Is it just me, or does anyone else think the “1-10″ pain scale is just short of being completely worthless? I find it really hard to document that a patient scores a 10 out10 on the pain scale when they are falling asleep during the transport. I guess it doesn’t really matter because it doesn’t typically alter or dictate our treatment, but there has got to be a better way.
On a side note, the chart with the faces could be used to evaluate the amount of years someone has been working in EMS…..
I have been doing some thinking on this subject and I think that a more objective scale based on the patient’s clinical presentation would be a better way to assess their pain level. The current scale is way to subjective and rarely results in anything less than 10. I just find it hard to believe that this is the worst pain someone has ever felt when they shout even louder from a poke on their finger to check a blood glucose.
Perhaps such a scale already exists and I’m trying to invent the wheel here, but I have yet to find anything. So I figured a point scale similar to our GCS scale would be better. Here are some areas that I think we could evaluate to come up with a score:
- Pulse rate
- Facial expressions (closing eyes, gritting teeth)
If anyone has suggestions or experience using another method to evaluate pain, I would love to hear from you.