Event 3: Pain Assessment

Verbally Rate Current Pain

Peter James sits with the nurse practitioner. She asks him if he can rate his current pain on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the worst pain he's ever felt.

Head and shoulders shot of Peter James, a middle-aged man with a long beard and hair.

Peter James replies, “But if I said a ten, you wouldn’t understand my ‘ten,’ you know?”

The nurse practitioner says, “No, I wouldn’t. But I would understand that it’s severe.”

Peter James says, “Right. Today I’m having a little bit better of a day, so I guess I’m probably right about a three right now.”

Predicting Pain

The nurse practitioner asks Peter James whether he can predict his pain.

He says, “I don’t know if I can predict it, but I can rationalize it. Saying, ‘Oh, you know, I did too much.’”

The nurse practitioner interjects with, “The weather’s bad.”

Peter James nods and says, “The weather’s changing. I did too much. Things like that.”

Frequency of Pain

The nurse practitioner asks Peter James how often he experiences his pain.

He replies, “On and off. Yeah, I mean, like I said, sometimes I’ll get one and I’m done for the day. Other times it, you know, every hour or something. Uh, it has a lot to do with my activity level, weather changes.”

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