Education for Clinicians
Review the following resources for Clinicians who care for older adults who are experiencing pain.
Education for Clinicians
Understanding Pain in Older Adults Presentation: 5 narrated PowerPoint slide presentations
Geriatric ELNEC (End of Life Nursing Education Consortium): A national end-of-life educational program
Pain-Types Terminology: glossary of terms associated with various types of pain, including clinical application.
Pain Assessment Terminology: glossary of terms associated with pain assessment, including clinical application.
Pain Treatment Terminology: glossary of terms associated with pain treatment, including clinical application.
In collaboration with the interdisciplinary team, the nurse competent in pain management for older adults has knowledge and skill to:
- Explain and apply information to clarify common misconceptions about pain in older adults and the barriers to effective treatment.
- Explain the etiologies and characteristics of, and differences in treatment for, nociceptive and neuropathic pain.
- Explain potential consequences of untreated pain specific to older adults.
- Select and use valid and reliable pain assessment tools for assessing pain in cognitively intact individuals.
- Describe approach to identifying and evaluating pain in cognitively impaired older adults, including selecting and using valid and reliable pain assessment tools.
- Recognize verbal and nonverbal behaviors which can be indicative of pain in a cognitively impaired person.
- Apply information about specific physiological age-related factors that influence the assessment and management of pain in older adult.
- Develop and implement an individualized treatment plan for managing pain based on assessment, functional and cognitive abilities, and the older person’s pain treatment goals.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of an individualized treatment plan for pain and adapt the plan based on changing pain assessment data.
- Identify appropriate analgesic drugs and doses, taking into account the physiologic changes commonly seen in older individuals and interactions with other prescribed and over-the-counter medications.
- Identify medications that should be avoided or used with caution in older adults and explain their adverse effects.
- Identify and implement treatment strategies to avoid the adverse effects of analgesic drugs in older adults with renal and hepatic impairment.
- Recognize common side effects of opioids and apply treatment strategies to prevent, minimize and/or treat side effects.
- Identify characteristics of older adults at risk for adverse effects of prolonged use of NSAIDS.
- Incorporate appropriate adjuvant drugs into the treatment plan for select painful conditions.
- Select appropriate non-pharmacological pain treatment strategies tailored to the unique needs, abilities and preferences of the older adult.
- Explain the role of the interdisciplinary team in pain management.
- Advocate for timely and appropriate treatment of pain for all older adults in the long-term care setting.
- Articulate accreditation and regulatory requirements pertinent to long-term-care settings related to pain management.
American Society for Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN) Position Statement: Pain Management in Patients with Addictive Disease (ASPMN)
Pain Myths: List of myths about pain with "reality" explanation including a table listing assessment and intervention approaches for specific older adults and family barriers to pain management.
Barriers to Effective Pain Management: List of pain barriers and suggested approaches for addressing each.
Education Game: The Pain Jeopardy Game is a fun way to reinforce content that has just been, or has recently been taught in an in-service about pain management. - Jeopardy Game Instructions
Detecting Discomfort DVD and How to Try This Video: How to detect discomfort or pain in older adults ($49.99)
LIVE Without Pain - National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO): Campaign launched in 2012 by NHPCO focused on pain education and management resources.