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Current Joint Commission standards regarding pain management emphasize patient education. Patients must be educated about their pain and informed about the availability of pain management techniques and medications, thereby making the patient an integral component in the assessment of their pain. This becomes difficult, however, when it comes to treating children. Fortunately, Joint Commission standards also specify that patients' families (i.e., parents) are also to be instructed about pain, the risk for pain, the importance of effective pain management, the pain assessment process and methods for pain management, when appropriate. Nurses and others responsible for a patient's pain management regimen should review current Joint Commission standards and guidelines regularly, especially when working with pediatric patients.

Another federal agency that regulates hospital standards, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), issues a valuable Clinical Practice Guideline for Acute Pain Management in Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Operative and Medical Procedures that nurses and others can follow when managing pain in pediatric patients.

This course discusses federal guidelines, with particular emphasis on AHCPR practice guidelines for managing pain in pediatric patients, and delineates recommendations for the use of particular assessment techniques and the use of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic techniques for managing pain in pediatric patients.

To complete this course, you must do the following:

  • Read the Overview and Course Objectives.
  • Study the Terminology.
  • Read the course material.
  • Complete the Learning Activity.
  • Complete the Post Test with a score of 80% or more.

    The purpose of this program is to provide nurses an understanding of how to assess pain in children, and how to use pharmacological and non-pharmacological techniques to help manage the pain.

    After completing this course, the learner should be able to:

  • Describe the self-reporting tools that may be appropriate for assessing pain in children.
  • Give examples of types of behavioral and physiological signs that may supplement the self-report.
  • Describe specific pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic management techniques for procedure-related pain in children.
  • Explain how pain is managed after surgery.
  • Describe the appropriate use of patient-controlled analgesia in children.
  • Describe nonpharmacologic techniques for managing post-operative pain in children.

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    Acute Pain Management in Children: Operative or Medical Procedures Online course
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