Importance of a Holistic Approach to Managing Pain and Discomfort

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Explain the importance of a holistic approach to managing pain and discomfort Holistic care aims to take care of the whole person – not only the physical needs (i. e. pain what they are suffering from) of the patient but also their mental & emotional needs (i. e. afraid, not knowing what`s wrong), their social needs (i. e. worrying about money, bills, or how supporting family) and spiritual needs (i. e. feelings of anger or guilt). Conventional medicine, alternative and complementary therapies can be used as options to relieve pain and other symptoms if desired.

Care plan is individualized and tailor-made for the service users which support their lifestyle and culture. The individuals and their family members are consulted and their wishes respected as far as possible in the care process. The purpose is to bring comfort, dignity and peace to the clients as well as support to their family members 1. 2 Describe different approaches to alleviate pain and minimise discomfort There are 4 types of approaches to relief pain.

  1. Using drugs such as analgesics (paracetamol), opiates (morphine), anti inflammantories (ibuprofen).
  2. Using physical methods like hot water bottle, massage, cooling with ice, repositioning.
  3. Self-help methods such as walking around or taking other exercises, having a chat or doing something else to distract from pain.
  4. Alternative therapies: aromatherapy, homeopathic medicine, reflexology, acupuncture, yoga – these therapies should be used only where care professional agrees with the beneficial effects.

Outline agreed ways of working that relate to managing pain and discomfort Before using any of these methods to manage pain, the individual needed to be assessed, as every kind of pain relief can be harmful, care plan and policies and procedures always have to be followed and necessary precautions have to be taken. 2. 1 Describe how pain and discomfort may affect an individual’s wellbeing and communication When dealing with an aging population, one has to recognize that pain is so common place, and that it makes day to day life difficult.

Pain and discomfort can present limitations of functional ability and interfere with quality of life. Even with patients that aren’t old or impaired, chronic pain causes a host of related problems, not the least of which is depression. Pain can cause many problems, such as sensory experience and psychological distress. For patients with dementia, stroke and Parkinson’s, the ability to express pain or discomfort is difficult or impossible. It is important to be aware of non-verbal communication, as this may be the only way that these people can express their pain.

It is through this, that the most vulnerable members of our society can be cared for. Providing appropriate pain management assures the dignity and well being of a patient, as well as affording a better quality of life. When pain is properly managed, a patient can not only gain back some or all control of his life and day to day activities, it allows one to communicate in a more effective manner. Independence is crucial to people, and in the long run, lessens the cost of health care.

References:

  • Merboth, Marcia K., and Susan Barnason. “Managing pain: the fifth vital sign.” The Nursing Clinics of North America 35.2 (2000): 375-383.
  • Boswell, Mark V., et al. “Interventional techniques: evidence-based practice guidelines in the management of chronic spinal pain.” Pain physician 10.1 (2007): 7-111.
  • Porter, Laura S., et al. “Self-efficacy for managing pain, symptoms, and function in patients with lung cancer and their informal caregivers: associations with symptoms and distress.” PAIN® 137.2 (2008): 306-315.
  • Gallagher, R. M., and S. Verma. “Managing pain and comorbid depression: A public health challenge.” Seminars in clinical neuropsychiatry. Vol. 4. No. 3. 1999.

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