AAHA Home AAHA Guidelines Implementation toolkit Staff roles and responsibilities for pain management
Staff roles and responsibilities for pain management
The following staff roles and responsibilities for pain management in companion animal practice create a general context for the implementation of a more specific pain management protocol (see the "Model Pain Management Protocol").
- Assess pain in every patient, regardless of appointment type (wellness, acute care, follow-up).
- Develop pain management and prevention SOPs on:
- Weight optimization
- Prevention of dental disease
- In-clinic handling and hospitalization procedures to avoid pain and fear
- The PLATTER (PLan, Anticipate, TreaT, Evaluate, Return)
- Implement the practice’s pain management protocol (see the model protocol).
- Provide staff education on:
- Effective client communication and education
- Recognition and assessment of pain
- Drug mode of action, interactions, and prevention and recognition of adverse reactions
Technician and other patient-care personnel
- Obtain patient’s medical and complete medication history (include nutritional supplements).
- Anticipate painful clinical procedures.
- Apply proper patient handling and stress-relieving techniques.
- Recognize signs of pain and and alert veterinarian.
- Administer medications and other treatments as directed by veterinarian.
- Recognize potential adverse reactions from treatment, and alert veterinarian if noted.
- Update patient records.
- Assess postoperative patients, and record pain scores.
- Assess chronic pain patients, and record pain scores.
- Maintain effective client education and follow-up.
- Provide client education consisting of verbal and written instructions for pain management, including prevention and recognition of potential adverse drug reactions.
- Interface between pet owner and veterinarian regarding ongoing patient care.
- Contact client following exam to respond to questions and concerns.
Reception and other client-service personnel
- Be able to recognize patient indicators of pain at presentation to the hospital.
- Schedule follow-up appointment.
- Refer questions to medical staff as appropriate.
- Remind clients that they are part of a team-based approach to pain management, which requires their understanding, compliance, and feedback.