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Everyday EMS
by Greg Friese

Ask Lots of Questions about Pain

OPQRST is the beginning of a conversation about a patient's pain. Don't limit yourself to the six common questions that we previously discussed in "Refining OPQRST as an Assessment Tool."

Use your patient assessment skills to learn more about the patient's pain. Some additional questions might include:

• What were you doing when the pain started?

• Is your pain constant or does it vary on and off?

• Has the pain been constant or has it gradually worsened?

• As your pain travels from the point of origin, how does it change?

• Have you ever experienced pain like this before? If yes, what was it?

• Have you done anything for your pain, like pain medications, ice, or elevation?

• Are there positions or activities that make your pain better or worse?

• What else do you want to tell me about your pain?

What other questions do you ask to learn more about your patient's pain? Share your pain questions in the comments area.

About the author

Greg Friese is Editor-in-Chief of EMS1.com. He is an educator, author, paramedic, and marathon runner. Ask questions or submit tip ideas to Greg by e-mailing him at greg.friese@ems1.com.
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Wes Sutton Wes Sutton Wednesday, February 22, 2012 12:21:47 PM Is this the discussion board we were supposed to use/.