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Chronic Pain - Nursing Assessment and Management Made Easy Seminar

  • : Surry Hills NSW 2010

A 2 Day Seminar for all Nurses


Chronic pain is difficult to manage, but good outcomes for the patient can be achieved with proper knowledge and application. Attend this seminar and learn about:

  • What causes chronic pain and how it differs to acute pain
  • Why pain is a unique experience
  • How to effectively assess a person with chronic pain
  • Nursing strategies for minimising chronic pain
  • Using opioids judiciously
  • Non-medicine interventions that work
  • Case scenarios to practice putting it all together


Need for Program

Chronic pain affects many people in the community and is a major clinical challenge and a common reason for people to visit their GP. Often chronic pain is unable to be cured. Because pain is a multidimensional and unique experience, then treatments and nursing care may vary considerably. Knowing and using today’s best evidence in the assessment and management of a person with chronic pain will result in improved function and wellbeing and lessen the high cost of care for all concerned.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this seminar is to provide nurses with knowledge relating to chronic pain and evidence-based management strategies to improve care for people with persistent and advanced pain.

Your Learning Outcomes

  • Differentiate between types of pain and how their symptoms manifest in an individual
  • Comprehensively assess patients in your care to determine the nature, the experience, and the impacts of the pain
  • Discriminate between a range of therapies to ensure that the patient receives care that is aligned with The National Pain Strategy Guidelines
  • Formulate a nursing care plan for a person with chronic pain, evaluate the outcome, and revise the plan as needed
  • Schedule Day One

    8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


    National Pain Strategy Guidelines

    This brief session looks at aligning with the Australian National Pain Strategy Guidelines. It emphasises the importance of treating the underlying cause of the pain along with the symptoms.


    Why Pain is a Unique Experience for Each Person

    What is pain? It is such a broad term and means different things to different people. The experience of pain depends on so many factors – the person, their state of mind, their past experiences, the disease, and so on. This session looks at the role that pain plays in our society and how it influences the health, wellbeing, and longevity of individuals. It includes:

    • Why pain matters
    • Fears and anxieties: the psychological impact of pain on different people
    • The loneliness and subjectivity of pain
    • The consequences of untreated chronic pain for the person

    10:45am - Morning Tea


    The Different Types of Pain and Their Causes

    Chronic pain results from a wide variety of conditions, diseases, and injuries. How does chronic pain differ from acute pain? This session reviews the aetiology and pathophysiology of chronic pain. It includes:

    • Does it throb, stab, or ache? – Understanding the different types of pain:
      • Nociceptive
      • Neuropathic
      • Psychogenic
    • Pain mechanisms and pathways, including sensitising or modulating factors


    Interpreting Signs and Symptoms of Pain

    This session extends the previous session by looking at the relationship between disease and chronic pain. It reviews:

    • What common signs and symptoms are associated with chronic pain e.g. numbness, increased heart rate, changes in behaviour
    • Pain thresholds in different individuals
    • “Referred” pain

    12:15pm - Lunch and Networking


    Nursing Assessment of Pain – Part 1 - Not Just “The Hurt”

    The multidimensional experience of pain causes people to interpret and respond to pain in a unique manner. This session sets the scene for performing a comprehensive assessment and includes:

    • How our own bias and expectations can affect assessment
    • Taking into account the social, emotional, psychological, and spiritual factors of the person
    • Age and gender considerations
    • Cognitive decline and communicating pain
    • Cultural considerations - e.g. stoicism and language barriers


    Nursing Assessment of Pain - Part 2 - Objective Assessment

    This session looks at validated pain assessment tools and mnemonics (such as OPQRST) to assist in framing the characteristics of pain. It includes:

    • Which assessment tools are more likely to result in a comprehensive pain assessment?
    • Assessing a person’s pain duration, severity, location, and threshold
    • Pain and dermatomes
    • How persistent pain affects the activities of daily living
    • Diagnostic tests e.g. MRI scans
    • Documenting your assessment findings, including reports to other members of the multi-disciplinary team

