In clinical practice, pain has been identified as the fifth vital sign. Pain is defined as "an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage (International Association for the Study of Pain, 2017 as cited in Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, 2013, p. 17).
The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (2013) describes the two broad classifications of pain as
Pain is multidimensional and subjective in nature. Therefore, pain assessment must include intensity, duration, location, and other factors that may influence perception of pain. Numerous pain assessment scales, tools, and techniques are available to assist patients to describe and rate their pain intensity and to help clinicians assess pain, observe associated behaviours, and monitor the effectiveness of medical interventions. Pain assessment tools are classified in to two categories.
Pain can be mild or extreme; can feel on one part of the body to the whole body. Recommended pain management strategies include
Gregory, J., & Richardson, C. (2014). The use of pain assessment tools in clinical practice: A pilot survey. Journal of Pain & Relief, 3(2), 140-146. https://doi.org/10.4172/2167-0846.1000140
Morone, N. E., & Weiner, D. K. (2013). Pain as the fifth vital sign: Exposing the vital need for pain education. Clinical Therapeutics, 35(11), 1728-1732. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinthera.2013.10.001
Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. (2013). Assessment and Management of Pain. http://rnao.ca/sites/rnaoca/files/ AssessAndManagementOfPain2014.pdf