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:

  1. Explain and apply information to clarify common misconceptions about pain in older adults and the barriers to effective treatment.
  2. Explain the etiologies and characteristics of, and differences in treatment for, nociceptive and neuropathic pain.
  3. Explain potential consequences of untreated pain specific to older adults.
  4. Select and use valid and reliable pain assessment tools for assessing pain in cognitively intact individuals.
  5. Describe approach to identifying and evaluating pain in cognitively impaired older adults, including selecting and using valid and reliable pain assessment tools.
  6. Recognize verbal and nonverbal behaviors which can be indicative of pain in a cognitively impaired person.
  7. Apply information about specific physiological age-related factors that influence the assessment and management of pain in older adult.
  8. 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.
  9. Evaluate the effectiveness of an individualized treatment plan for pain and adapt the plan based on changing pain assessment data.
  10. 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.
  11. Identify medications that should be avoided or used with caution in older adults and explain their adverse effects.
  12. Identify and implement treatment strategies to avoid the adverse effects of analgesic drugs in older adults with renal and hepatic impairment.
  13. Recognize common side effects of opioids and apply treatment strategies to prevent, minimize and/or treat side effects.
  14. Identify characteristics of older adults at risk for adverse effects of prolonged use of NSAIDS.
  15. Incorporate appropriate adjuvant drugs into the treatment plan for select painful conditions.
  16. Select appropriate non-pharmacological pain treatment strategies tailored to the unique needs, abilities and preferences of the older adult.
  17. Explain the role of the interdisciplinary team in pain management.
  18. Advocate for timely and appropriate treatment of pain for all older adults in the long-term care setting.
  19. Articulate accreditation and regulatory requirements pertinent to long-term-care settings related to pain management.


Pain Competencies Exam

Pain Competencies Exam Answers

American Society for Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN) Position Statement: Pain Management in Patients with Addictive  Disease (ASPMN)

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.