A Project to Empower the Staff Awareness in Best Practice Approach to Pain Assessment in Dementia.
Assessing and treating physical pain and affective discomfort in people who can no longer report on their internal states is quite challenging. Since little is known about best practice in pain assessment for people with dementia, health care providers often learn while "in the trenches”. This thesis reports authors‟ professional journey in trying to empower the staff knowledge in best practice approach to pain assessment in people with dementia. In addition, author updated the pain scale, based on literature, as a clinical tool, for supporting staff in recognition and assessment of pain in clinical practice. The change was implemented using HSE change model. Change typically results as a reaction to specific problems or opportunities the organization is facing based on internal or external stimuli. After an unannounced HIQA visit in authors‟ organisation, many recommendations were made; poor pain assessment was one of the identified priorities. Being a staff nurse and front line manager of the care process in authors‟ organisation, is responsible to ensure the pain assessment is in line with best practice and ensure the comfort of each resident. More over nurses have an ethical obligation to appropriately treat patients‟ pain. Kirkpatrick four level model of evaluation tool was used to evaluate the changes and revealed successful attainment of SMART objectives. Here the author intended to change the structure and process in the organisation. On reflection, author described the challenges encounter during this project, what were the strength and weakness of the project, organisational impact and future recommendations to the organisation.