Module B: Pain Management: Acute Pain

CE Credits: 1.5


This module outlines the main origins and unique characteristics of acute pain, as well as the different methods for delivering relief, from oral analgesics to epidural analgesia and patient-controlled anesthesia (PCA). It also explores the needs of different populations that typically suffer from acute pain, from trauma patients to the elderly or children. It also explores the non-pharmaceutical methods of helping with acute pain, from meditation to acupuncture, and describes how case managers can advocate for patients needing help with acute pain.

Learning objectives: After completing this module the case manager will be able to:
» Describe the unique characteristics of acute pain
» Discuss techniques for acute pain relief including the use of patient-controlled, epidural and regional analgesia
» Examine the acute pain management needs of specific patient populations including emergency and trauma patients, the elderly,
pediatric patients and patients with a history of substance abuse
» Describe the types of non-pharmaceutical approaches to relief for acute pain
» Discuss acute pain management guidelines and the case manager’s role in the treatment and management of acute pain

Advance your professional practice:: Acute pain presents a challenge to case managers. Being able to assess a patient’s subjective descriptions and find the appropriate treatment in an efficient way is vital, since poorly treated pain can compound a patient’s underlying trauma or illness. Getting educated on the best methods of acute pain management, and the applicable standards and guidelines—especially with respect to potentially addictive opioids—makes it easier for case managers to help patients get relief.


Improve organizational performance: Acute pain can weaken patients with serious illnesses, and as a result, extend hospitalizations. Understanding the appropriate methods for delivering acute pain relief can shorten hospital stays and reduce the chances of complications that stem from poorly or under-treated pain.