2.3 Supporting staff
The second section of the framework focuses on supporting staff with relevant guidance and protocols and builds on the first section by aiming to reduce stress and increase confidence. Managing children’s pain can be complex and HCPs need support to be able to do so effectively.
There was also the suggestion that improving access to protocols, dosing guidance, as well as training at induction would help to reduce stress. Protocols are well researched, and quality assured evidenced based guidance on specific aspects of care, one example being a protocol for the management of pain post tonsillectomy.
The ANPs noted that support was available to help with the stress of pain management: ‘support of the pain team, alongside protocols and procedures, result in less stress and an increase in confidence’.
Practitioners have recognised the complexity of pain and in particular certain painful situations that have been challenging. Examples are the pain post tonsillectomy, or acute sickle cell crisis. Both situations have had numerous studies undertaken to devise a regime in response the acute pain experience (Gostian et al 2020; Persino et al 2017) and academics have undertaken systematic reviews to identify the best approach to deliver effective pain management. Hospital trusts have clinical procedure guidelines that are used in-house to interpret and apply such guidance locally.
Some participants called for additional in-service education on children’s pain, as seen in the findings from other research (Alotaibi et al 2019).
Stress could also be reduced if effective interventions were available for every individual child and being able to: ‘provide the right answers or the best answers that you can, or the best care and practice and alter things to reduce that stress’.
Activity 1: Effective pain management
Watch this short video that explains the framework. Whilst you are watching it, you will see that there are four areas all of which link together to provide effective pain management.
While watching the video, consider the following questions and make some notes in the text box. These notes can only be accessed by you and you can refer back to these at any time (as long as you have enrolled on the course and have saved your response).
Do you agree with the elements of the pain framework?
What would need to happen where you work for all elements to be present in the management of children’s pain?