Long Term Care Training: Staff Training is Essential for Effective Pain Management Program

As a part of this pain management program in your facility, it's critical to establish an organizational expectation that pain will be well managed in the effort to implement consistent symptoms for assessing and responding to pain. Ensure better resident comfort and a pain-free survey with these tips provided by our expert in a long term care conference.

But there are lots more too.  Some of the long term care training issues include using the standardized scale to promote objective evaluation and effective management and effective comparison of, you know, what's working and what's not recognizing and assessing pain, reporting and documenting findings and monitoring interventions. And this is the piece where training, you know, everybody certainly the housekeepers and dietary aides and activity aides wouldn't get the same level of training on this as the nurses and, you know, therapists, et cetera. But they do need the training.

Staff long term care training would also include the issue of overcoming misconceptions and increasing understanding of the distinctions between things like addiction, physical dependence and tolerance to pain medicines.

Training issues also include identifying appropriate treatment modalities include the use of and when and how to use non-pharmacological interventions. And understanding and implementation of the facility’s policies, procedures and protocol regarding pain management.

And so that's the training. And of course with long term care training, there should always be follow-up monitoring to determine that the training took, right, and is being used out there with the residents.

And then last but certainly not least and what is stated above falls into this category continuous quality improvement. And the important of this cannot be understated. This can be accomplished through your quality assessment and insurance committee including formal monthly evaluation of the quality and timing of assessment and reassessment of pain and of care planning and the implementation of the care plans as per the long term care rules and guidelines. And also assessment of the resident’s response to pain management interventions and their satisfaction with their pain management.

It is really good way to find out about resident’s satisfaction is to have social services or activities actually go round and do the survey. The administration can develop a short survey, pain satisfaction survey and, you know, have the folks do it. We don’t want the nurses to do the survey because the nurses are the face of the pain management program in the facility. And so, you know, the residents might - they might but they might not be as honest as you might need them to be.

It is recommended that each facility have a pain team to review individual cases every week just like you have nutrition at risk or weight pain or pressure ulcer team. You should also have a pain team. That's just an opinion to ensure that the facility is doing its very best to meet each resident’s needs as far as pain is concerned on a continuing basis. And if there's a problem with a resident in pain control, more heads are better than one.

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