10h 45m CPDSeminar

Chronic Pain - Nursing Assessment and Management Made Easy Seminar

Two Days for Nurses and Other Health Professionals


12 - 13 Nov 2020
Venue TBA, Sydney
Sydney NSW2000

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Why Attend

Chronic pain is difficult to manage, but good outcomes for a patient can be achieved with the proper application of knowledge. Attend this seminar and learn about:

  • What causes chronic pain and how it differs from acute pain
  • Why pain is a unique experience
  • How to effectively assess a person with chronic pain
  • Nursing strategies for minimising chronic pain
  • Using opioids judiciously
  • Non-medicine interventions that work
  • Case scenarios for practice putting it all together

Need for Program

Chronic pain affects countless people in the community and is a common reason for them to visit a health professional. It is costly financially, psychologically, and socially and is often poorly managed. Because chronic pain is a multidimensional and unique experience, treatments vary, which can pose a major clinical challenge. Effective pain management that results in improved function and wellbeing is a fundamental skill for nurses in all settings. A lack of understanding of pain, its contributors, the pain experience, and current treatments is a major barrier to positive outcomes for patients.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this seminar is to assist nurses to improve care for people with chronic pain and promote effective self-management.

Your Learning Outcomes

  1. Comprehensively assess the state of pain in all patients using appropriate tools to formulate a patient-centred care plan for pain management
  2. Discriminate between recommended pain management strategies and align the therapeutic plan with the National Pain Strategy guidelines
  3. Advance patient progress and outcomes through regular monitoring, ongoing assessment, and close communication


Day One

8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


Modern Approaches to Chronic Pain Management

This introductory session considers some of the issues involved in managing chronic pain. It looks at:

  • What are the limits to best practice and patient outcomes in pain management?
  • How are National Pain Strategy guidelines and other guidelines used to improve pain management?
  • What is “Essential Pain Management” (EPM)?


The Different Types of Pain and Their Causes

Chronic pain results from a wide variety of conditions, diseases, and injuries. This session reviews the aetiology and pathophysiology of chronic pain. It includes:

  • Does it throb, stab, or ache? – Understanding the different types of pain:
    • Nociceptive
    • Neuropathic
    • Psychogenic
  • What are the pain mechanisms and pathways, including sensitising or modulating factors?
  • What is the difference between acute and chronic pain?

10:30am - Morning Tea


Assessing a Person in Pain: Part 1 – Not Just “The Hurt”

The multidimensional experience of pain causes people to interpret and respond to pain in a unique manner. This session sets the scene for performing a comprehensive assessment and includes:

  • How our own bias and expectations can affect assessments
  • Behavioural symptoms
  • Age and gender considerations
  • Cognitive decline and communicating pain
  • Cultural considerations – e.g. stoicism and language barriers


Assessing a Person in Pain: Part 2 – Objective Assessment

This session looks at validated pain assessment tools and mnemonics (such as OPQRST) to assist in framing the characteristics of pain. It includes:

  • Assessment tools that are more likely to result in a comprehensive pain assessment
  • Assessing a person’s pain duration, severity, location, and threshold
  • Physiological changes, pain and dermatomes, and vital signs
  • How persistent pain affects the activities of daily living
  • Diagnostic tests, e.g. MRI scans
  • Documenting your assessment findings, including reports to other members of the multidisciplinary team

12:30pm - Lunch and Networking


Using Medicines – Which one, When and Why?

Medicines are often the core treatment for chronic pain. Recommended treatments may involve combinations as different medicines work on different parts of the nociceptive pathway. This session discusses:

  • What are the common types of medicines used to manage pain?
  • What are the key considerations for prescribing certain medicines?
  • What is the WHO Pain Ladder, and how does it work?
  • What about interventional procedures – blocks, infusions, and other treatments?


The Judicious Use of Opioids

Opioids are associated with significant side-effects. They are widely used in pain management, yet their potential for harm and misuse is ever present – and a concern. This session offers an in-depth review of opioid medications, including:

  • Indications for use
  • Prescribing and de-prescribing
  • Opioid-related side effects, e.g. constipation, falls, etc.
  • Identifying tolerance and preventing dependency

3:15pm - Afternoon Tea


Massage Therapy – Practical Session

Engage in a demonstration of relaxation and distraction techniques. This session first discusses the role of massage in relieving pain and improving wellbeing.

4:30pm - Close of Day One of Seminar

Day Two

9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


Self-Management of Pain and Non-Pharmacological Options

Following on from yesterday’s session, we now look at a broad range of non-pharmacological options that individuals can use for managing their chronic pain. It includes:

  • Restorative movement therapies
  • Complementary and integrative therapies
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy and support groups
  • Pain management devices and implantable therapies, e.g. TENS machines


Chronic Cancer and Pain

Cancer pain is multifaceted and complex. There are many variants that determine the pain experience, including the type, extent, location, and duration. This session looks at:

  • What causes the pain?
  • How to assess the pain – nociceptive, neuropathic, visceral, and combination
  • Treatment options and when they are used

10:30am - Morning Tea


“Ah…My Back’s Just Gone!” – The Musculoskeletal Pains

Musculoskeletal pain is a common problem that may be localised in one area or widespread. It affects the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves, and one area may be affected by another. The most common type of musculoskeletal pain is lower back pain. This session looks at:

  • What are the different types of musculoskeletal pain?
  • What are the key questions to ask during history taking and assessment?
  • Are all diagnostic tests relevant to determining the cause?
  • What is the treatment evidence and plan of care?

1:00pm - Lunch and Networking


No Pain is the Same: Getting the Management Right

This interactive session draws on your learning and will have you thinking about the different treatments for chronic pain scenarios, their appropriateness, key issues for the patient receiving the treatment, and nursing care, advocacy, suitability for self-management, and ongoing monitoring.

3:00pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


"It’s All in Your Head!" – Removing the Stigma

For those people with chronic pain, stigma is a significant and persistent problem. They may experience judgments and opinions about the legitimacy of the pain and their coping responses from a range of areas, including family members, employers, and even healthcare providers. This final interactive session highlights:

  • The impact of stigma on a person with chronic pain
  • Common behavioural manifestations of stigma
  • Strategies nurses can use to minimise stigma, as well as to build trust and resilience

4:00pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations

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To Be Determined

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