Complimentary Therapy for Pain Management
The word “pain” is not easily defined. In 1968, Margo McCaffrey defined pain as “whatever the experiencing person says it is, existing whenever he says it does."( “Encyclopedia of Death and Dying,” n.d. ). Forty-two years later, this definition is still considered the most acceptable and widely used in clinical practice. Pain is not as straight-forward and clear cut as perhaps other nursing issues may be. If a patient has diabetes, a nurse simply checks their blood sugar, receives an accurate measurable number, and then treats that patient accordingly. It is quantifiable, straight forward, and rooted in science. However, pain is not so simple. Pain is based on perception and is not measured with a quick stick of the finger. Pain is also the number one reason people seek medical treatment in the United States. Therefore, pain presents a serious issue for nurses. Home Health nurses, in particular, struggle to manage their patient's pain. Because many patients referred to Home Health are being treated for pain related issues, Home Health nurses must not only be able to effectively identify and accurately measure pain but they must also learn to successfully treat their patient's pain.
Pharmacological intervention is the most commonly used and most widely accepted form of pain management. Nurses administer pain medication on a daily basis. However, pain medication is not always entirely effective and can have serious side effects including but not limited to, dependency, sedation, urinary incontinence, and confusion. All of these side effects may impair recovery, leading to increased and unnecessary costs, decreased quality of life, and may even lead to further injury(Antall & Kresevic, 2004).
The use of less conventional therapies such as guided imagery, yoga, and massage are often referred to as Alternative therapies and the use of these traditional practices in conjunction with Western medicine is...