Activity 11.3: Reflective practice

Have ever not believed a patient’s self-report of pain asking yourself the following questions:

  • Why did you not believe them?
  • Did they show other signs of being in pain?
  • How did you ascertain they really were in pain?

It is very common for a healthcare professional to not believe a patient’s report of pain especially when they do not look as if they are in pain. But remember that everyone deals with pain in their own way and if you look more carefully you may spot significant cues, i.e. they may walk differently, sit quietly for longer periods than usual.

Identifying pain in someone who states that they are in pain is easier than for those who try to ignore it; all you have to do is undertake a full pain assessment.