| One-Minute Clinician

Emergency Department: Pain as the Fifth Vital Sign

With this new awareness of pain management in the Emergency Department, there’s a lot more interest and a lot more research being done. There’s still long ways for us to go developing actual tools that can be used in the ED setting. All the tools that are currently available are not really designed for our population. As for the key message behind pain as the fifth vital sign, it’s about communication. Communicating with our patients—performing pain assessments within the ED perimeters, discussing the barriers and challenges that go along with working that environment—that’s really where we can improve and where we should focus our energy so we can provide better care for patients when it comes to dealing with their pain.

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