Timeless pain management tips

All EMS providers can still learn something about patient care and pain management from their mothers

Margaret, 15 months old, stood up underneath the kitchen table. After smashing her head against the wood, she crumpled into a sobbing heap. Then she began her frantic search for mommy. Less than a minute later Margaret was consoled and resuming normal play.

When treating any patient in pain — child or adult — follow these timeless “mom pain” management and treatment principles:

  • Offer reassurance that you are working to relieve the patient’s pain
  • Use empathy to tell the patient that you understand they are in pain
  • Distract the patient with questions and conversation about when times were better and future opportunities
  • Apply gentle touch like a pat on the arm, a hand squeeze, or a hand on the shoulder
  • Look the patient in the eye as you listen to their complaint, using OPQRST, and explain your treatment plan
  • Tell the patient you are going to do something about their pain and then do it

I think all EMS providers can learn something about patient care from their mothers.

Moms, share with us other “mom pain” treatment principles in the comments area.

This article, originally published 5/6/2009, has been updated

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