The aim of this essay is to examine a specific risk assessment tool. The author will define the term “risk’ and discuss the importance of identifying and selecting an assessment tool to prevent or minimise the risk. The verbal rating score assessment tool for pain will be the focus of the essay, however, alternative assessment tools will be looked at for comparison and effectiveness. Pain is not classified as a risk, however, uncontrolled pain can cause several risks to the health of an individual and hinder recovery from illness or surgery. These risks will be identified during the author’s analysis and evaluation of the care of a surgical patient. Finally the author will offer a conclusion about the effectiveness of pain control and assessment. A registered nurse needs to act to identify and then minimise the risk to patient and clients, (Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2002). Risk identification is defined by Anderson (1998) as analysis of potential risk factors, determination of health risks and prioritisation of risk reduction strategies for an individual group. Watson (2002) describes risk assessment to be a hazard, or chance of developing a disease or of complications during or after treatment. Risk is also defined as the probability that an event will occur, (Dirckx, 1997). These definitions appear to suggest that it is important to identify any potential risks to health so that adequate intervention to prevent or minimise those risks can be implemented. During placement on a male surgical ward the author observed the use of the verbal numerical rating score assessment tool for pain and had the opportunity to utilise the tool on a variety of patients with differing illnesses. Due to confidentiality issues surrounding the use of a patients name stated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, (2002) “you must guard against breaches of confidentiality by protecting information from improper disclosure at all times,?…
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