    3:45pm - Afternoon Tea


    Translating Assessment into Goals of Care

    This final session of day one will involve workshopping nursing case scenarios in small groups, to identify which tools to use and what to look for when performing a pain assessment for these various conditions. It will include the principles of setting realistic goals that can be readily implemented and measured. The case scenarios and group work will discuss:

    • Lower back pain e.g. musculoskeletal pain
    • Arthritis and osteoarthritis e.g. inflammatory pain
    • Neuropathies e.g. diabetic neuropathy
    • Post-herpetic neuralgia e.g. shingles
    • A person with cognitive decline

    5:15pm - Close of Day One of Seminar

    Day Two

    9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


    Nursing Patients with Advanced Cancer Pain

    Advanced cancer is often associated with pain. Managing this type of pain can be a challenge. However, pain management in such circumstances is possible. This session will review:

    • Cancer pain terminology
    • Incidence in patients with advanced cancer – one pain or many – a review of common types and symptoms of cancer pain
    • Setting goals when pain appears intractable
    • Advocating for the patient when intervention is not working

    10:30am - Morning Tea


    Analgesics and Other Medicines for Chronic Pain

    Analgesics take many forms and have varied modes and durations of action. This session will provide an opportunity to refresh your knowledge of a range of analgesics and other medications that may be prescribed for reducing pain, including:

    • Ointment, patch, tablet, or infusion? Deciding which form of analgesia to administer and comments about the common side effects or complications
    • What is a co-analgesic or opioid-sparing analgesic?
    • What is meant by the term “therapeutic window”?


    The Judicious Use of Opioids – Implications for Nursing Practice

    Because opioids are used widely in pain management, yet their potential for harm and misuse is ever present, it is essential that these medicines are fully understood and appropriately used so nurses can confidently feel safe administering them. This session offers an in-depth review of opioid medications including:

    • Methods of administration
    • Dose titration
    • Equianalgesic dosing
    • Management of opioid-induced side effects e.g. constipation, falls, etc.
    • Dosing considerations in the elderly
    • Identifying tolerance
    • Preventing dependency
    • Identifying drug diversion and other inappropriate behaviours

    12:45pm - Lunch and Networking


    Other Pain Management Options

    The following two sessions consider a broad range of options for patients, which nurses can include in patient-education, implement, or recommend.

    Part 1 - Commonly Used Therapies
    • RICE
    • Heat e.g. wheat bags and heat packs
    • Massage and tactile techniques
    • Complementary and alternative therapies
    • Relaxation and distraction techniques
    • Management of impaired sleep
    • Cognitive behavioural therapy and support groups
    Part 2 - Interventional Therapies
    • Pain management devices and implantable therapies e.g. TENS machines
    • Interventional procedures, blocks, infusions, and other treatments

    3:15pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    Nursing Case Scenarios to Consolidate Your Learning

    The nurse's role in pain management and the importance of the relationship between the nurse, the patient, and their family will be highlighted in the following small group nursing case scenarios. In this final session, you will consolidate your learning by applying assessment and management practices to:

    • Prostate cancer – e.g. bone, bowel, and bladder related pains
    • Lung cancer – e.g. brain, bone, and nerve plexus related pains
    • Breast cancer – e.g. bone, brain, and liver-related pains

    4:30pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations


    Dale Long

    Dale Long

    Dale Long is a Registered Nurse who has worked in various cancer care, palliative care, and pain management roles in inpatient and domiciliary settings for the past 25 years in both Victoria and Queensland. She is an experienced presenter with a strong commitment to educating nurses to improve the quality of pain management delivered to patients. Dale is a member of the Australian Pain Society.

Chronic Pain - Nursing Assessment and Management Made Easy Seminar
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11 Hours | 45 Mins
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11 Hours | 45 Mins
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Rydges Sydney Central, 28 Albion Street
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