It is with no doubt that pain is a feeling we all dread. It does not matter whether it is acute or chronic pain, the bottom-line is, we just don’t want to feel it. Let’s take a minute or two and talk about chronic pain. Did you know that this pain does not only affect patient’s body but also has psychological and emotional effects on patients? Yes it does. In most cases when this pain is not treated the patient might end up being depressed. This is the kind of pain most people living with life-threatening diseases experience. One way of addressing this is through advocacy and use of appropriate pain relieving medication. Well,that is exactly what Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) is doing.
On Tuesday 18th April 2017, we travelled to Thika Level 5 Hospital with a clear objective; to pitch the idea of facilitating a pain management training program. This course targets all health professionals with interest. Some of you may want to find out why target all these people? The undisputed answer is, we all know someone who is going through a lot of pain but sometime we are clueless on how we should help. This training, also called Pain Free Hospital Initiative will therefore do you justice.
Dr. Esther Muinga, the coordinator for relief pain at KEHPCA, while presenting this idea to some of Thika Level 5 hospital administrative staff, outlined some of the topics that will be covered. These include; introduction to pain, pharmacological/ non-pharmacological management of pain, pain in special groups (children, HIV &AIDS and elderly) but to name a few. There are 4 training sessions and each takes 1hour 30minutes. A pre-test and a post-test is done to evaluate participants’ knowledge on pain management.
“This sounds like a noble idea that is worth supporting. Addressing the pain of our patients is a good thing because we never want to see them in pain,” Said Ann Wambugu a senior nurse at the hospital.
They were impressed by this initiative and from May, pain management sessions will kick off. This is the fifth hospital after Kenyatta National Hospital, Machakos Level 5 Hospital, Moi Teaching & Referral Hospital and Kijabe Hospital that KEHPCA is going to facilitate this type of training.
Pain Free Hospital Initiative is supported by Treat the Pain-a program of the American Cancer Society. It is a hospital-wide quality improvement initiative to integrate pain treatment into service delivery and can be replicated in other healthcare facilities. Making pain the fifth vital sign is one of its goals.