Stanford Health Care (SHC) takes pain management seriously. Our Pain Champions and Patient Centered Management Program, as well as SNAP – Stanford Nurses Against Pain are SHC nursing initiatives focused on pain are based upon the following principles:
Effective pain management is a moral imperative, a professional responsibility, and the duty of people in the healing professions.
Pain results from a combination of biologic, psychological, and social factors and often requires comprehensive approaches to prevention and management.
Chronic pain has such severe effects on all aspects of a person's life that every effort should be made to achieve both primary prevention (e.g. surgery) and secondary prevention (the transition from the acute to the chronic state) through early intervention.
The effectiveness of pain treatments depends greatly on the strength of the Clinician-patient relationship. Pain treatment is never about the Clinician's intervention alone, but about collaboration between the Clinician, the patient, and the family.
SHC has introduced several pain management initiatives in a multi-faceted approach to improving patients' hospital stays.
Stanford Pain Champions is an SHC pain management initiative launched in January 2012. The goals of Pain Champions are to develop expertise in pain management, including the integration of alternative pain management strategies, in order to improve patients' pain management during a hospital stay.
Pain Champions serve as the nurse bedside experts and partners in pain management. They act as information resources for their peers, and support and educate patients and families in pain management protocols and options.
Patient partnership is a crucial element of effective pain management. The Pain Champion program provides a framework for dialogue and strengthens the partnership between nursing staff and patients. Pain Champions work to increase patient involvement and engagement in managing their pain through patient education that focuses on their role in self-care practices that can reduce pain, as well as setting appropriate expectations about pain levels.
Augmentative pain therapies
The Augmentative Pain Therapies Team is another SHC Pain Management program which provides staff with pain management tools including holistic and adjunct therapy treatments and also provides access to additional services by appointment.
This team, which includes both nurses and patients, developed the innovative Comfort Care Toolkit.
The Comfort Care Toolkit has three components:
Comfort Carts, which hold comfort items such as aromatherapy treatment, eye masks, puzzles, and a list of available complementary therapies, such as reiki.
A patient brochure, which is designed to increase patient engagement.
A Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations brochure on pain management in Spanish and English.
A Guide for Staff on patient pain management. The guide includes dialogue using the C-I-CARE (Connect, Introduce, Communicate, Ask, Respond, Exit) template. The guide also encourages nurses to use each patient's dry erase board to write pain relief goals and the time at which the next medication may be administered.
By empowering patients to manage various aspects of their care, we hope to increase patient comfort and satisfaction and reduce the amount of pain medication patients require.
Ongoing organizational education
All nurses will have the opportunity to attend seminars throughout the year addressing a number of topics including:
Types of pain and barriers to pain management
Complementary and pharmacological interventions
The seminars will utilize a problem-based learning approach to foster a dynamic and interactive exchange for the participants.
Pain Champions attend seminars bi-monthly with a problem based learning approach of lecture and didactic component integrating lessons into everyday practice constructs.
SHC nurses interested in becoming a Pain Champion should speak with their nurse managers.