Title: SBAR Analysis: Managing Postoperative Pain in a Surgical Setting
Pain management is a crucial aspect of nursing care, particularly in a postoperative surgical setting. Nurses play a pivotal role in the assessment and appropriate intervention for patients experiencing postoperative pain. This paper aims to analyze a specific experience from my nursing practice using the Situation, Background, Assessment, and Recommendation (SBAR) template. The experience selected involves a patient with postoperative pain following major abdominal surgery.
I encountered a situation where a 55-year-old female patient, Mrs. X, presented with severe postoperative pain. She had undergone a six-hour abdominal surgery to remove a large ovarian tumor. Despite receiving analgesics as prescribed, Mrs. X continued to report a pain intensity of 8/10 on the numeric rating scale, with a visibly distressed facial expression and guarding behaviors.
Mrs. X’s surgery was performed under general anesthesia, and the surgical team reported no intraoperative complications. She had a history of controlled hypertension and anxiety disorder. The nurse had administered prescribed analgesics, including intravenous (IV) morphine at a dose of 4 mg every 2 hours, to manage her pain. The surgical team had also prescribed non-pharmacological interventions, such as repositioning and relaxation techniques, to supplement pharmacological pain management.
Upon assessing Mrs. X, I observed the following findings:
1. Pain intensity: Mrs. X reported severe pain with a rating of 8/10, indicating inadequate pain relief despite analgesic administration.
2. Non-verbal cues: Mrs. X demonstrated distress through facial grimacing and protective guarding of her surgical incision site.
3. Vital signs: Her blood pressure was elevated at 150/90 mmHg, heart rate was 100 beats per minute, and respiratory rate was within normal limits.
4. Surgical site: There were no signs of infection, redness, or swelling noted around the surgical incision site, suggesting adequate wound healing.
5. Bowel sounds: Bowel sounds were present in all four quadrants, indicating normal gastrointestinal functioning.
6. Psychological factors: Mrs. X expressed anxiety and fear related to the severity of her pain and the potential for complications.
Based on the assessment, I propose the following recommendations for the provider:
1. Reevaluate the pain management plan: The provided doses of IV morphine may not be adequately managing Mrs. X’s pain. Consider titrating the dose up to 6 mg every 2 hours as needed, considering her reported pain intensity and distressing non-verbal cues.
2. Evaluate the potential causes: Explore the possibility of underlying factors contributing to ineffective pain management, such as inadequate analgesic absorption, opioid tolerance, or nerve irritation. This may require additional investigations, such as assessing the patient’s renal and hepatic function, adjusting the analgesic regimen accordingly.
3. Incorporate multimodal analgesia: Consider adjunctive non-opioid analgesics, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), to enhance pain relief. This multimodal approach can reduce the reliance on opioids, minimizing potential side effects.
4. Collaborate with the pain management team: Consult with the acute pain service or anesthesia team to discuss alternative pain management strategies, including the potential use of patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) or regional anesthesia techniques, such as epidural analgesia. Their expertise can ensure optimal pain control for Mrs. X.
5. Support the patient’s psychological well-being: Implement non-pharmacological interventions, such as guided imagery or distraction techniques, to help alleviate Mrs. X’s anxiety and improve her psychological coping with pain.
6. Educate the patient: Provide Mrs. X with detailed information about her pain management plan, including side effects, potential complications, and strategies for self-management at home. Clear communication is essential for fostering patient autonomy and compliance.
Effective pain management is critical to promoting patient comfort and overall recovery in the postoperative period. The use of the SBAR template facilitates clear communication and aids in addressing patients’ needs promptly. Based on the analysis of this nursing experience, appropriate assessment, and recommendations, the provider can optimize pain management for the patient’s positive outcome. By considering a multimodal approach and engaging the expertise of the pain management team, effective pain relief can be achieved for patients in the postoperative period.