Allison Kostrzewa, RN,MSN, CNRN


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Pain management in the neuroscience population is specialized and complex. The pharmacological and non-pharmacological modalities needed to reduce pain differ depending on the type of neurological condition and the individual needs of the patient. Pain in this population can be acute, chronic, or both.  A nurse’s knowledge about the pathophysiology of pain, analgesia, and any personal biases will influence their ability to effectively implement pain relief strategies as well as their ability to advocate for additional analgesics or adjunctive therapies if needed. Frequently, the patient’s need for pain control must be balanced with the need to accurately perform serial neurologic exams. It takes an astute clinician to walk that fine line. Education targeted at increasing nursing knowledge about the pathophysiology of pain, analgesia, adjunctive therapy, and clinician bias as well as patient education about pain management strategies will have a positive correlation to patient’s perception of pain control while hospitalized. 



1.    Define Pain

2.    Describe the Pathophysiology of Pain

3.    Apply the WHO Pain Ladder

4.    Describe Pharmacological Relief Strategies

5.    Describe Non-Pharmacological Relief Strategies

6.    Describe Post-Operative Relief Strategies

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