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  • What's the best way to talk about pain?

  • When we measure your pulse, temperature, breathing rate and blood pressure we call those numbers your "vital signs." Nurses and doctors think of your pain rating as your 5th vital sign. So we ask about pain and record it along with your other vital signs. We'll also ask you to rate your pain again after receiving pain medication to see if it's working well for you.

    Most patients need help to know how to explain their pain. We don't want you to be frustrated about being misunderstood or not believed.

    We can teach you how to report your pain using a number from 0-10, or to describe your pain using words. A pain intensity rating tool is used in all care areas of The Miriam Hospital.

    How do you treat pain?