Pain and distress are an unfortunate piece of the healthcare experience for most patients. Effective distraction is one method that works to minimize the effects of procedural pain. As a nurse working with surgical patients for the past 17 years, I have witnessed children in pain from various sources within the hospital. Nurses, or any member of the healthcare team work with the intention, of course, not to cause pain but to find ways to minimize or relieve pain.
Analgesics (narcotic or non-narcotic) are in many cases, the first line of treatment for pain management. There are however side effects and dosage limits to medications. We need to be more aware or other strategies that are available help reduce pain.
In the article, Audio therapy for pediatric postoperative pain, they discuss one way to manage, lessen post-operative pain using “Audio Therapy” or what is in fact “effective distraction” to lessen the patient’s post-operative pain. Effective distraction techniques capture the patient’s full attention and engage them in activities that take their attention away from the painful stimulus.The results show that providing audio therapy and letting children chose and listen to music or audiobooks of their choice, their post-operative pain scores where lowered.
Trauma informed care is the concept of caring for the emotional side of illness and trauma. It is identifying the need to address the D-E-F (Distress, Emotional, Family) aspects of the patient. This idea of audio therapy is found in both the D & E aspects of trauma informed care. For more information on how to use trauma informed care in practice, take our free online trauma education courses.