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Assessing and Managing Adult Pain
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The purpose of this unit of study is to provide the student with the necessary theoretical knowledge to improve how they assess and manage adult pain in the clinical setting. Knowledge of pain, along with an understanding of the physiological mechanisms associated with pain transmission, is integral to providing optimal care for the individual experiencing pain. It is essential for the health care provider to have an understanding of the complex interacting factors that affect each individual’s perception of pain. These factors include conceptual and cognitive issues relevant to the experience of the individual, their pain and the social impact of pain within our society. This subject examines the physiological basis of pain and the assessment and management of adult patients experiencing acute, chronic and cancer pain. It explores physiological concepts and current pain theories regarding the basis of pain and the complex social, cultural, psychological, spiritual and economic aspects of pain. Pain assessment tools are evaluated and both pharmacological and non-pharmacological management are explored.

Pain management is complex and nurses need to consider management in the light of current best practice, cultural diversity and patient’s belief systems. Nurses are encouraged to investigate their patient’s experience of pain and collaborate with their patients and other health professionals in the management of pain.

Assessing and Managing Adult Pain
Unit of study code 113

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

GC single unit of study

Pre-requisite N/A
Credit points 6
Hours of study 150
Fee* Tier 1
Prescribed texts Nil
Co-ordinated by Ruth Green

Intended learning outcomes for this subject/program

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

Assessment Tasks

Type of assessment

Note the completed assessment item (e.g. Assessment 1: Online discussion)


(% of total marks)

When assessed – academic week

(e.g. Week 8)

Theme 1: Foundational concepts of pain


a) discuss varying definitions of pain and the multidimensional factors which influence the concept of pain as a bio-psycho-social phenomena Assessment 1: Online discussions x2 10% 2, 7
Theme 2: Anatomy and physiology of pain b) demonstrate specialist knowledge of physiology correlated with different types of pain Assessment 2: Quiz 10% 4
Theme 3: Assessing patients’ pain c) critique pain assessment techniques to ensure contemporary evidenced based patient care

Assessment 3: Short answer questions


40% 5
Theme 4: Pharmacological management of pain d) evaluate national and global evidenced-based, culturally safe guidelines to plan nursing management for patients experiencing pain

Assessment 4: Case analysis


40% 10
Theme 5: Non-pharmacological management of pain e) apply ethical and professional principles to optimise holistic, patient-centred care within a multi-disciplinary context.
Theme 6: Multidisciplinary teamwork in the management of pain and discharge planning for the person in pain

Assessing and Managing Adult Pain (113) is a Tier 1 unit.

Tiers2020 Member price (10% discount)2020 Non-member price2021 Member price (10% discount)2021 Non-member price
Tier 1$2,007.00$2,230.00$2,070.00$2,300.00
Tier 2$2,295.00$2,550.00$2,362.50$2,625.00
Tier 3$2,695.50$2,995.00$2,776.50$3,085.00
Tier 4$3,222.00$3,580.00$3,321.00$3,690.00

*Fees are subject to change without notice.