Chapter 18 Pain Management, Comfort, Rest, and Sleep

acute pain
intense, unpleasant sensation of short duration, lasting less than 6 months
chronic pain
pain lasting longer than 6 months; can be as intense as acute pain; can be continuous or intermittent
endrophins
any one of the neuropeptides composed of many amino acids, elaborated by the pituitary gland and acting on the central and peripheral nervous systems to reduce pain
gate control theory
suggests that pain impulses can be regulated or even blocked by gating mechanisms located along the central nervous system
non-rapid eye movement (NREM)
one of two highly individualized sleeping states divided into four stages through which a sleeper progresses during a typical sleeping cycle; represents three fourths of a period of typical sleep.
noxious
a stimulation of the sensory nerve endings that is harmful, injurious, or detrimental to physical health
patient-controlled analgesia (PCA)
a drug delivery system that dispenses a preset intravenous dose of an opioid analgesic into a patient’s vein when the patient pushes a switch on an electric cord
rapid eye movement (REM)
one of the two highly individualized sleeping states that follows NREM state. May last from a few minutes to a half an hour and alternate with NREM periods; dreaming occurs during this time
referred pain
pain that is felt at a site other than in the injured or diseased organ or part of the body
synergistic
action of two or more substances or organs to achieve an effect of which each is capable
transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS)
a type of pain control that is managed with a pocket-sized, battery-operated device that provides a continuous, mild electrical current to the skin via electrodes.
visual analog scale
an objective means of assessing pain severity; it consists of a straight line, representing a continuum of intensity, and has visual descriptions at each end