Assessing and managing adult pain | Australian College of Nursing

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Assessing and managing adult pain

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The purpose of this unit of study is to link evidence based nursing to clinical practice and by using a ‘principles’ approach to learning. You will have the opportunity to explore the concepts of acute and chronic pain. Content covered in clinical guidelines, pain assessment, and investigations relevant to identifying the type of pain experienced. Comprehensive pain assessment will be reviewed along with pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies required for the relief of pain. A multidisciplinary team approach to patient care will be included. Through the integration of these principles, this unit of study examines issues in contemporary nursing practice as they relate to the neurophysiology, assessment and management of adult pain.

Assessing and managing adult pain

Unit of study code



Graduate Certificate in Acute Care Nursing

Graduate Certificate in Aged Care Nursing

Graduate Certificate in Breast Cancer Nursing

Graduate Certificate in Cancer Nursing

Graduate Certificate in Community and Primary Health Care Nursing

Graduate Certificate in Orthopaedic Nursing

Graduate Certificate in Perioperative Nursing

PG unit of study





Fee*Tier 1

Prescribed texts: Nil

Co-ordinated by: Robyn Manning



Intended learning outcomes for this subject/program


After completing this subject, the learner will be able to:-

Assessment Tasks

Type of assessment

Not the completed assessment item. E.g. Assessment 1. Online discussion 


(% of total marks)

When assessed – academic week

(e.g. Week 8)

Theme 1: Core concepts of pain



a) Review national and global strategic plans to identify contemporary initiatives in the assessment and treatment of pain

Assessment 1 Online discussions x 2



Theme 2: Pain assessment and pain intensity measurement

b) Examine the theoretical principles of pain physiology

Assessment 2 Quiz (20 questions)



Theme 3: Non-pharmacological and pharmacological management of pain

c) Interpret patients clinical symptoms to identify and evaluate the type of pain they are experiencing

Assessment 3 Short answer (2000 words)




Theme 4: Pain management techniques

d) Analyse the multidimensional factors influencing the experience of pain to enhance therapeutic and collaborative relationships with patients

Assessment Case study (2000 words)





e) Evaluate and discuss the ethical and professional responsibilities of health professionals to optimise pain control in clinical practice





f) Critically evaluate evidence based management options used to relieve pain in clinical practice




Units commencing or have commenced in 2017

Tier 1$2,035
Tier 2$2,345
Tier 3$2,725
Tier 4$3,275

Units commencing in 2018

Tier 1$2,100
Tier 2$2,420
Tier 3$2,800
Tier 4$3,375

*Fees are subject to change without notice.