Parabati Pun registered nurse at OneCare

OneCare is a not-for-profit aged care organisation supporting more than 2,000 people across Tasmania. Registered Nurse Parbati Pun has been part of the OneCare team for 18 months, and today her role is split between caring for residents as a Level 1 RN, and supervising the tasks of the floor staff as a Level 2 RN.

Whether she’s working with residents or handling admin in the office, pain assessment is a big part of Parbati’s day-to-day role.

“Level 1 nurses have a pain assessment protocol if there’s an incident like a wound, injury, or any falls, or if the resident is complaining of pain,” she explains. “We also do a holistic check once a month even if the resident appears perfectly fine.”

“When I’m working as a Level 2 nurse, I’m overseeing all the jobs done by our great nurses on the floor. If there’s anything missing regarding pain assessments, then I will follow up with the team.”

The impact of pain

Parbati says pain is an unfortunate reality for many of OneCare’s residents, but it’s not always easy to identify.

“If the resident has dementia, they can’t verbalise their pain but their behaviour will change. They will often refuse care because they don’t want to be moved around. They can also develop delirious symptoms, so we have to go through a separate delirium screening process to find out exactly what’s going on.”

Pain not only has a significant impact on residents, but also their loved ones and carers.

“If a resident is in pain, then they are in distress, and that is understandably distressful for their loved ones and carers to see as well.”

As well as improving quality of life for residents, consistent pain assessment and management helps reassure residents’ family members that their loved ones are being cared for appropriately.

“It’s important to keep family members and loved ones updated on the resident’s ongoing care plan – what has changed in terms of pain over the last few months, if there’s any new pain or pain management, those sorts of things,” Parbati explains.

Life as a busy aged care nurse

Day to day, the OneCare team’s focus is on providing the highest levels of care, so finding ways to be more efficient is always front of mind. Previously, they relied on the time-consuming PQRST pain assessment method to manually describe, assess, and document residents’ pain against five criteria: provocation, quality, region, severity, and timing. Now, they save time by using PainChek’s digital pain assessment solution, which enables complete pain assessment in two minutes.


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