Nanda Acute Pain

Nanda Acute Pain Definition

Unpleasant sensory and emotional experience arising from actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage (International Association for the Study of Pain); sudden or slow onset of any intensity from mild to severe with an anticipated or predictable end and a duration of less than 6 months

Pain is a highly subjective state in which a variety of unpleasant sensations and a wide range of distressing factors may be experienced by the sufferer. Pain may be a symptom of injury or illness. Pain may also arise from emotional, psychological, cultural, or spiritual distress. Pain can be very difficult to explain, because it is unique to the individual; pain should be accepted as described by the sufferer. Pain assessment can be challenging, especially in elderly patients, where cognitive impairment and sensory-perceptual deficits are more common.

Acute Pain

Defining Characteristics
  • Patient reports pain
  • Guarding behavior, protecting body part
  • Self-focused
  • Narrowed focus (e.g., altered time perception, withdrawal from social or physical contact)
  • Relief or distraction behavior (e.g., moaning, crying, pacing, seeking out other people or activities, restlessness)
  • Facial mask of pain
  • Alteration in muscle tone: listlessness or flaccidness; rigidity or tension
  • Autonomic responses (e.g., diaphoresis; change in blood pressure [BP], pulse rate; pupillary dilation; change in respiratory rate; pallor; nausea)

Related Factors:
  • Postoperative pain
  • Cardiovascular pain
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Obstetrical pain
  • Pain resulting from medical problems
  • Pain resulting from diagnostic procedures or medical treatments
  • Pain resulting from trauma
  • Pain resulting from emotional, psychological, spiritual, or cultural distress
NOC Outcomes (Nursing Outcomes Classification)
Suggested NOC Labels
  • Comfort Level
  • Medication Response
  • Pain Control
NIC Interventions (Nursing Interventions Classification)
Suggested NIC Labels
  • Analgesic Administration
  • Conscious Sedation
  • Pain Management
  • Patient-Controlled Analgesia Assistance
  • Expected Outcomes
  • Patient verbalizes adequate relief of pain or ability to cope with incompletely relieved pain.
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