Event 2: Assessing Pain

Team Meeting 2

You’ve appropriately identified pain with Mr. Frank utilizing a formalized pain assessment tool.
Review the interdisciplinary team meeting in the video described below to learn about other sources that may indicate the presence of pain.

In this narrative, you’ll notice Moe, the social worker, join Dr. Herrington, Victor, Lily, and Malcolm.

Test Your Knowledge

Question 1

Which of the following may be an unrecognized factor contributing to behavioral disturbance in older adults?


Question 2

True or false? Using a formalized pain assessment tool for nonverbal adults is better than guessing.


Question 3

Which of the following is a reasonable tool to use to assess pain in non-verbal adults?


Non-pharmacologic Options

Review the video of the interdisciplinary meeting to find out what Moe, the social worker, discovered after reaching out to Mr. Frank’s nursing home caretakers.

Each of your peers came up with a non-pharmacologic approach to help ease Mr. Frank’s pain.

Victor: “We could reposition him so he’s not lying on the wound.”

Lily: “We could try physical therapy.”

Malcolm: “We could find out what kind of music or scent selections could be soothing to him.”

Other Non-Pharmacologic Options

Other non-pharmacologic options to help ease discomfort in elderly non-verbal patients could include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Heat
  • Hypnosis
  • Ice
  • Massage therapy
  • Pet therapy
  • Spinal cord stimulation
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)

First Line Options

Decision Point 1

What do you feel might be a good first line treatment for Mr. Frank?

Lily: “Maybe a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory?”

Victor: “I’ve seen a lot of patients here on scheduled Tylenol.”


According to Dr. Herrington, Tylenol, or acetaminophen, is the best choice first line option for Mr. Frank. But you should exercise caution when prescribing Tylenol for continuous pain control.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories can be dangerous for elderly patients. To learn more about harmful side effects, review the ‘Dangers of NSAIDS in Elderly” article here:


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