Ask lots of question to assess a patient's pain


April 19, 2016

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, MS, NRP, 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.

  1. Tags
  2. EMS Training
  3. Pain Management
  4. Patient Assessment
  5. Trauma
  6. Trauma Assessment

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