The accurate and swift assessment of cardiac pain is an essential requirement to prevent and relieve potential complications of myocardial ischaemia and infarction. Whilst on the coronary care unit, it is the nurse who maintains constant 24 hour contact with the patient, and offers first line treatment for pain control and relief of symptoms. In order to improve the quality of care given by nursing staff, an appropriate pain assessment tool is essential. A number of assessment tools are described and their potential and actual use on the coronary care unit evaluated. Given the limited applicability of those discussed for use with cardiac pain, the need for an accurate pain assessment tool remains an essential requirement for the coronary care nurse, to ensure that patient care reaches its highest potential.
- Pain. Coronary Care