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Clearly Communicating to Enhance Pain Management

Pain is the most common reason that Americans access healthcare services. A critical aspect of pain management is determining the best intervention for your patient based on their symptoms and how they describe their pain. Nurses can use health literacy strategies to partner with their patients and help them accurately express how they are feeling.

Health literacy is important when it comes to helping your patients explain how they feel because it can be hard to find the right words while dealing with pain. From the teenager with a broken arm to the adult with chronic back pain, it’s a widespread concern that can affect individuals of all ages and across many medical situations. Going beyond the use of tools such as pain scales can enhance pain assessments. Besides intensity of pain, nurses need to understand other important factors such as the patient’s culture and their beliefs about expression and treatment of pain. The clear, respectful exchange of healthcare information between nurses and their patients can improve the delivery of care by providing person-centered treatment options for pain relief.

Health Literacy Partners helps organizations educate and train their nurses on a variety of health literacy strategies that can be used to optimize patient-provider communication. Together, we can foster clear communication and enhance the quality of pain management for all patients.

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