Pain is a significant national health problem which is the most common reason people seek out medical care. Poorly treated pain is a major concern for the million of Americans currently suffering with pain. Pain management has become the focus of several regulatory organizations. The American Pain Society created the phrase "Pain, the Fifth Vital Sign," and promoted the need for increased awareness of pain management among healthcare providers (Lafleur, 35). Pulse, blood pressure, core temperature, and respiration were once the basic vital signs now pain has been added. Measuring and treating pain is part of providing quality care. According to the American Pain Society, 50 million people suffer from intractable pain. CNN reported that the total nationwide cost of pain related lost productivity was estimated $61.2 billion annually. Persistent pain can lead to more serious problems. Pain can, directly or indirectly, suppress immune mechanisms that defend the body (Davidhizar and Bartlett,12). The failure to treat pain adequately constitutes one of the biggest problems that people face today. The medical community is viewed as having limited success in helping patients deal with pain (Hart, 6, 2003).
Pain is a personal experience that is unique to each individual experiencing it. The patient, not the clinician, is the authority on their pain and self-report is the most reliable indicator of pain (JCAHO, 2001). Due to the subjectivity, the concept of pain can be hard to communicate and describe. There is a lack of consistency in not only how patients perceive and communicate pain, but also how providers assess and treat pain. Some providers do not even make pain a priority in their delivery of care. However, it is not a concept that can be ignored. There are medications and treatments available. In recent years pain management has become an important clinical concern for nursing professionals.
Conceptual models developed by nursing theorists can be useful tools to guide clinical practice. These models broadly explain a phenomenon of interest from the author's philosophical point of view. They provide a frame of reference, a rationale for activities, and a systematic structure for practice (Torakis & Smigielski, 2002). Models define nursing and provide a consistent and efficient way to communication within the profession. Orem's Self-Care Framework, Neuman's System Model, and Roy's Adaptation Model are examples of conceptual models that can be used to explore possible approaches to solving health care problems and clinical concerns. These models can be implemented in practice to ensure the provision of optimal pain assessment and management.
Dorothea Orem's Self Care Model describes how a patient requires self-care abilities in order to maintain health. Self-care is the performance or practice of activities that individuals initiate and perform on their own behalf to maintain life, health, and well-being (Foster & Bennett, 2003). Nursing care is required when the patient is unable to provide the amount of self-care needed to sustain wellness. The goal of the model is to enable the patient to meet their self-care ...