Pain and Symptom Management
Pain and Symptom Management in Central Georgia
Signs and Symptoms of Pain
It is important to have open communication with our patients so they feel comfortable enough to express their pain so we may help them. Below are some signs of pain to look for:
- Increased breathing rate
- Tightly closed eyes and rapid blinking
- Increased blood pressure from their baseline
- Holding leg or arm muscles tightly
- Rocking, fidgeting, or pacing
- Resisting care or guarding certain areas of the body when turning
- Becoming withdrawn
- Increased confusion
- Moaning, calling out, sighing, or asking for help
Hospice Pain Medication
Pain medication is offered in a variety of forms and the correct form can be decided by the attending physician. If the patient is receiving at-home care, the primary caregiver will receive basic training so that he or she can help administer the medication properly. Our staff of doctors and nurses are on call to prescribe and manage the pain regimen at all times.
Hospice pain medication protocol requires the care team to frequently assess the following:
- The need to initiate and continue opioids to control pain
- The selection, dosage, duration, follow-up, and discontinuation of pain medication
- The risk and harms of opioid use
- Whether the medications are securely stored and not misused by others
Patients who are on narcotics sometimes experience side effects such as constipation, nausea, or vomiting. Stool softeners or laxatives are recommended to help prevent constipation. Anti-emetic medications can be taken before meals to help prevent nausea and vomiting. Catheters can also be inserted if there are urinary problems. All of these solutions are managed by the attending medical team.
Managing Emotional and Spiritual Pain
In addition to managing physical pain, the hospice pain management plan will assess the patient’s emotional and spiritual pain. Emotional pain, like anxiety, can work hand-in-hand with physical pain, as they increase on each other’s increases. Family members must beware of the emotions of their family members. It is our goal to manage the emotional pains of our patients while managing their physical pain, too.
Pain Management Through Care
Skin breakdown, also known as pressure ulcers, often occurs in patients who are bed bound and have trouble moving around. When a patient remains in one position for long periods, the skin begins to break down. Special dressings can be applied and in some cases can stay on for days at a time. Caregivers are instructed on how to help turn patients and change dressings if needed.
What Our Customers Say
I love this Hospice. You are involved with your patients. You care. That is why I say this is what a person needs in this scary time of their life. I am thankful for Hospice Care Options and the care you all give!!
– Teresa H.