon which these questions can be addressed in the context of fact and value. The first and third questions are therefore categorized as concept questions while the second and the third questions are grouped under fact. Finally, the last question is a question of value as it requires both the definition of pain and decisions based on these values Thompson (2008).