Assess the client’s pain. Pain is what the client describes or says that it is. Do not under-medicate the cancer client who is in pain.
Mild or moderate pain may be treated with salicylates, acetaminophen (Tylenol), and NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs). Severe pain is treated with opioids, such as codeine sulfate morphine sulfate, methadone, and hydromorphone hydrochloride (Dilaudid). Neuropathic pain may be treated with a variety of anticonvulsants and antidepressants, as well as opioids.
Administer oral preparations if possible and if they provide adequate relief of pain. The transdermal route may also be prescribed. Subcutaneous injections and continuous intravenous infusions of opioids provide rapid pain control. Equianalgesic comparison charts should be used when switching routes of administration of opioids.
Monitor V/S and for side effects of medications. Monitor the effectiveness of medications.
Provide non-pharmacological techniques of pain control, such as relaxation, guided imagery, biofeedback, massage, and heat-cold application.
Collaborate with other members of the health care team to develop a pain management program.