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Pain Management

Our Commitment to Patients

Virginia Hospital Center is committed to patient comfort and providing the best possible care for patients and their families. Please ask your nurse and physician about our Pain Management Program.

Information for Patients & Families

We are committed to patient comfort and have an aggressive approach to pain management and patient education. We believe that with effective pain management during your illness and/or after surgery we can:

  • Reduce pain
  • Increase your comfort and satisfaction
  • Help you manage activities of daily living
  • Contribute to improved patient care and shorter hospital stays

What is Pain?

Pain is your body's way of sending a message to your brain that something is wrong. Without treatment, nerve pathways send messages to your brain, increasing the body's response to pain. Sometimes pain may be an uncomfortable feeling that is similar to a headache. At other times, because of your illness or because of surgery, pain becomes severe and persistent. Your nurse and doctors will ask you about your pain because they want you to be comfortable. They want you to tell them anytime you have pain, especially if you have had medication for pain but have not gotten relief.

Assessment

Your nurse and physician will ask you to rate your pain on a scale, using the numbers 0 to 10.

What Can Be Done to Treat Your Pain?

Both medication and non-medication treatments can be successful in helping to prevent and control pain. You and your doctors and nurses will decide which ones are best for you.

Pain Medication:

Your physician may prescribe medication to be taken by mouth or by injection. Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) is available for patients admitted to the Hospital. This medication is given intermittently or continuously through a small tube either in your vein (IV) or in a small space in your back (Epidural). Both methods allow self-medication with the push of a button.

Other Methods:

Rest, relaxation and simple techniques such as deep breathing can increase your comfort. Cold packs, heat therapy, massage and nerve stimulation may also be ordered by your physician to help relieve pain.

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1701 N. George Mason Drive | Arlington, VA 22205-3698 | tel 703.558.5000
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